Hard Work and Humble Pie

Believe it or not, this is the most labor-intensive pie I’ve ever made.

It doesn’t look that impressive, but it took all day to make. The main problem was gathering all the fruit. Rather than buying $20.00 worth of professionally-grown black raspberries, I picked my own from some of those thickets that generally encircle cornfields. I risked heat, thorns, and stinging insects to collect half a gallon of um, what anyway? They could be mulberries, raspberries, or some other edible seed-and-pulp combination. Just call them “blackberries”. Washing the berries isn’t a pleasant task either. Cornfield berries are covered in bugs, miniature twigs, and traces of whatever your local farmer sprayed on his field a few months ago. They often require multiple washings before you’d even want to look at them, let alone eat them. Cooking them in cornstarch and sugar over low heat yields some peace of mind about bacteria and also pie filling. I found out eventually that it takes about 3 tablespoons of cornstarch to turn berries into pie goo and probably at least a half cup of sugar. I didn’t think I used quite enough sugar in my pie, so I made a simple glaze (1 tablespoon water to 1/2 cup powdered sugar) and brushed it on the pie afterwards. The crust is the same recipe as the pumpkin pie I posted last fall.

The end result wasn’t bad considering this was my first from-scratch pie. The filling did turn out a bit too stiff and tart though. Should I have just mixed the cornstarch, sugar, and berries together and poured them into the pie without cooking? Did I use too much cornstarch? Feedback is welcome; I want my next pie to be perfect!

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3 Responses to Hard Work and Humble Pie

  1. Hello, thanks so much for commenting on my story and visiting my blog. I’ve not progressed in my cooking enough yet to attempt to make a pie but yours looks amazing! I say we but it’s actually really my husband that managed to make 7 jars of jam from our blackberry picking endeavours. It is worth every scratch though and I can’t wait to see if your next pie attempt!

    • pezcita says:

      The only two tricks to baking a pie are keeping th dough cold and using plenty of flour. Beyond that, it’s mostly about shaping the crust and keeping it from breaking, but these aren’t essential to make the pie taste good.

  2. From your pie eaters: need a little more sugar in the filling. Overall Rating: Good pie. I’ll help the next time you want to pick berries. I want more. 🙂

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