Two days ago my other half pulled open the crisper to find that the huge basket of blackberries he had picked were turning to mush and smelled vaguely of cheap wine. So, I spent the better half of the evening trying to decide what I could make with all those blackberries and what I came up with was this fabulous blackberry custard pie topped with a blackberry reduction.
Before I arrived at pie, I briefly flipped through my trusted sidekick Preserving by Pat Crocker in search of some type of blackberry preserve recipe, but decided there weren’t enough berries for a small batch of jam. Then I recalled the most delicious pie my mother-in-law had brought home from a nearby bakery the other night—something called a blackberry yogurt pie. I surmised that the “yogurt” was actually a custard, and thus this recipe for a blackberry custard pie was born.
Blackberry Custard Pie with a Blackberry Reducation Sauce
The Crust (adapted from Rachel Ray)
1 1/4 cups flour
1 4 oz. stick of butter, chilled and chopped into small pieces
1/4 cup of ice water (Chill water in ice until ready to use, dispose of ice and measure out 1/4 cup.)
1.5 Litres (or 3 pints) blackberries, divided
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup heavy cream (if none on hand, use 1/3 cup more milk)
1 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tbsp. brown sugar
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a bowl mix half the berries with brown sugar, set aside.
- Using a food processor pulse the flour with salt. Add chilled butter and pulse until coarse crumbs form. Drizzle in the ice water and pulse until the dough comes together. Wrap in plastic wrap and flatten the ball into a disk. Refrigerate until firm (15-20 minutes).
- While dough is chilling mix up the custard by whisking together eggs, sugar, milk, cream and vanilla in a bowl.
- On a lightly floured surface roll the dough into a 12-inch round. This dough can stick on first contact to my marble rolling pin, so I lightly dust the top surface of the dough with flour. Carefully transfer to a pie pan. Cut any excess dough to leave a 1/2-inch overhang and using your fingers roll the dough edge under and crimp lightly with a fork. Prick the bottom of the pie shell with a fork and refrigerate for a further 15 minutes.
- Place remaining berries in bottom of pie shell, forming a single layer. Pour custard mix over top of berries.
- Bake approximately 50-60 minutes, or remove pie when a knife inserted halfway between the centre and edge comes away clean.
- Heat a wide bottom sauce pan or frying pan over medium-high heat and add sugar-coated blackberries and their juices. Using a potato masher or a fork roughly crush the berries, you want to maintain the texture. Cook, stirring constantly, until the berries and juices have reduced significantly into a thick syrup. Pour the hot syrup over the top of the pie, using a spoon or spatula to evenly distribute. Let cool and serve.
- Important Note: If you don’t make a lot of pies, many people find that the edge of the crust browns far too quickly in the oven. Use this tip from Real Simple to combat the problem of an overcooked crust, or watch this video.
- Substitution Information: I have successfully used coconut oil in this pie crust recipe in place of butter at a 1:1 ratio.
I’ve always been a fan of using ingredients that you have on hand, so when I was devising how I would make this pie I concentrated on using only ingredients I always have in my kitchen (obviously not blackberries, but you could definitely use any fruit of choice in this recipe). There are so many different ways to make custard floating around on the internet, and I chose this method because it is quick and simple with few ingredients, but if you have a favourite time-tested custard recipe then I don’t see why you couldn’t substitute it to the same effect.