Ahhhh, freshly picked blackberries…what’s not to love? Free, juicy bites of sun-ripened perfection. Sure, the cuts and scrapes can be a real pain, but I can take it. I love scouring my neighbourhood for the best berries and earlier this week, I hit the motherload. Usually, blackberry season in Vancouver would be nearing it’s end by now, but because of all the + rain/- sun combo we’ve had this summer, prime picking season is just beginning. Want to read more of my blackberry endeavours? Check out the Food Network Canada Blog, Food for Thought, for my new post on blackberry picking and say hello! Also head on over to Kitchen Parade, where Cornelius and I helped to re-design and develop a new “kitchen” for Alanna.
When I got those berries home, I had only one thing on my mind. Pie. I’ve always had a struggle with baking pie from scratch. Sure, filling a pie is easy, but making crust? That had always been my downfall. The pastry was either rock hard or it shrunk too much. I never got a handle on the tender, flakey crust of my dreams. Until now. This time I pulled out the big guns and used Martha’s recipe for Cornmeal Pate Brisee and adapted her recipe for Apricot-Blackberry Galette from her Baking Handbook. I’m not sure if it was the addition of cornmeal to the pastry or if it was after years of failure that I somehow discovered the perfect touch. I’d like to think it was the latter. This rustic looking pie was amazing! Along with the blackberries, I chopped up a couple of ripe BC-grown peaches along with a bit of orange zest and voila…pie perfection!
cornmeal pate brisee
2 c flour
1/2 c cornmeal
1 t salt
1 t sugar
1 c unsalted butter, frozen cut into small pieces
1/4 – 1/2 c ice water
1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, salt and sugar. Add the butter and use a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles oatmeal. Slowly sprinkle in the ice water, a little at a time and use your hands to mix the dough until it holds together.
2. Divide the dough in half and place each lump on a piece of plastic wrap. Flatten to form a disc and then wrap tightly and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 1 day before using.
flour for dusting
1/2 recipe for Cornmeal Pate Brisee
2 c blackberries
2 peaches, cut into slices
1/2 c white sugar
2 T cornstarch
zest of 1 orange
1 egg, lightly beaten
white sugar for sprinkling
1. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a 14 inch round, about 1/8 inch thick. Transfer dough to a silpat covered baking sheet and refrigerate until ready to use, up to 1 hour. Preheat oven to 375.
2. In a large bowl, toss together blackberries, peaches, sugar, cornstarch and zest. Arrange fruit mixture on top of the dough, leaving a 2 inch border around the edge. Fold border over fruit mixture, overlapping and pressing gently to adhere the folds.
3. Brush pastry edges with egg and sprinkle with sugar. Bake until crust is golden brown and the juices are bubbling, about 40 minutes. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.
I am with you 100%, freshly picked blackberries are the best thing of the whole summer. We got our first container of them yesterday and I made the most divine frozen yogurt with them which I will post tomorrow. (A new tradition since I just got my ice cream maker this year). Your pie looks lovely, the recipe has been filed away for next weekend!
I might trade my mother for that galette. Sorry Mom!!
ohhh, that is beautiful! What a great idea…a different take on the traditional pie idea…looks easier to make too.
fresh-picked berries are one of those simple pleasures in life – the pie looks gorgeous, and incorporates the blackberries very well.
There’s so much I love about this recipe!
OH! this looks amazing-
that was one of the things i was amazed about in BC- blackberry bushes all over for anyone to pick! fabulous-
The gallette looks absolutely delicious. The cornmeal crust is something I will have to try!!We don’t have blackberries here in the Okanagan but when we drive to Vancouver they grow prolific along the side of the road.
katerina, blackberries are the best! frozen yogurt would be lovely 🙂
a, i think your mom could see the value in the trade 😉
joanne, it is so easy to make! and it looks so beautiful too.
thanks veggiegirl! the combo of blackberries & peaches were amazing.
thanks patricia, there is much to love!
yup, vancouver is one lucky city, tania!
valli, there are quite prolific here and can pretty much be found in any greenspace. i love that.
yowsa…that looks good! i love the crunch that cornmeal lends in any pastry. i think our berry season is already over, though…boo-hoo. I’ll have to use this pastry recipe and find some other late summer fruit to try it out.
I miss the wild blackberries where I grew up. Fortunatley Trader Joe’s carries them.
I bow to the shrine of Martha for pie crusts. Her basic Pate Brisee turned me into a pie making fool. And now you give us this delicious cornmeal version.
Mmmmm. I must try.
When I visited my in-laws in BC a few years ago, we were able to cross the street to the woods and pick huge berries right off the bush. It was amazing…except the warning to run if I saw a bear. Your galette looks lovely. 🙂
yummm that looks so incredibly delicious.
mevrouw cupcake, this would be so great with plums and nectarines too!
wendy, if you can’t find them wild, then frozen is the next best thing 🙂
annie, i’m surprised at how well this crust turned out! i’m always so freaked out at making dough, but this one was perfect. amen!
canadian baker, luckily there are no bears in downtown vancouver!!
thanks, eat me delicious, it really was so delicious!
I picked blackberries for the first time about a week ago – although available, they’re not really popular here in Estonia.
I love the top picture, and the blackberry stain on the hand:)
pille, estonia has lovely berries (after a quick peek at your blog). i’m jealous! as for the blackberry stain on my hand…it’s not! it’s a scrape from all the thorns from the blackberry bush.