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Once you try this homemade blackberry pie recipe, you’ll want to make it again and again! This is the ultimate summer pie, with a sweet and juicy blackberry filling and a light, flaky pie crust.
This pie took me by surprise. When I decided to test a blackberry pie recipe to share with you, I had hopes that it would turn out well. I never expected to discover that this blackberry pie is now my favorite of all the summer pies!
From the sweet, juicy blackberry pie filling that’s brightened with a touch of lemon to the (secretly lighter) homemade pie crust, every single bite of this blackberry pie is worthy of your tastebuds.
You don’t have to take my word for it. Try this pie recipe for yourself, and then let me know how you liked it!
If you’re still not convinced that this blackberry pie is worth your time in the kitchen, know that it’s not just me who sings the praises of this particular pie. While eating his slice, Brad said that this blackberry pie just might be better than his all time favorite cherry pie. And my 6-year-old, who doesn’t like eating blackberries plain, ate every last crumb of his slice, blackberry filling and all. 😉
Can you make this blackberry pie with frozen blackberries?
You can use either fresh or frozen blackberries in this pie. I have made this blackberry pie with both fresh and frozen berries and both worked well!
If you are using frozen blackberries you will want to defrost them and drain off any excess liquid before mixing them with the remaining pie filling ingredients. You should also increase the cornstarch to 1/4 cup. Cornstarch acts as a thickener in the pie filling and helps to create the juicy, syrupy blackberry filling that you want in a pie. Without the cornstarch your filling will be too runny.
If you use fresh berries, you will want to give them a wash and then let them air dry on a clean towel. You can gently pat them dry to speed the drying process.
Should I use store-bought or homemade pie crust in this blackberry pie recipe?
Sometimes (like when you’re trying to get dinner on the table quickly and you’re making this easy broccoli cheese quiche) I praise the benefits of store-bought pie crust.
When it comes to baking a pie for a special dessert, though, I’ll always recommend making homemade pie crust. Don’t be intimidated – homemade pie crust is easy to make and doesn’t take much time at all!
My homemade pie crust recipe (which I’ve included in the blackberry pie recipe below) doesn’t require you to chill the pie dough before you roll it out. It rolls out like a dream and won’t stick to your work surface or your rolling pin, as long as you lightly flour both.
The easiest way to make pie crust is with a food processor, fitted with the steel blade. If you don’t have a food processor then you can use either a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, or you can mix the dough in a bowl using a pastry blender (or even your fingertips).
Whichever method you use, to make a light and flaky pie crust you should:
- Keep your butter as cold as possible. This means you will want to work relatively quickly once you add the butter to the dough. You should also place the dough in the refrigerator whenever it is between steps, such as when you are mixing up the blackberry filling. Using cold butter keeps the butter from getting completely worked into the dough. The bits of butter in the dough release steam and create little air pockets when baking. This is what makes a light, flaky pie crust!
- Use ice-cold water in your pie dough. Before you begin, place a few ice cubes and some water in a glass and pop it in the refrigerator so it will be as cold as possible by the time you are ready to add the water to your pie dough. See above for why… your want to keep the dough (and butter pieces) cold, not melted.
- Above all, don’t stress about doing it perfectly! This pie crust recipe is very forgiving and you really can’t do much to mess it up.
When you think of pie crust, you probably think of lots of butter and flour. There are definitely plenty of both in this recipe, but I’ve lightened up this pie crust for you… and I don’t think you will notice a difference. You’ll use less butter than is often used in pie crust, as well as a combination of white whole wheat and all purpose flours. If you don’t have white whole wheat flour, you can replace it with an equal amount of all purpose flour.
How do you make a lattice-top pie crust?
A lattice-top pie crust is the name for the woven crust that you see on the top of this blackberry pie. It’s fun and pretty to make a lattice-top for your pie. If you’d prefer not to, you can either top your pie with cookie-cutter pie crust cut-outs or with a solid top crust. If you choose to place the full second pie crust on top of your pie be sure to cut 4-5 slits in the top for steam vents.
To make a lattice-top pie crust, roll out the dough for the top of the pie into a 12-inch diameter circle. Use a sharp knife, pizza cutter or pastry wheel to cut the dough circle into ½-inch strips. Using every other strip from the circle, arrange half of the dough strips going one direction across the top of the pie, leaving a little bit of space in between each strip.
Weave the other half of the dough strips through the first set, over and under, pulling back the first set of strips as needed to weave. I find it easiest to start in the center of the pie when weaving, and pull back every other of the first set of dough strips. Here is a helpful tutorial on making a lattice-top pie crust.
