Even though fall doesn’t technically start for about three weeks, August 31st always feels like the last day of summer. This is the time of year when I start buying apples instead of peaches, trade my flip-flops for my corduroy TOMS, throw an extra blanket on my bed, and make the transition from summer to school. I’m a stickler when it comes to dressing, eating, and decorating appropriately for the seasons, so it makes me cringe when I walk through Michael’s in August and see scarecrows, hay bales, and pumpkins everywhere I go or when a Christmas song comes onto my iPod shuffle in the middle of July. My parents have learned that if they do things like wear reindeer sweatshirts in the spring or bring home a strawberry-rhubarb pie in the dead of winter, I may have a mental breakdown. Not that they let that stop them. Sigh.
Anyway, yesterday I had the urge to make a pie. And because we’re currently in this weird transition-from-summer-to-fall stage I couldn’t decide between baking a summery pie, such as peach or blueberry, or a autumny (I feel like I make up a lot of words in this blog) pie such as apple or pecan. On one hand, I wanted to savor every last bit of summer that I could, but on the other hand I wanted to usher in my favorite season, fall, with a delicious pie. Yes, I know, you must be wondering how I manage to cope with the emotional distress of such weighty decision-making. It’s a wonder I can sleep at night.
Well, I slept like a baby last night because I found the perfect solution to my pie-making ordeal. Instead of choosing between summer and fall, I chose summer and fall. In the form of blackberry-apple pie. It’s full of wild summer blackberries as well as tart, crisp apples and a myriad of fall spices. The best of both worlds. And it was especially fun to make since I picked the blackberries from bushes right down the road and the apples from our scrawny little apple tree. I love how this recipe uses a cinnamon-spiked crust, which is part of why I picked it out of the gazillion hits for “blackberry apple pie,” and I couldn’t be happier with my choice. The sweet blackberries perfectly complement the tart apples, and a healthy dose of cinnamon pulls it all together. And a nice scoop of vanilla ice cream never hurts 🙂 This is the perfect transition pie to give a fond farewell to summer and a big hello to fall!
Blackberry Apple Pie
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2/3 cup cold butter, cut into small cubes
4-6 Tbs ice water
5 cups peeled, thinly sliced tart apples (I used 4 large Granny Smiths)
2 cups fresh blackberries
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
4 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
1 large egg
1 Tbs warm water
coarse sugar, for sprinkling
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Using a pastry cutter or two forks, cut in the cold butter until mixture contains coarse crumbs. Add the ice water 1 Tbs at a time, tossing with a fork, until mixture begins to hold together when pressed. Form the dough into a ball, and divide into 2 equal pieces. Place one of the pieces in the refrigerator.
On a lightly floured surface or between two pieces of waxed paper, roll out the remaining half of the pie dough into a disc large enough to line a 9-inch pie pan. Loosely roll the dough onto the rolling pin, and carefully transfer it to the pie dish. Unroll the dough and press it into the pan, trimming the edges so that there is about a 1/2-inch overhang.
In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. Place the apple slices and blackberries in a large bowl and sprinkle the brown sugar mixture over the fruit. Fold gently with a rubber spatula until the apples and berries begin to release their juices. Pour the filling onto the crust.
Roll out the chilled half of the pie dough and place it on top of the pie. Trim, seal, and crimp the edges.
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and warm water. Brush the egg mixture onto the top of the pie. (This will result in a crisp, golden crust.) Sprinkle sugar onto the crust if desired. Cover the edges of the crust loosely with aluminum foil.
Bake in a 450 F oven for 10 minutes. Decrease temperature to 350 degrees and remove foil. Bake for an additional 40-50 minutes or until crust is golden-brown and filling is bubbly. Store leftovers in the refrigerator, loosely covered.
(Recipe adapted from Taste of Home)