My Best Blackberry Pie

Blackberry Pie
Makes one 8-inch pie

For the filling:

4 cups fresh or frozen* blackberries
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 Tablespoons butter (reserved from the two sticks used in the crust)
1 recipe Perfect Pastry for double-crust pie (below)

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line the bottom of the oven with a sheet of aluminum foil. 
Stir the flour and sugar together in a medium bowl to mix well. Add the berries and lemon juice and mix until all the berries are coated. Let stand at least 15 minutes to get the juices flowing while you prepare the dough for the crust.

Perfect Pastry for a double-crust pie 

2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
14 Tablespoons (1 stick plus 6 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, very cold
1/2 cupice water (add a tiny bit more, if necessary)

Stir the salt into the flour in a large bowl. Cut the cold butter into pieces and add to the flour. Using a pastry blender or two sharp knives, “cut in” the butter until well-distributed and no large chunks remain. Add 1/2 cup ice water while tossing the mixture with a fork. Add a small amount of additional water if necessary and continue tossing gently just until all of the flour is moistened and holds together when pressed. Do not stir vigorously or the crust will be tough!

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board or counter and press together into a disc. Cut in half and set one half aside. Roll out the other half into a circle a couple inches larger than your pie pan. Place in the pan allowing it to hang over the edge. Fill with fruit filling and dot with 2 tablespoons butter. Using a sharp paring knife, trim the edge of the dough so it comes just past the edge of the pan. Roll out the second disc into another circle about the same size as the first. Place over the fruit filling and trim so it hangs over the edge of the pan by about 1 inch. Now, tuck the edge of the top crust under the edge of the bottom crust and press to seal well all around the pan. Then make a decorative edge with your thumb or by pressing with fork tines. This keeps the juices from bubbling down under the bottom crust and burning.

Cut a small hole, about the size of a Cheerio in the center of the crust to allow steam to escape, then cut slits or a design in the top, being careful not to accidentally cut through the bottom crust. If desired, brush or spray the top lightly with water and sprinkle evenly with sugar. (I like the coarse turbinado sugar like Sugar in the Raw.)

Place pie in the preheated oven and immediately reduce heat to 425 degrees. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the crust is golden and the juices are bubbling through the hole in the center of the pie. Cool on a wire rack. I like to set a large rack over the kitchen sink for the best air circulation. This keeps the bottom crust from getting soggy.

*If using frozen blackberries, thaw first and drain off any liquid or it will make the filling runny. You can use half blackberries and half blueberries for a “Black & Blue” pie.

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