Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Blackberry-Lemon Pie

I think my recent trip to the Dangerously Delicious pie truck may have subliminally influenced me more than I realized, because I was definitely craving pie last week.  And even though "easy as pie" may be one of those overused clichés, this seriously has to be one of the easiest pies I've ever made.  And, more importantly, it is by far the best pie I've ever made...if I do say so myself : ) I can't take too much credit though, because it was mostly due to the secret ingredient...

Blackberry is always my go-to pie because, well, it's my favorite.  But it's also an easy option because the fruit doesn't really take much prep work before going straight into the pie.  I know blackberries aren't exactly in season right now, but rhubarb is really the only pie-worthy ingredient in season right now, and I have to confess that I'm not a fan (don't hate me because I'm anti-rhubarb).  Anyways, I know a lot of us are often too busy to even cook dinner after work, let alone bake, but just pair a few pints of blackberries with a couple of refrigerated or frozen pre-made crusts and you've got a recipe for a super quick and delicious homecooked pie on a weeknight.

As for that secret ingredient...this was my first time using quick-cook tapioca in a pie.  I know, I know, it's nothing revolutionary, but I've never used anything other than flour or cornstarch to thicken a pie and this made all the difference.  The tapioca helps the fruit juices to congeal, forming a pie with more structure and, thus, seemingly more satisfying slices.  That being said, be careful not to go overboard on the tapioca, you don't want to end up with Jell-o pie. Or maybe you do, but that's up to you.

Blackberry Lemon Pie
2 store bought crusts, or your favorite recipe
4 cups blackberries
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp almond extract
1 Tbs lemon zest
1 Tbs lemon juice
1/4 cup Quick-cook Tapioca

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a large bowl, toss berries with sugar, cinnamon, almond extract, lemon juice, zest and tapioca in a large bowl and set aside for 15 minutes.

2.  Line a 9-inch pie plate with one of the pie crusts and fill with fruit mixture.  Cover with the remaining pie crust, flute and crimp edges to seal, and cut slits in top crust for steam to escape. If desired, place pie plate on a baking sheet to catch any juices that may overflow.

3.  Bake for 45-50 minutes or until browned and juices for bubbles that burst slowly.

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