Sunday, September 9, 2012
I've love blackberries. I love their sweet-tartness and the way they stain my fingers. I love that they look like little jewels; sparkly and colorful. For as pricey as they were in Los Angeles one could easily assume that they must be exotic and difficult to grow. Why else would they cost as much as they do?
As it turns out blackberries grow all over the place in Portland. The bushes are quite literally weeds and people actually spend quite a bit of time and effort in removing them from their gardens. During these summer weeks one can see them overflowing with the black-purple fruit on the sides of roadways and freeways. It is not unusual to find them on a casual walk around the neighborhood and to return back home with a belly full of fruit.
Not too far from my in-laws house is practically a wall of the bushes completely laden with perfectly ripe berries. One morning Leif and I stuck Clio in her stroller and headed up the hill with a plastic dish and our minds set on blackberry pie.
That morning we picked nearly two pints of the berries and probably ate another half of a pint during the harvest. I had in mind to make a plain blackberry pie but I did not have quite enough berries so I nabbed some blueberries from the fridge and tossed those in as well.
A cup of sugar, half a cup of flour, some lemon juice and zest, and a few crushed up graham crackers (to help suck up the juice) later and I had my filling ready to go.
I used my great grandmother's recipe for the most amazing crust in the world (the secret is crisco people, not butter). Bonus to this recipe? Lots of excess dough which I always make into dough logs, dust with cinnamon sugar, bake with the pie for twenty minutes and then greedily nosh on as soon as they are cooled.
I have to admit, this was my first time making blackberry-blueberry pie and certainly my first time foraging for ingredients. It was a rousing success. Yay blackberries. Yay Portland.