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Summer Blackberry Pie

I've somehow gotten away with never, ever, baking a pie in my 33 years. That's just crazy, so I set out to make this the summer to remedy that. I've always wanted to make a blackberry pie—it just seems so Southern and festive to me. I found a Marilyn Batali (Mario Batali's mom) recipe on Food & Wine's website, and recently made it one weekend. I got the ingredients on a Saturday, baked it on a Sunday and devoured it on a Monday. I didn't want to use shortening, so I found a Martha Stewart Pate Brisee recipe for the dough. The crust took me two tries, as the first one had the consistency of whipped butter rather than dough. The second time it turned out perfectly, and I think that's because A) I didn't process it as long and B) I used less ice water and made sure to pour it in a steady stream. While I like the mix of sweet and salty, I think the crust could have used a dash less salt.

Pate Brisee

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter chilled and cut into small pieces

1/4 cup ice water

1 9-inch pie plate

Directions

1. Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor using the dough blade. Add the butter, and process for 8 to 10 seconds or until all ingredients resemble large crumbs.

2. Add the ice water in a steady stream through the food processor tube. Mix until it resembles dough, no more than 30 seconds.

3. Remove the dough from the processor and form into a ball. Cut the ball in half and place each half on a sheet of plastic wrap. Flatten with your palm until they resembles discs, then wrap and place in the freezer for one hour. The dough may be frozen and stored for up to one month.

4. Take the dough out of the freezer, and on a pastry board or cool surface (I used my granite countertop), roll the dough out evenly, starting from the center, until it is approximately 9 inches in diameter.

5. Carefully place the rolled out dough into your pie plate.

6. Roll out the remaining dough disc to approximately 10 to 11 inches, or until it is visibly larger than your pie plate (you want enough to hang over the side so you can trim)

Next, create your pie filling!

Blackberry Pie Filling:

2 pints blackberries (1 1/2 pounds)

1/2 cup sugar

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. Combine the sugar, flour, blackberries and lemon juice. Gently toss, and place the berries into your prepared pie plate.

3. Sprinkle the small cubes of butter on top of the berries.

4. Carefully place the dough from Step 6 (above) on top of the berries. Press the edges of both pieces of dough together, and trim the excess. Scallop the crust by pressing two fingers around the edges.

5. Cut four slits on top of the crust, and place in the center of the oven. I recommend placing the pie plate on top of a baking sheet in the oven in case the juices spill out (mine did).

6. Bake until the crust is golden brown and the pie is bubbling. Take it out of the oven and let it rest at least 4 hours.

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