A Northwest Girl’s Blackberry Pie

A Northwest Girl’s Blackberry Pie

As a native Pacific-Northwest-kind-of-girl, it’s a part of my Holiday traditions to bake a blackberry pie.  Picking the wild berries with my father back in Washington State is one of my treasured childhood memories.  Where I grew up near Seattle, blackberry vines line the roadways and people beat them back from their gardens.  They are weeds, they are everywhere and they are free.

My father had a take-no-prisoners blackberry picking technique.  It involved a workglove, a pair of hedge trimmers and a 5-gallon bucket attached to his belt.  He would tunnel his way into the prickly hedges dropping sweet succulent berries into the bucket as he went.

When I make this pie, I usually use frozen berries.  There are two reasons for this.  One, it’s usually the Fall or Winter and berry season is long over.  Two, blackberries just don’t travel well and their flavor begins to change the moment they are picked.  I find that the frozen berries which are packaged within hours of harvest have better flavor than the fresh that are available in the supermarket.

Northwest Girl’s Blackberry Pie
Print-Friendly Recipe

  • 5 cups blackberries, fresh or thawed from frozen
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon mace
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 American Pie Crusts, cold (see Note)

NOTE:  If you prefer, you could also use all-butter Pate Brisee for the crusts.

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.

In a medium-size bowl, mix together the blackberries, lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, flour and mace.  Line a pie pan with one pie crust.  Fill that crust with the berry mixture.

Now it’s time to do what I usually forget to do which is to dot the fruit with bits of unsalted butter.  Top the pie with the other crust and crimp the edge.  I did a fancy lattice top on this one.  For a really good explanation of how to do this, check out this step-by-step from Annie’s Eats.  If you don’t make the lattice top, cut 3-4 vents in the top instead. IMPORTANT TIP:  Place the pie on a lined heavy-duty cookie sheet.  The fruit will most likely bubble over the edge.

Bake at 450 degrees F for 10 minutes.  Then, turn down your oven to 350 degrees F and continue to bake for another 35-40 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the fruit is bubbly.

Let the pie sit for at least 3 hours before serving, 5-6 hours is better.  The pie can be reheated in a 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes if you prefer to serve it warm.

Delicious with sweetened whipped cream or Vanilla Ice Cream.