Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Black Widow Berry Pie

This is my “Spooky Pie” entry for the pie contest blog You want Pies With That?.

Originally I wanted to do a “Four and Twenty Blackbirds Blackberry Pie”, but I just could not work out the logistics of the blackbirds. Instead I did a spider web over spooky blackberry filling.

Ingredients

Pie dough for top and bottom crust (I like to use Jiffy – it’s got cute retro artwork which makes me happy, and it always works perfectly– even at my high altitude)

5-6 cups blackberries, rinsed, picked clean, patted dry (if you use frozen berries, defrost and drain them)

1/2 cup to 3/4 cup sugar (depending on how sweet your berries are)

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

3 Tbsp quick cooking instant tapioca (can usually find in the baking aisle of your local supermarket)

1 egg

Place blackberries, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, cinnamon, almond extract, and quick cooking instant tapioca in a large bowl. Gently fold the berries until they are all well coated with sugar. Let sit for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400°F.

On floured board roll out half your dough in a circle for the bottom crust and line greased pie plate with it. Trim edges and crimp.
Pour filling into bottom crust.

Roll out the other half of the dough in an oblong shape to cut strips from. Use a pizza cutter to cut strips about 1/4 inch (I warbled and wiggled the cutter a little to create wavy and slightly creepier strips).
Beat the egg with a tablespoon of water for an egg wash (we’ll use it to stick the strips together).
Start with at least three long strips to create the base of the spider web (I think I should have used four or five….). Drape the tips over the edges of the crust (we’ll trim later).


Now, beginning in the center, cut strips to size so that they create a web shape. “Miter” the corners (like a frame), so the pieces don’t overlap.
For the best spider web effect, curve the strips a bit in towards the center as you go, if possible.

Wet the underside of the tips with the egg as you go, so they’ll stick.
Make a spiral (not concentric circles), all the way out to the outer crust. Add spider (mine’s not the best, so I’ll let you create your own). I should have put her in the center; I think it would have been much more dramatic.

Trim the excess strips from around the edges, and give all of the crust a good wash of egg with a pastry brush. Sprinkle a bit of sugar over the crust for a shimmery crust. Bake on the bottom rack 30 minutes (or until golden).

Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.


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