To make a blackberry pie:
To make this blackberry pie recipe, you’ll start by mixing up the pie crust dough. Be sure to read my tips above about making homemade pie crust. You’ll divide the dough in half and roll one half out for the bottom crust. Chill the second half of the dough while you work to keep the butter cold.
Once the bottom crust is rolled out, gently roll it around your rolling pin to transfer it to a 9×2-inch pie dish. Then place it in the refrigerator to keep it cold while you make the blackberry pie filling.
The blackberry pie filling is a simple mixture of blackberries, sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest and vanilla extract. You will need 6 cups of blackberries for this pie. That is about 30 ounces of blackberries.
I find that 1/2 cup of sugar is the perfect amount for this pie filling if your blackberries are fairly sweet. You might need a touch more sugar if your berries are very sour. You can use less than 1/2 cup sugar if your berries are really sweet! You want the natural sweetness and flavor of the blackberries to shine so you don’t need to add too much sugar.
Before baking your pie, gently brush it with an egg wash. An egg wash is a mixture of one egg beaten with a little bit of milk or water. Brushing the top crust with an egg wash helps it to get that pretty golden brown color as it bakes.
After your pie is baked, you will want to let it rest at room temperature for at least 2 hours before slicing it and serving. This pie tastes best when served at room temperature. You may also serve it warm or chilled if you like. A scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side is optional but highly recommended!
For the Crust:
- 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup cold, unsalted butter, cut into cubes 1 ½ sticks or 12 tablespoons
- 5-6 tablespoons ice-cold water
- 6 cups about 30 ounces fresh or frozen blackberries
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch use ¼ cup if using frozen blackberries
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon milk or water
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Make the pie crust: Place the all purpose flour, white whole wheat flour, granulated sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. (Alternatively, the pie dough can be mixed by hand in a bowl using a pastry cutter, or in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.) Pulse a few times to combine.
- Add the cold butter and pulse 10-12 times, until the butter pieces are the size of small peas.
- Add 5 tablespoons of the ice-cold water and pulse until the dough comes together into a rough ball. If needed, add more water, a teaspoon at a time, to help the dough come together.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and cut it in half. Form each half into a round disk. Refrigerate one disk.
- Use a rolling pin to roll the second dough disk out into a circle that is 12 inches in diameter. Turn the dough a quarter turn with each roll as you roll it out. Place dough circle into a 9x2-inch pie dish. (Gently wrap dough around the rolling pin to transfer it.) Gently smooth the dough out into the pie dish. Place in the refrigerator while you prepare the pie filling.
- Make the blackberry pie filling: If using fresh blackberries, wash the blackberries and lay them out on a clean towel; gently pat dry. If using frozen blackberries, thaw the berries and drain them of any excess liquid.
- Place blackberries in a large bowl. Add the sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest and vanilla and stir until well combined. Transfer to the pie dish with the rolled out pie crust. Set aside.
- Roll out the top pie crust: Place the second dough disk onto a lightly floured work surface. Roll it out into a 12-inch diameter circle. Use a sharp knife, pizza cutter or pastry wheel to cut the dough circle into ½-inch strips. Using every other strip from the circle, arrange half of the dough strips going one direction across the top of the pie, leaving a little bit of space in between each strip. Weave the other half of the dough strips through the first set, over and under, pulling back the first set of strips as needed to weave.
- Trim off excess dough around the edge of the pie. Fold the edge over, towards the inside, and crimp with your fingers or a fork. (If you do not wish to make a lattice-top pie, you can simply put the full second pie crust on top of the pie and then cut slits in the top for steam vents. Or cut the second pie crust into desired shapes using a cookie cutter and arrange the shapes on top of the pie filling.)
- In a small bowl, beat the egg and the 1 tablespoon milk or water. Lightly brush the top pie crust with the egg mixture. (You won't use all of the egg mixture.)
- Bake pie for 50-60 minutes, until filling is bubbly and crust is light golden brown. Begin checking on the pie at 30 minutes and cover crust edges with pieces of foil as needed to prevent over-browning (you may use pie crust shields in place of the foil).
- Let pie cool for at least 2 hours at room temperature before slicing and serving. Store leftover pie in the refrigerator, wrapped well, for up to 5 days.
- You may use a store-bought pie crust if you don’t want to make your own. You will need a double crust, one for the top and one for the bottom of the pie.
- You can use 2 ½ cups total all purpose flour if you do not have white whole wheat flour.
- You can make this pie with frozen blackberries. Defrost the blackberries and drain any excess liquid. Increase the cornstarch to ¼ cup.
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