When I tweeted (this is me) and posted this pie on facebook (it’s how I keep up with family and annoy friends with pictures of food) there were immediate “please send me some of that” responses from family and friends. One person (Kris in Portland) wished that teleportation were a reality for this recipe.
I knew this blackberry dish would be one of envy because as soon as it came across my radar on Design Sponge I knew I had to have it.
Not being a person who chooses super sweet desserts (although I do crave them occasionally…made a small batch of these chocolate peanut butter no-bake cookies the other day), the combination of balsamic vinegar with tart berries and a sea salt walnut crumble had me pressing print before it really registered. Duh, I knew it would be great. (And it was all that I wanted and more.)
The harder part was that I kept the recipe in my folder with the idea to make it later and thus flipped through my recipe collection, smiling when I came to this pie, but passing over it like a weirdo who delays gratification. I am that weirdo in many areas of life who keeps and plans things for later. No instant pleasure here. Then I wonder why the hell I wait so long.
And this is that time. I should have made it several times over by now. That’s how long it’s been in my collection. Berry season is running behind here but that didn’t stop me (because I also believe the highlighted ingredient should be used in its ideal season…especially for something I put on a pedestal and waited so long to make) and bought the ones available even though they weren’t the prime example of delicious blackberries. (It was only a month ago we had a snowstorm in May.)
I did change the directions to accomodate my oven. So, the baking temp was 375F and not 400F. About 20 minutes in I placed aluminum foil over the whole thing since the crumble was baking much faster than the filling and crust. From there I just kept peaking to see if the filling was getting all bubbly then removed the foil for the last 10 or so minutes to let it brown the rest of the way. I found that it took some time to cool which helps thicken the filling and put it in the fridge for an hour or so then set it out to get to room temp. I thought the amount of crumble would be too much once I started placing it on the 9″ pie but it turned out just fine. If you want more berry flavor though you could reduce the crumble. The original creator has a pie crust recipe (follow the Design Sponge link above to get the pie crust instructions) but I found a great organic crust at my local co-op which I rely on in these busy days. (Wanna see what we’ve been up to? Check this out.)
I happened to have ice cream (rare these days) and salted caramel I’d made the weekend before-and nearly burned because I was busy wiping the cream off of myself since I knocked the measuring cup on its side when I touched the hot pan by accident and burned myself right (and I mean right) after Greg told me he enjoys watching me cook because I’m in my element so I of course immediately mess that idea up and start screaming since the burn hurt, I know the delicacy of making caramel and thought I had ruined the whole “beautiful” thing…can’t make this up/happens to me all the time-which was nice.
But the memory of that first slice, just the pie, is what sticks out pleasantly in my mind. It sincerely needs nothing.
Blackberry Balsamic Pie with Sea Salt Walnut Crumble from Adrienne at PieBox
Note: This recipe is for a 9-inch deep-dish pie. If using a smaller pie pan, you may have some filling and crumble left over.
Pie crust (I used my favorite store-bought organic)
4 1/2 cups fresh blackberries (about three 6 oz. containers)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp + 1 tsp cornstarch
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
zest of 1 lemon (great addition)
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp sea salt
4 oz (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
Place you store-bought (or homemade pie crust) on a baking sheet and preheat the oven to 375F. Meanwhile, mix blackberries, sugars, cornstarch, balsamic and lemon zest in a bowl. Turn the mixture with a spoon several times to ensure the blackberries are coated. Set aside.
In another bowl, stir the oats, flour, brown sugar, walnuts and sea salt together. Add the butter and rub into the mix with your fingertips, pressing the mixture together until clumps form.
Grab your pie crust on the baking sheet (no need to bake it somewhat first) and spoon the blackberry filling into it. Sprinkle the crumble on top, fully covering the blackberries. Bake the pie for 45–50 minutes or until filling is bubbling and topping is brown and crisp. Check the pie after 20 or so minutes of baking and cover the entire thing with aluminum foil to prevent the crumble from browning too fast. Remove the foil around the 35 to 40 minute mark to let it finish baking. Let the pie cool. I placed it in the fridge for an hour then put it out to reach room temp to help thicken it more.