August 30, 2011
This little habit of mine was formed greatly in part because of my grandmother. She used to have the grand kids over in the summer when we were out of school, so we could help her berry pick. We had our secret spots and we'd come back with or bellies full of berries and our fingers and cheeks stained a deep purple/red color. Then she'd either bake up a berry pie or we'd top them over our vanilla ice cream.
I know pie making can be intimidating, mostly because of the crust. I tried to give clear instructions below as well as images above that clearly show the dough in each stage. Don't worry if the dough cracks or comes apart as you're rolling it out, it happens, I know it did to me. Just patch it back up and keep on going, once it's filled and baked nobody will even notice; they'll be to busy eating and asking for a second slice.
Blackberry Apple Pie
for pie crust
2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cane sugar
8 tablespoons very cold unsalted butter, cubed
6-8 tablespoons ice cold water
for the filling
2-3 apples (depending on size) peeled, cored and sliced into 1/4-inch thick slices
2 1/2 cups fresh or frozen unthawed blackberries
1/3 cup brown sugar
zest of one lemon
juice of half a lemon
1 egg beaten
cinnamon and sugar for dusting
Place the flour, salt, and sugar into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times just to incorporate. Add the cubed butter and pulse until the dough starts forming pea sized bits. Add 6 tablespoons of ice water and process just until the dough starts coming together, it's really important not to over work the dough. If it seems dry, add a tablespoon more water until you're satisfied. Dump the still slightly crumbly dough onto a clean surface and gather it all up into a ball. Divide the ball in two equal pieces, wrap in plastic and set in the fridge for at least 1 hour. Dough can also be made ahead of time and refrigerated for two days or frozen for a month (defrost in fridge overnight if you had it in the freezer).
Place the apples, blackberries, sugar, lemon juice, and zest into a bowl and let sit while rolling out the pie crust.
Preheat the oven to 375˚F. Have a 9-inch pie dish ready.
Roll out each of the disks of dough, one at a time, on a lightly floured surface. Roll each to about a 12-inch circle. Place the first circle into the pie dish, making sure it fits into the edges, leaving the extra to hang over. Pour in the apple and berry mixture, then cover with the second circle of dough. Trim around the edge so the over hang is only about 1/2 an inch over. I like to roll this edge up as I press it together, then I crimp the edge for a good seal.
Brush the top with the egg yolk and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Cut 5 or 6 slits into the top of the dough, so you have some steam vents.
Place the pie in the oven and bake for 50-55 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. If your pie is browning to fast, cover it with a piece of foil. Allow the pie to cool for at least 2 hours before slicing and serving.