This winter has been all about pie making. The process is quite therapeutic for me…. and it always smells amazing. I read a great article about how pies are “in” and cupcakes are “out” (certainly over-saturated, but sad to see them go) on Healthy Happy Life and decided to try her recipe (adapted for me). Dee-lish!
3 pints blackberries, rinsed well
3/4 cup dry sugar
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup maple syrup
4 Tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot powder (I used cornstarch)
1/3 cup pure apple juice or cider
2 Tbsp vegan buttery spread
1/4 cup whole grain pastry flour (organic)
optional: 1 Tbsp lemon juice + a pinch of zest
Here’s how I adapted the recipe (pure laziness on this one). I used 2 ready-made refrigerated crusts (Pillsbury) – 1 for the bottom and sliced the other into strips for the top. Below is the recipe from the Healthy Happy Life blog.
2 cups whole grain pastry flour + more for rolling out dough
2 Tbsp sugar ( brown or white will work)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2-3/4 cup warm water
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup vegan buttery spread, softened
1-2 Tbsp canola oil
dry sugar for dusting on top
canola oil spray can
1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees here if you’re using store bought crusts (wait if you’re making your own). First prepare the pie filling. I like leave 1/2 cup of berries out – to add later. Add your berries, buttery spread, salt and sugar to a deep skillet over medium heat.
2. Using a fork, mash down the blackberries until they are all smashed. Bring this mixture to a simmer.
3. Mix the maple syrup, apple juice and corn starch/arrowroot in a glass. Dissolve the corn starch/arrowroot as well as your can. Add this liquid to the fruit mixture skillet. Also sprinkle the flour over top – and stir well. Continue to simmer and stir as the berries thicken – for about 2 minutes. Then turn off the heat. Add in the reserved 1/2 cup of fresh blackberries and fold them into the heated mixture. (note: I leave out 3-5 fresh berries out for garnish.) The filling will thicken even more as it cools. Set aside while you work on the crust.
4. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees now if you’re making your own crusts. Combine all the flour ingredients in a mixing bowl and fold with a spoon until a plump dough forms. As mentioned in this post, it is a great skill to be able to “wing-it” when making dough – instead of using always having to use precise measurements. Once you know what texture/wetness/weight you are looking for, you really won’t need to follow a recipe. Add water/flour to adjust as needed.
5. Roll out your dough in two sections. One for the bottom layer of pie crust and one for the weave on top. I press out the dough with my fist/fingers, then roll it out gently until it is the desired thickness. For the weaves, I use a knife to slice into strands.
6. Spray a pie dish with canola oil, then lay the bottom pie crust flat. I like a deep dish because I know the pie filling won’t bubble over the sides – but you can use any size dish you’d like. Press dough around the dish edges to make it look at pretty as you’d like. Rustic-looking crusts are OK too.
7. Pour your cooled pie filling over your crust. Then lay the weave strands on top of that. Do a light spray of canola oil over top the weaved crust and sprinkle with sugar.
8. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until crust begins to turn light brown. Cool before serving. Store pie in fridge. The pie will firm up nicely in the fridge. Allow slices to come to room temperature before serving for best taste results.