Perfect Blackberry Pie: Summer's Dark Glory



Sometimes what we want, and what we need, is a perfect recipe that produces food that tastes just the way it should. One essential in my house is a blackberry pie recipe that does magic with a slightly caramelized/sugary/buttery crust and the dark/sweet/hidden essential bitterness of the cooked blackberry.

Here you go: this Lattice-Top Blackberry Pie from the July, 2000 (late, lamented) Gourmet Magazine tastes like the wild blackberry pies my mother and aunts made without recipes. The linked Pastry Dough recipe for the crust works, too, although it makes YOU work, so use your own tried-and-true recipe if you wish.

I have not tried this recipe with the huge cultivated blackberry fruits for sale at Lexington Farmers Market right now. Based on what cooks say in the 37 unusually positive online reviews of this recipe, juiciness is a big variable. Juiciness varies based on whether the berries are wild or cultivated, whether the year is dry or wet, whether you are using fresh or frozen fruit. Cultivated, wet year, and frozen berries all are likely to hold extra juice.

In years that are particularly wet, Kentucky berries, both wild and cultivated, will be fat and juicy. In such years,  especially if you are using cultivated berries, you may want to take several cooks' advice and add one extra tablespoon tapioca.

But! Let's say you get a really, really juicy blackberry pie - aaaaaah. Serve it in bowls, use spoons, slurp the sublime stuff. The juice is the elixir. Juicy pies, like "failed" fallen cakes with a sublime moist core, stand out in the memory as special, wonderful to the tastebuds in spite of not conforming to a cookbook ideal.

Similarly, if your pastry gives you trouble and the lattice-making seems like work instead of food sculpture/play, either use a full top crust (cut at least 8 steam vents in it) or just roll out some pastry pieces and lay them on top of the berries. The taste will be amazing, and the look will say proudlyhomemade.

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The world is coming to visit central Kentucky this year for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. To help our visitors know more about Kentucky's food and food ways, Savoring Kentucky is rolling out 116 Savory Kentucky Bites, one for each of the 100 days before WEG begins, and 16 for the days during WEG, September 25 - October 10. Today's Savory Bite is number 43.