Friday, July 17, 2009

Feed Me Fridays: Blackberry Pie & Muffin Madness

So my neighbor Steve has a mess of blackberry bushes and he's been bugging me for days to come down and help him pick them and I just haven't had time and I felt kind of bad about it because picking blackberries is totally fun although a bit painful too on account of all those pricker-sticker things. Anyways, he finally just dropped off this

the other day and I promised him I'd bake a pie. And then of course I'm all - not only will I bake a pie but I will photograph it and document it and chronicle it because Hello - it's Feed Me Friday time.

My favorite blackberry pie recipe is from Gourmet and is available online at Epicurious. It's pretty simple - assuming you bag the whole "make your own pie dough" step. Seriously - this has been a personal struggle for me for a long time: to make the dough or to the buy the dough. Making pie dough is not that difficult. Especially if you are aided by a Cuisinart. And I always wanted to be *that* girl - you know the one who picks the blackberries, makes the pie crust FROM SCRATCH (granted, with electronic aid but electronic aid is not a bad thing people...seriously...), bakes the pie and then makes blackberry preserves with the leftover fruit. But at the end of the day, I have learned it is ok to have limitations and my limitation happens to be homemade pie crust. I can make it. Sure. But why would I when Pillsubury refrigerated pie dough is damn flipping good and one quarter of the headache.

Lattice-Top Blackberry Pie Gourmet
July 2000
(Adapted for those who are too lazy clever to make their own pie dough)

Active time: 45 min Start to finish: 2 1/4 hr

Yield: Makes 8 servings

1 box Pillsbury refrigerated pie dough (includes 2 9-inch pieces of dough)
6 cups blackberries (1 3/4 lb)
1 to 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon quick-cooking tapioca
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon sanding (coarse) or granulated sugar

Place a baking sheet in lower third of oven and preheat to 400°F.

Toss together berries, granulated sugar to taste, cornstarch, butter, lemon juice, water, and tapioca. Let stand, tossing occasionally, 20 minutes.

Roll out 1 piece of dough into a 14-inch round and fit into a 9-inch pie plate (4-cup capacity). Trim edge, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang.

Roll out remaining piece of dough into a roughly 16- by 11-inch rectangle. Cut crosswise into 11 (1 1/4-inch-wide) strips with a fluted pastry wheel or a knife.

Stir berry mixture, then spoon evenly into shell. Arrange strips in a tight lattice pattern on top of filling and trim strips close to edge of pan. Roll up and crimp edge. Brush top and edge with egg white and sprinkle all over with sugar.

Bake on hot baking sheet until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling, 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes. (Check pie after 45 minutes: If edge of crust is browning too quickly, cover edge with foil or a pie crust shield and continue baking.) Cool completely on a rack before serving.

The end result?

Ok. So not my prettiest pie ever. My oven was trending on the hot side and after the first 45 minutes the pie was already very golden brown (God bless pie crust shields) and the fruit had already started exploding everywhere into big, drippy, gooey heaps of blackberry deliciousness. Still, it's not like I was photographing it for a magazine or a contest and at the end of the day, you cut the sucker up anyways. I mean, would you kick this out of bed for eating crackers?

I think not.

Anyways, I still had blackberries left over so on Sunday I decided to make some blackberry muffins. And I couldn't find a blackberry muffin recipe so I basically took this blueberry muffins with crumb topping recipe from Food and Wine and substituted blackberries for the blueberries. Yeah. They were tasty.

And I also still had a crapload of tomatoes leftover so I decided to make tomato muffins because 1) who has ever flipping heard of tomato muffins and 2) I am clearly insane. But as it turns out, if you Google tomato muffins you get a lot of hits and I ultimately wound up using this recipe from Baking Bits only I substituted 2 fresh tomatoes which I seeded, chopped, and let drain in a colander for 30 minutes for the sun dried tomatoes. And yeah - those were freaking tasty too.

And because this is Smalltown USA, I decided to walk over to Iris's to bring her back her basket only this girl doesn't come empty handed and so I dropped off Iris's basket fully loaded because that's how I roll:

And Iris and her hubby were home and she invited me in and we had a lovely little visit because that's apparently what you do on a Sunday and OMG I freaking love small town life. Really.

Fresh homemade pie? Muffins? Sunday visits with the neighbors? God I'm such a Country Girl.

And if that ain't country, I'll kiss your...

PS So FYI...after the insane muffin baking spree on Sunday, I still had half a dozen tomatoes so I totally made homemade tomato sauce. I know. I am in-freaking-sane and also pretty flipping awesome.


mdvelazquez said...

The muffins look delicious.

I would love your tomato sauce recipe. I planted too many tomatoes this year, so making sauce makes sense.

debb said...

WOW! You are awesome. Not that your ego needs my petty reassurances.

Can you have a contest and send a care package to me?

Have another wonderful small town weekend.

Karen from Mentor said...

Ok, the "not that electronic aid is a bad thing" made me grin...and I felt all warm and fuzzy inside...loved the whole posting...and I HAVE MADE TOMATO muffins ....they are sooo good....especially if you butter them with dill butter.

nice feature missy!

the funny thing? the berries in the colander were just spectacular as food porn.