Blackberry Pie Recipe: from a Summer Cookbook to Watch
"If you have access to a bramble of blackberry bushes, guard it with your life." Those were the words that greeted me as I opened the Blackberry Pie recipe from Mollie Cox Bryan, author of Mrs. Rowe's Little Book of Southern Pies (Ten Speed Press, 2009). And what a Blackberry Pie recipe! Such a treasure sitting right in my email inbox. Such perfect timing. (There's nothing like receiving the right recipe at the right time, is there? You've got the ingredient(s), but you just don't know what to make … wouldn't it be great if the answer appeared like that more often?!)
I read avidly onward, wondering in the back of my mind what the best way to guard our newly-producing patch would be … After picking berries with my daughter during the past week, I have to agree that picking one's own berries is satisfying in a way that purchasing them doesn't remotely touch. The time spent together, the treasure hunt for the ripest ones (especially the red ones that hide under leaves), the easy-going chatter as they plunked into the bowl: what a perfect way to spend half an hour each morning.
This is the first year that our raspberry patch has given more berries than a cupful (I think I may have forgotten to prune them last year). For years I've been secretly yearning to find a patch of good-for-the-pickin' wild berries -- but now we have it in our very own yard thanks to my lackluster gardening habits. I've always had a tendency to like my food on the wild side, especially when we've been able to forage for wild things (think greens too: dandelion, chickweed, nettles, mustard). My only challenge now has been figuring out what to do with all those berries (what a problem, eh?). How perfect that Mrs. Rowe's Little Book of Southern Pies came to my rescue yesterday. Thank you, Mollie!
This is a Blackberry Pie recipe that tastes like pure summer. Plus, it's super-easy to make: create a sweet cooked gel with one cup of the berries and pour over fresh berries (I used half black-half red) in a pre-baked crust. The hardest part: waiting for the pie to chill and set-up. Thank goodness I was out-of-the-house with other appointments. It was when I arrived home that I discovered we were out of whipped cream (what?!), but I made a fabulous discovery: plain yogurt is a very fine accompaniment too.
I've been on the hunt for more blackberry and red raspberry recipes, taking suggestions from folks on twitter and while hunting through the blogosphere. Some ideas I've been thinking of: a quick raspberry crumb coffee cake, and a tossed salad with raspberries, feta cheese and walnuts. Do you have more suggestions? Please comment and share -- would love to try more recipes! Now to get back to guarding that patch ...
Reprinted with permission from Mrs. Rowe’s Little Book of Southern Pies by Mollie Cox Bryan & Mrs. Rowe’s Restaurant and Bakery, copyright © 2009. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House. Check out more of Mollie's work on her website and blog, Kitchen Queen of Fish Pot Road.