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It tastes like summer: blackberry pie

blackberry pie | the hobby room diaries

Remember a couple weeks ago I said that I knew how to make a flaky, delicious pie crust?  This is me proving it.  The story goes that my parents spent their first year of marriage eating the two things they knew how to make well: steak and pie.  As I was born just two days before their first anniversary, my mom spent a large part of that first year pregnant, so eating just steak and pie is entirely feasible.  Pie figured heavily in my childhood–we didn’t have birthdays, we had Pie Days.  One thing was always the case: pies were always, entirely, made from scratch.

This is the pie crust I grew up watching my dad effortlessly roll out.  It always looked so easy, the way he cut the butter into the flour, then ultimately draped the sheet of dough over the pie dish.  I remember the first time I was pressed into doing it myself and it was HARD.  Using a pastry blender on a cold stick of butter is all but impossible.  And good luck even getting to the point where there’s a smooth sheet to drape.

I eventually got the hang of making crust and then moved on to the endless types of pie fillings.  The recipe, named for my great-aunt, is a little different as it includes egg and vinegar.  Over the years I’ve made a few changes, namely subbing whole wheat pastry flour for the all-purpose flour and changing how I handle the butter.  The original recipe calls for half butter and half vegetable shortening, but I now use two-thirds butter and one-third vegetable shortening.  I never got the hang of cutting in the butter so I do something altogether different now: I grate it.  Yep, you read that right.  By grating the cold butter on a large-holed grater the butter starts basically the size you want it to end up, so once you give it a couple stirs, you’re good to go.  You save A LOT of time and effort this way.



The blackberries I used for this blackberry pie came straight from my grandma’s house.  She grows apples and picks the berries growing on her property, so I end up with copious of amounts of peeled, sliced apples, homemade applesauce, and blackberries in the freezer.  Poor me, right?  We eat A LOT of apple crisp in this house and the boys don’t even know what applesauce that comes from the store looks like.  It’s almost time to start filling back up, so I need to use everything from last year so there’s room in the freezer.

blackberry pie | the hobby room diaries

And with that, here are my family’s pie crust and blackberry pie filling recipes.

Blackberry Pie with Pauline's Pie Crust

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Yield: one 9-inch pie

Blackberry Pie with Pauline's Pie Crust


  • For the crust:
  • 3 cups whole wheat pastry flour, plus extra for rolling
  • 1/2 cup (96 grams) vegetable shortening
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons cold water
  • For the blackberry filling:
  • 2 cups blackberries, fresh or thawed
  • 1 cup berry juice
  • 1/3 cup corn starch
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Zest and juice of one lemon


  • Make the crust: Measure flour into a large mixing bowl. Measure shortening and add to the flour.
  • Using a large-hole grater and working quickly, grate cold butter on top of the flour.
  • Mix shortening and butter into the flour with a fork, using the tines to cut the fats into the flour until there are uniform, pea-size crumbs.
  • Lightly beat the egg in a small bowl, add salt, vinegar, and water and beat again.
  • Pour egg mixture over the flour mixture and combine thoroughly with the fork.
  • Once the dough has started coming together, abandon the fork and give the dough in the bowl a couple presses with your fist.
  • Split the dough in half, wrap each half in cling film, flatten into a disc, and refrigerate for thirty minutes.
  • To roll out dough, remove one disc of dough from the refrigerator, break off half and place on a floured piece of parchment or waxed paper. Sprinkle the top of the dough with flour and cover with another piece of parchment or waxed paper.
  • When you roll, start in the middle and push away from you, rotating the dough each couple of rolls. Every once in a while peel off the top paper to check for sticking, re-flour if necessary, replace the paper and flip the dough.
  • Once the dough is the right size, peel off the top paper, then lightly replace. Flip the dough and peel off the top paper, then slide your hand under the bottom paper and flip the dough over and set in place on your pie dish. The top paper should now peel right off.
  • Once you’ve filled the pie, roll out another crust and place on the top of the pie in the same manner. Running a paring knife around the dish angling out from the pie to cut off extra dough then crimp the edges together with your thumb and the side of your index finger. Cut several steam vents in the top.
  • Bake pies in a 375 degree oven for 55-60 minutes, or until nicely browned. If you expect the pie to leak, bake on a foil-lined baking tray. Keep remaining dough refrigerated up to two weeks.
  • Make the filling: Measure out 3/4 cup granulated sugar and place in a medium bowl. Add the cornstarch and mix gently to combine.
  • Place juice in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the sugar mixture and bring it to a boil.
  • Cook while boiling for one minute.
  • Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and remaining sugar. Zest lemon into the pan, then squeeze in the juice. Mix to combine then gently stir in the berries.

Since there are two recipes and the pie dough recipe is long on instructions, I didn’t want to take up all that space with both full recipes.  If you would like the full version of either recipe, just click the recipe above and you’ll be taken to a download page.  I ask that recipes are for hobby room readers, so sign-up before you download if you please.

I know you’ll have extra pie crust pieces, that’s unavoidable.  But if you also have extra pie filling, make a mini sample blackberry pie or two in ramekins.  They take half the time to bake and then you can have a taste while you wait for the pie to cool enough to serve.  They are a favorite of my kids because then they get the whole mini blackberry pie to themselves.  With extra whipped cream, of course.


blackberry pie | the hobby room diaries

What is your family’s food legacy?  Do you have any special recipes that everyone in your family uses?



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  1. My family also makes pie, over cake, any day!
    I am also in "clean out the freezer" mode, as I see my raspberries start to form and my rhubarb taking over, my beans starting to climb their poles. I know that my freezer will be full again in a few months. I like your idea of grating the butter, very clever. (I think you forgot the egg in your recipe list, but added it only to the instructions, by the way).
    Happy Pie Eating!!

  2. Jody, I've never made pastry with whole wheat pastry flour – although I have been meaning to try for some time now. I'm mostly concerned it won't turn out crispy or flaky enough and I'm a bit of a risk-avoidence kind of person 😉 This pie looks delicious, crust and all. I'm so happy you decided to share…

    Regarding deep fat frying, Tuesday's post was my first attempt as well so I have very little experience. However, if you click through to Jen's original fried chicken post at The Three Little Piglets, you will find some excellent tips from Jen that I found very helpful…

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