Thom had a birthday. I asked him what kind of cake he wanted and he said blackberry pie. So I made him a blackberry pie. Thom also got a new jacket. But only because I'm sick of seeing him dressed like he just walked out of a J. Crew catalogue, with a bulky, North Face jacket on top. So now he's going to look like he just walked out of J. Crew catalogue, with a J. Crew jacket on top. See what I did there? He's essentially a real life J. Crew model, now. And to make up for the fact that I got him a jacket for his birthday (lamest gift ever), I also got him one of those fancy eReaders and a Beer of the Month Club subscription. I think he had a nice birthday.
Thom inhaled two pieces of his birthday pie in less than ten minutes. An indication that this pie is really, really Good. With a capital G. The only tricky thing about making this particular pie is that the blackberries must be dry. Repeat: THE BLACKBERRIES MUST BE DRY. If you toss them with the starch mixture and they're wet, the starch will form clumps and it will not be pretty. Your pie will probably be ruined and you'll sit on your kitchen counter and cry your eyes out because you wasted $10 worth of blackberries. And then you'll have to change out of your pajamas, into normal clothes, to walk back to the grocery, in the freezing cold, to get more blackberries. The blackberry walk of shame is not enjoyable, friends.
2 cups unbleached flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tbsp cane sugar
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 cup vegan butter, cold
1/2 cup shortening, cold
6-8 tbsp filtered water, ice cold
1/2 cup cane sugar
5-6 tbsp tapioca starch
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
5 cups fresh blackberries
1 tbsp vanilla sugar
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flours, sugar and salt. Cut in the butter and shortening, using a pastry cutter or two knives, until the mixture resembles a fine meal with a few larger clumps. Add the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and continue cutting the dough. Once 6 tablespoons have been added, begin kneading the dough with your fingers. Once the dough is firm and smooth, divide it in half; set aside.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, starch and vanilla bean. Add the blackberries and toss until they're evenly coated; set aside.
Preheat oven to 375˚F. Lightly grease an 8-9" pie pan; set aside. Line a flat surface with parchment paper and sprinkle lightly with flour. Roll out the first piece of dough into a 12-13" circle - fit dough into the prepared pie pan. Prick the bottom of the dough with a fork, 20-30 times, then fill with blackberry mixture. Roll out the other half of the dough into a 10" circle and cut it into eight, long segments, each 1" wide. Place the lattice top. Trim edges then press with a fork. Sprinkle with vanilla sugar. Bake at 375˚F for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 350˚F, cover the edges with foil and bake for an additional 25-30 minutes. Let cool then refrigerate in an air tight container for up to three days.
Yield: 8 servings