One of the blessings of summer is fresh berries; blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries are some of my favorites (in that order). I have read quite a bit lately about the health benefits of these berries, and there is not one of them that I don’t enjoy eating by the handful. Of the three, blackberries are probably my favorite because I have so many memories of picking them. All the effort was rewarded with one bite of my mother’s blackberry pie. It wasn’t much to look at, but oh, my, it was good!
Piecrust was not one of Mom’s specialties; she utilized a recipe which included vegetable oil instead of shortening. The dough could be patted into a pan or rolled between two sheets of waxed paper. It’s funny how childhood tastes develop; although I often make other crusts myself, I go back to Mom’s recipe when preparing blackberry and pumpkin pies.
My family moved to the country just before I started high school. Blackberries grew wild on our property, and my dad picked them by the gallon. Then it was Mom’s duty to make sure they were cleaned and either cooked or frozen. To keep them from clumping together, she froze them on a cookie sheet and then place them in containers.
Mom’s method worked well until her offspring discovered that we could fill a bowl with frozen berries, sprinkle them with sugar, and then pour a little milk over them. The milk would freeze around the berries and create a tasty treat. Mom discovered her severely depleted blackberry stash when she wanted to make a pie later in the year.
Has all this talk about berries created a desire for some “berry” good recipes? I have some to share! The TennTucky Cobbler is extremely quick and easy; other berries (or cherries) may be substituted for the blackberries. Three Berry Pie includes a variety fresh berries. I haven’t done so, but I may try other berries in the syrup. Have a “berry” good time in the kitchen!
TennTucky Blackberry Cobbler
1-1/4 cups sugar, divided
1 cup self-rising flour
1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 cups frozen blackberries
Whisk together 1 cup sugar, flour, and milk just until blended; whisk in melted butter. Pour batter into a lightly-greased 12-by-8-inch baking dish or 11-by-8-inch baking dish; sprinkle blackberries and remaining 1/4 cup sugar evenly over batter.
Bake cobbler at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until golden brown and bubbly.
Three Berry Pie
1 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons corn starch
1 cup fresh strawberries, halved
2 cups fresh raspberries (or blackberries)
1-1/2 cups fresh blueberries
1 to 2 tablespoons butter
Pastry for 9-inch double crust pie
In large mixing bowl, stir together sugar and cornstarch until well-blended. Add berries; gently toss until berries are coated. Line 9-inch pie plate with half the pastry. Stir berry mixture; transfer to crust-lined pie plate. Dot with butter. Top with second crust; seal and crimp edge. Cut slits in top crust, allowing steam to escape. Prevent overbrowning: cover the edge of the pie with foil. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes. Remove foil. Bake an additional 20 to 30 minutes, or until top is golden. Cool on wire rack. Makes one 9-inch pie.
Blueberry Maple Syrup
1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Toss the blueberries with maple syrup in a small saucepan. Add cinnamon stick and cook over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture boils and the blueberries just start to pop, about 5 minutes. (Frozen berries may not pop.)
Remove from the heat, discard the cinnamon stick; stir in butter and lemon juice. Serve warm.
Stir and Roll Pie Crust
For 2-crust pie:
2-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/4 teaspoons salt
3/4 cup vegetable oil (I blend equal amounts of canola and grapeseed oils)
6 tablespoons milk
Using a fork, mix flour and salt together in small bowl. Stir oil and milk together; add to flour mixture. Roll half of dough between 2 sheets of waxed paper; place in bottom of pie pan. Add choice of filling. Roll other half of dough between 2 sheets of waxed paper. Place on top of pie. Follow baking directions given for the filling.
For baked pie shell:
Roll half of dough between 2 sheets of waxed paper; place in bottom of pie pan. Prick with fork. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes, or until browned.
Makes enough for (1) 2-crust pie or 2 single crusts
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