My 11 year old son and I went out early yesterday morning and picked blackberries for about a half an hour. It had recently rained for the first time in over a month. Seattle’s weather has been unusually hot and dry this summer, and the berries are reflecting this. My dad is a famous berry picker, and has been for some years. He says that the berries are small and particularly sweet this year. The smaller, drier berries made for a fantastic pie that doesn’t drown in berry juice.
Since we had been out picking berries, and I had a family dinner to prepare, I decided against the time consuming top crust. I also didn’t want a fussy bottom crust, so I decided to go with a tried and true shortbread crust that is nearly foolproof. The result was this pie that was gone by nightfall. (Even I had a piece, and I don’t really like pie, which is why I make them all the time.)
1/4 cup softened unsalted butter
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 egg yolk
1 1/4 c flour
1/2 t salt
4 cups blackberries
1/4-1/2 cup sugar (to taste, depending on how ripe your berries are)
3 T flour
1 T lemon juice
1/4 t salt
To make the crust:
Set oven to 375. Cream the butter and sugar in a food processor. Add the egg yolk and blend until uniform in color. Add the flour and salt and mix until it looks like sand, and holds together when squeezed. Turn out over a 9 inch pie plate, and press into the bottom and up around the sides. Put the plate into the freezer until the oven is pre heated.
To make the filling:
Mix the berries and all other ingredients in a big bowl. Let sit until the oven is preheated.
Put it all together:
Scrape the berries into the chilled crust. Put the pie plate on a cookie or baking sheet, and put into the middle of the oven on the middle rack. Bake for an hour. Cool on a rack. Put it in your mouth.