Blackberries are beautiful, aren’t they? I sometimes think that despite their beauty, they get the short end of the stick when it comes to summer fruits. I can see why it happens – sometimes they are wonderfully sweet but sometimes they can be quite tart. I was determined to create a pie that makes them the star and brings out their best qualities.

Be sure to taste a few of your berries before making this pie to decide whether or not you want to add the full amount of sugar. If your berries are naturally sweet, you might want to cut it down by 25-50%. If they are on the tart side, go ahead and use it all. Either way you’ll end up with a fantastic pie. I added a bit of yellow cornmeal to the pie dough and it really took it up a notch by adding a depth of flavor to the flaky, buttery crust. Inspired by the blackberries and basil growing in my own garden, I finished this off with a basil-infused whipped cream. While the basil is certainly optional, I recommend trying it. It is very subtle but gives a nice herbal note to an otherwise classic fruit pie.

Blackberry Pie with Basil Whipped Cream

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Yield: 1 9-inch pie

Serving Size: 1 slice

Blackberry Pie with Basil Whipped Cream

Ingredients

    For crust:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 5 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
  • 7-8 tablespoons cold water
  • For filling:
  • 16 ounces fresh blackberries
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • To finish:
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Granulated sugar, for sprinkling
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3-4 large basil leaves, torn
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

Directions

To make crust, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar and salt in mixing bowl; mix well. Add butter and cut into dry ingredients with a pastry blender or two knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add cold water and stir just until dough comes together. Form dough into disc, cover in plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375?F. In medium bowl, combine blackberries, sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice. Stir gently to combine; set aside.

Divide disc of chilled pie dough in half. Roll one portion of dough out on lightly floured work surface until large enough to line 9-inch pie plate. Transfer to pie plate. Fill bottom crust with blackberry mixture. Roll out remaining portion of pie dough on floured work surface and use to top pie as preferred (full top crust with vents, cut out shapes, or lattice top). Pinch edges of bottom and top crusts together, trim away excess and flute edges or crimp with tines of fork.

In small bowl, combine egg and 1 tablespoon water; brush mixture over top of crust and sprinkle with sugar. Transfer pie to mid-upper rack of oven, with baking sheet or dish on the oven rack below to catch any dripping juices. Bake until pie is golden brown and juices are bubbling, about 40 minutes. (Rotate pie plate halfway through to ensure even browning.) If crust begins to brown too quickly, tent loosely with foil and continue baking as directed. Remove pie from oven and transfer to wire rack to cool. Let cool at least 1 hour before serving.

To make whipped cream, combine heavy cream and basil leaves in small bowl. Muddle together with a muddler or handle of spatula. Pour cream mixture through fine mesh sieve to remove basil leaves. In medium bowl, whisk basil-infused cream and confectioners’ sugar just until stiff peaks form. Serve immediately with blackberry pie.

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