Jul 22, 2012

Blackberry Goodness

It's just about the end of blackberry season, but I wanted to share a bit about my blackberries. I have 5 acres of mostly grass. At one end of the property there's a whole hillside covered with blackberry bushes. Last year I led my chickens over there (it's a bit of a walk and took some coaxing) but once they got there, it was happy chicken day. Picking wild blackberries is a bit of an arduous task necessitating the use of jeans or thick clothing and treading carefully. It seems no matter how careful I am at picking the plumpest, darkest blackberries, I always come home with a lot of bitter ones. The more bitter the blackberries, the more sugar that must be added to the recipe to balance it out.

My bounty for the day
With all these blackberries, I had loads of things I could do with them. First up was pie.

I swear by Allrecipes.com for all of my recipes. Just make sure if you use them that you sort by the highest rated search results and read a few of the top comments for some good tips. 

The pie crust that I always use is
Ruth's Grandma's Pie Crust: Original recipe yields 4 crusts

  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups shortening
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup water
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all purpose flour, shortening, sugar, and salt. Blend together with a pastry cutter until crumbly.
  2. In a small bowl, mix egg with water. Blend into flour mixture. Chill in refrigerator until ready to use.
* I usually scale down the servings on the website because I usually only make one pie. But the original yield of 4 crusts makes for really thin crusts, so it's more like 3 1/2 crusts.

The blackberry pie recipe that I used originally was
Blackberry Pie I: Original recipe yield 1 - 9" pie

  • 4 cups fresh blackberries
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 - 9" double pie crust
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  1. Combine 3 1/2 cups of berries with 1/2 cup sugar and flour. Spoon the mixture into an unbaked pie shell. Spread the remaining 1/2 cup of blackberries on top of the sweetened berries and cover with the top crust. Seal and crimp the edges. Brush the top with milk and sprinkle with remaining sugar.
  2. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Then reduce temperature to 375 and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes.
* Since my blackberries were a bit bitter, I added more sugar than the recipe called for (not included above).

After I made the pie I juiced a lot of the berries and ended up with a draft sized mug of pulp and seeds! I bet if I dried out all of those seeds and spread them on the property, I'd have a whole lot of berries in no time... hmm something to think about.

For the rest of the berries, I just froze them for later.