Make a blackberry pie he said. It'll be fun he said.
May 1, 2017
I'm going to share this story once, then never speak of it again.
Borsch night was approaching. We were going to our wonderful friends' house on Wednesday night to have some delicious Russian food, and I had offered to take a dessert. Because that's what I do - I take desserts to things. Easy peasy. So here it was, 2 days before the dinner, and I had no clue what to take. I'd been scouring my Pinterest recipe stash off and on for hours and nothing was jumping out at me, so I texted the fiance to get his opinion.
Ok, If blackberries are too crazy expensive, what should I make?
Ok. I haven't seen any fresh cherries around for a while, so it'd be canned filling... so just in case, any non-fresh fruit suggestions?
10-4. Fruit pie.
I started looking around for blackberry pie recipes and found one that looked super promising. The blogger talked about how wonderful this recipe is and how its adapted from her sweet grandma's recipe that was always a huge hit. And she reminisced about how her grandpa used to help her grandma make the pie crust. It sounded perfect.
I had grand plans of getting all of my grocery shopping done Monday or Tuesday, and hoped to get the pie made on Tuesday night. But some things come up and I flat out didn't have time, and of course I'd run out of things like butter and flour so I could't even get started on the crust. I made a plan to drop the kiddo off at school on Wednesday morning, run to Hobby Lobby for school project supplies, run to Costco for blackberries and stuff, go back home and make the crust so it could chill in the fridge, head to a 10:30 appointment I had scheduled, then make the filling and bake the pie after that. Then I could pick up the kid from school at 2:30 and we'd be all set.
Well it ended up being one of those mornings. Like the kind of morning where you end up at Hobby Lobby and realize way too late that you've forgotten your ATM, credit card and ID in the jeans you wore the night before. That kind of morning. And by the time I got home to get my stuff, I wouldn't have time to shop. So shopping had to wait until nearly noon. I went to my appointment, then frantically began making the crust and put it in the fridge to chill while I went to pick up the kiddo.
The crust was a beautiful silky texture and seemed really promising. So while the kiddo got going on homework, I started on the filling. The recipe called for 3 cups of blackberries. Once I measured them out, I realized two things: 3 cups isn't very much, and I had bought way too many berries.
So I started cooking the blackberries with sugar, corn starch, fresh lemon juice and water, and quickly realized that I really did need to make this pie the night before. The filling is supposed to simmer for 30 minutes, then completely cool prior to filling the pie... and by this time it was nearly 4. So I stuck it in the fridge to cool a bit and got to rolling the pie crust.
The crust rolled out beautifully... and promptly fell apart the minute I tried to pick it up. It had absolutely no strength to it whatsoever. So I picked up the 37 pieces of dough and basically pressed them into the pie pan and mushed them together with my hands. I got it looking somewhat OK, then rolled out the 2nd crust and cut it into strips for the beautiful lattice top I was going to construct. I used extra flour to make sure the strips would come off the counter nicely and crossed my fingers that they wouldn't break too much. Then I went to fill the pie with the not-yet-cool filling.
The stupid filling was barely half the amount I needed! What kind of sick joke of a recipe was this?!
Side note: its a really good thing the kiddo was in the other room. My language was not ladylike.
Side note 2: it was at this point that I fantasized about sending a glitter bomb to the person who posted this recipe.
Now I'm getting frantic. This pie needs to bake for over an hour, and my son and I were supposed to be at the house by 6. Plus we had a solid 20 minute drive to get there.
Lucky for me I suck at visualizing measurements, so I had about 3 extra cups of blackberries in my fridge. I threw them in the pan and got to making more filling. Meanwhile, my crust strips sat out getting nice & warm, which is pretty much the worst thing you can do with pie dough. Thirty minutes later, my 2nd batch of blackberry filling was done cooking... and watery thin because it was still boiling hot. So I mixed the first batch in with it, poured it into the pie crust anyway and got going on constructing the lattice crust.
The now-warm crust strips fell apart even worst than the bottom crust.
At this point, I basically said "screw it" and broke the pieces into squares and threw them on top of the pie. They sunk in a lot because the filling was still piping hot and thin. I did the worlds ugliest patchwork job and tried to at least make it semi-cool by putting a Death Star superlaser focus lens on it. This pie needed all the help it could get. Then I threw it in the oven and cursed some more.
It's after 5 at this point, so I decided to text my friend and ask if I could finish baking the pie during dinner. I figured it would be mostly done by then and just need to brown a bit more.
Apparently one of the times I'd turned off the kitchen timer, I had inadvertently turned off the whole oven. So I'd been "baking" this pie for 35 minutes in a lukewarm, cooling oven.
I was soooo done at this point. Done. But I refused to give it up because it was personal. We were
having ****ing blackberry pie! But now I had to somehow get the pie to the house without destroying my truck with blackberry juice. The pan was still kinda hot, so I used 2 oven mitts while I tried to wrap the stupid pie in a bunch of foil, promptly spilling blackberry juice all over the mitts, countertop and floor. My kitchen looked like a crime scene. But I managed to get the foil on and put the pie in a cardboard box I had lying around. Good enough.
By some miracle, we made it to dinner on time. And something finally went right: my pie didn't go flying across the inside of my truck. I seriously thought it would, because that's how my life was going that day. But we made it intact and got the pie cleaned up and into the oven. I think my friends could tell I was frazzled, because they started feeding me beer and vodka. I like beer and vodka.
Anywho, it ended up being a fantastic night! The borsch was delicious, the company was amazing and somehow the pie actually tasted pretty good... even though it looked like something out of an Evil Dead movie. #BruceCampbellApproves
To my beloved fiance: I hope you're happy that you got blackberry pie, because I'm never making it again. I love you, but no.