When I was kid, blackberry bushes where pretty common in my area. The berries were smaller that the gigantic ones you see at the grocery store these days, but they were always juicy and sweet. They were worth every scratch and thorn prick I got trying to pick them. Where did all of the sweet blackberries go? Maybe my taste buds have been corrupted by all of the artificial sweeteners but blackberries aren’t really sweet anymore. Every meat & three and soul food restaurant in Nashville sells some version of a too tart blackberry cobbler but I prefer to make my own. When I get a blackberry craving, I make this small pie with a crunchy sweet crumb topping. It always hits the spot and it’s just sweet enough.
Macerating the blackberries for 30 minutes or so works wonders if you have super tart berries. Adding a little cornstarch will help thicken your juice as it cooks. I personally like my pie a little juicy (but not runny). The sweet dark juice mingling with a buttery pie crust, makes this a real treat. I used a store bought crust to save time, but feel free to use your favorite homemade crust recipe. If you have the time, you can prebake this crust for 10 minutes (or until golden brown) with pie weights or dried beans. I used one of my moms tricks because I didn’t want to wait. I put a baking sheet in the oven before I turned it on to preheat. By the time the oven was hot and my pie was assembled, my baking sheet was hot. I placed the pie on the hot baking sheet. The heat radiating from the baking pan helps the bottom of the crust cook faster and not get soggy.
If you’re looking for some cookbooks with great blackberry recipes – Southern living has some of the best I’ve found. I just picked up Southern Living Classic Southern Desserts because it had a blackberry coffee cake recipe in that I saw in the magazine years ago. There’s something very southern about blackberries.
This makes 4 small servings or 2 big honking servings.
Blackberry Crumb Pie
- 12 oz package blackberries ( gently rinsed)
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- dash of cinnamon (optional)
- 1 9 inch pie crust
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup cold firm butter (1/2 stick)
- Combine sugar, cornstarch, and cinnamon in medium bowl.
- Stir in blackberries and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Place baking sheet in cold oven. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
- Line 7 inch pie pan or tart pan with pie crust. Press crust against sides of pan and cut off excess. Leave a little excess around the edges to compensate for shrinkage.
- Cut together the flour, brown sugar, and butter and set aside.
- Remove blackberries from refrigerator and spoon into pie crust using a slotting spoon. Leave as much of the liquid as possible in the bowl.
- Sprinkle crumble topping onto blackberries.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown.