July 12, 2010

Monday Sweets: Fresh Blackberry Pie

Blackberries are at their prime right now. This year's local crop at a fruit stand might have yielded the fattest, juiciest, sweetest ones I've ever had. Usually I like the tart berry sweetened, but it wasn't even necessary with these. Really, unlike the tiny, sour wild berries I picked as a kid, these are dessert in and of themselves.

But for the Fourth of July I felt the urge to boost their decadence up a notch. I'd already deemed a cool blackberry pie worthy of the holiday on SouthernLiving.com, so I wanted to see how it presented itself in real life.

Success! The pie is basically sweetened blackberries steeped in a raspberry Jello mixture, all in a crisp pie crust. No, it's not all-natural (shame on me), but my extended family devoured it and inquired about how I created the such a refreshing, fruit-filled dessert.

Fresh Blackberry Pie

Southern Living, July 2003

Though this pie should be assembled and served the same day, you can get a head start by combining the berries and sugar and chilling them the night before.

1 1/2 cups fresh blackberries
1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
1/2 (15-ounce) package refrigerated piecrusts
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (3-ounce) package raspberry gelatin
4 drops blue liquid food coloring (I left this out and just had a more reddish colored pie.)
Sweetened whipped cream (optional)

Gently toss berries and 1/4 cup sugar in a large bowl; cover and chill 8 hours. Drain.

Fit piecrust into a 9-inch pieplate according to package directions; fold edges under, and crimp. Prick bottom and sides of piecrust with a fork.

Bake at 450° for 7 to 9 minutes or until lightly browned.

Stir together cornstarch and remaining 1 cup sugar in a small saucepan; slowly whisk in 1 1/4 cups water and vanilla. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, 7 to 8 minutes or until mixture thickens.

Stir together raspberry gelatin and blue liquid food coloring in a small bowl; whisk into the warm cornstarch mixture.

Spoon blackberries into piecrust. Pour glaze evenly over berries, pressing down gently with a spoon to be sure all berries are coated. Chill 2 1/2 hours. Serve with whipped cream, if desired.

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