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Blackberry Pie Question

walker Sep 4, 2012 10:44 PM

Over Labor Day, my daughter found some great blackberry bushes and went wild picking. She washed and froze them in plastic ziplocks.

It seems I've been assigned to make pies. I've made a few pies in my life and, thanks to CH, I can now make a pretty good crust but I've only used fresh fruit.

How should I handle these frozen blackberries? Thaw and drain? Mix with flour, sugar or tapioca?

Any advice is appreciated. Maybe I should go the easy way and make a cobbler -- love the Willie's Crisp recipe I got here.

  1. k
    katecm Sep 5, 2012 09:38 AM

    I'd mix them with another fruit, then sugar and cornstarch. Peaches or plums go really well with them. Another Southern favorite is blackberry and custard pie!

    1. k
      KSlink Sep 5, 2012 09:50 AM

      Thaw, drain, sugar to taste, tapioca works best for me (be sure to let it sit for 15 minutes so that it softens up, otherwise you'll get hard and crunchy nuggets).......I am so jealous of you right now!!!

      5 Replies
      1. re: KSlink
        biondanonima Sep 5, 2012 11:27 AM

        I wouldn't drain the juice - you'll end up with a dry pie if you do. Those juices are what release with heat when you use fresh fruit.

        1. re: biondanonima
          walker Sep 5, 2012 12:17 PM

          I was thinking I should drain after thawing because she had washed the berries (I would not have done so) .. thinking there will be too much liquid.

          Now have to decide between flour and tapioca; maybe I should experiment and do one of each. If so, how much tapioca?

          1. re: walker
            biondanonima Sep 5, 2012 12:23 PM

            I like tapioca for berry pies because I like the sheen it gives the filling. I only use flour for apple pie. the amount will depend on how many berries you use and how juicy they are - for average juiciness, I would go with 2t. of tapioca per cup of berries (a bit more or less if you like a firmer or juicier pie). If you're worried that the juices will be watered down because they were pre-washed, I would strain them and then reduce the juices on the stovetop rather than discarding entirely.

            1. re: biondanonima
              sbp Sep 5, 2012 04:32 PM

              Agree. When making berry pies, I generally macerate the fruit in sugar. After about an hour, it will release a lot of liquid, which I strain and reduce to almost a syrup. Then fold back into the berries with the tapioca.

              Also, with very wet fruit, coat bottom of crust with melted white or dark chocolate.This will seal in the bottom crust.

              PS: I don't think rinsing causes waterlogging. Berries aren't spongy.

          2. re: biondanonima
            Ruthie789 Sep 5, 2012 05:25 PM

            Then the op should make sure to have something to thicken the juices, like corn starch, or tapioca and a tablespoon of butter added to the fruit as it may be too runny.

        2. aching Sep 5, 2012 11:15 AM

          Thaw 4 cups (for one pie), then mix with ¾ cup granulated sugar, ½ t. cinnamon, 1/3 cup all-purpose and flour. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until crust is nicely browned and juice begins to bubble through the slits.

          1. Uncle Bob Sep 5, 2012 04:48 PM



            1 Reply
            1. re: Uncle Bob
              NE_Elaine Sep 5, 2012 05:14 PM

              I made this mixed berry pie and it got very nice reviews. I have varied the berries according to what looked good.


            2. b
              Bean Counter Sep 5, 2012 08:53 PM

              I have made the blackberry cobbler #1 from pioneer woman and it is easy and delicious - could probably delegate to your daughter. That said my mom made blackberry pie with just blackberries, flour and sugar and they were easy and yummy too. I like the ratio of crust to berries better in a croustade plus it's even easier than a pie. I'm sure no matter what you choose it will be good.

              1. w
                walker Sep 10, 2012 11:13 AM

                Wild success, thanks to everyone here. I've collected SO MANY recipes for crust! I had to sort through them and decide. Went with Chowser's this time, rolled out PERFECTLY. Smitten Kitchen recs grinding instant tapioca in a coffee grinder (I cleaned it out first by grinding rice; I only use this one for grinding spices but there was a little cumin that did not want to come out).

                I used 2 Tbl tapioca, made a syrup out of the blackberry juices; made a nice lattice crust on top. The second pie was a fresh peach pie and for the crust I used a recipe that called for 1 cup butter, 4 Tbl shortening (used non-hydrogenated from WF); I wanted to see if it was flakier. Used the tapioca in this one, too, lattice crust.

                Both are delicious and perfect, not too sweet.

                Thanks for all your help!

                2 Replies
                1. re: walker
                  Ruthie789 Sep 11, 2012 07:36 AM

                  You were success bound when you scored those wild blackberries, lucky you!

                  1. re: walker
                    walker Sep 11, 2012 10:30 AM

                    I forgot to mention that Chowser's recipe calls for a cup of butter, no shortening. I think this is the one I'll be using from now on.

                  2. chefj Sep 11, 2012 10:16 AM

                    Just toss with Sugar, any flavorings and Tapioca and continue. I have made many Pies with frozen Berries and never needed to thaw or drain.

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