Using fresh or frozen fruit? I normally prefer to use fresh fruit and berries in my baking, but there are a few instances that I just prefer frozen. I use frozen blackberries in this recipe as their flavor and sweetness is consistently good; the berries are picked at their peak and then quickly frozen to ensure high quality fruit.
There is no need to thaw the berries ahead of time. Take them right from your freezer, mix with the sugar, cornstarch, and spice, pour into the prepared pastry crust and pop right into the oven, still frozen. Frozen berries release more liquid as they bake, therefore I use 6 tablespoons of cornstarch per 6 cups of berries and this seems to be the perfect ratio.
Help: Flaky Pie Pastry | Making Flaky Pastry
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- ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 6 cups frozen blackberries
- 1 to 2 teaspoons milk, half and half, or cream
- 1 to 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- Prepare flaky pie pastry for one 9-inch double-crust pie, divide the dough in half, and gently press the dough into a two 6-inch discs. wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 to 2 hours or overnight, or refrigerate up to 3 days before using.
- Remove one dough disc from refrigerator. If the dough is too cold and difficult to roll, let stand at room temperature for 5 to 15 minutes. On a lightly floured pastry mat or pastry board, and using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough from the center out into a circle about 8 or 9 inches in diameter. Gently pick the dough up, lightly re-flour the work surface if necessary to prevent sticking, and replace the dough giving it a quarter turn. Continue lifting, turning, and rolling the dough until it is a 12 to 14 inch diameter circle and about ⅛ inches thick, doing your best to keep the dough shaped as circular as possible. Tip: Roll the dough to a diameter that is about 3 to 4 inches greater than the inside diameter of the pan, about 12 to 13 inches for a standard 9 inch pie pan.
- Transfer the rolled dough to the pan. Trim any uneven edges with a sharp kitchen knife, leaving 1-inch extending beyond the edge of the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate pie shell until firm, at least 30 minutes.
- Remove the second dough disc from the refrigerator. Roll the pastry into a 13-inch circle, about ⅛ inches thick. Using a fluted or straight-edge pastry wheel, pizza cutter, or sharp kitchen knife, cut widths varying from ½-inch to 1½-inches for a rustic lattice. Place the strips on a baking sheet and refrigerate until firm and ready to use, 10 to 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and lemon zest; stir together to mix. Set aside.
- Place the frozen blackberries into a large mixing bowl. Pour the sugar mixture over the fruit and gently stir to distribute evenly throughout the fruit.
- Pour the fruit mixture in the dough-lined pie pan, spreading evenly in the pan. Sprinkle the top with lemon juice.
- Lay the strips of dough randomly over the pie filling. No need to weave the strips.
- Trim the dough strips, leaving a 1 inch overhang around the pie. Fold the dough strips under the bottom dough. Gently Press the two layers together to seal the edge.
- Pastry Topping:
- Using a pastry brush, lightly brush milk, half and half, or cream over the lattice top and edges. Sprinkle the entire top of the pie evenly with sugar.
- Bake: Bake 60 to 70 minutes or until the fruit juices are bubbling and the crust is a golden brown. Tip: During baking, if crust or edges are getting too brown, loosely place a piece of foil over the top, or place foil strips over the edges to prevent over-browning.
- Remove from oven and place on a wire cooling rack. Let pie stand at least 3 hours before cutting and serving to allow the juices to slightly thicken. This pie is perfect served ala-mode with vanilla ice cream. Refrigerate leftovers.
- Tip: Fruit pies are juicy and usually bubble over while baking; bubbling fruit juices are very sticky and can be hard to clean up. There are a few solutions for easy clean up. Place the pie on a rimmed baking sheet that has been lined with foil or parchment paper. If using foil, grease the foil for easier removal, or juices that have bubbled over will cause the foil to stick to the bottom of the pan. Discard the paper or foil along with the spilled juices after baking. Or, place a non-stick baking mat on top of un-greased foil, curve up the edges of the foil to keep the juices from spilling onto the floor of the oven, and place the pie directly on the baking mat. Or, place a drip pan lined with foil on a lower oven rack underneath the pie while it is baking to catch the juices when they bubble over.