If there's one thing I really understand, it's how healing baking can be for the soul. Any time that I feel stressed, anxious or out of place after a job I find myself back in the kitchen. Sifting flour, pouring sugar and working dough between the pads of my fingers. It's not so much that I feel particularly overwhelmed or unlike myself, but more that I feel so much more at peace when I'm working on a new recipe. Specifically pie.
I spent my summers as a child in Washington visiting U-Pick farms in the hot sun, and stuffing my hand picked berries into a pie crust to serve as dessert with Sunday night dinner. Every time I successfully sealed the pie crust and sprinkled it with sugar, I felt myself beam with pride. That joy of creating something, and then watching everyone dig in as the sun set behind the hill is unparalleled in my mind. It was another tentpole in my love of baking, and the reason that I so fondly equate fruit pie with a summer's day.
I learned little secrets along the way. Fresh berries are more satisfying to bake with because they burst open as you combine them with sugar. Dotting your filling with butter before sealing it shut lends a certain richness to the finished product. And after washing the entire thing with milk, a little sprinkle of raw or granulated sugar adds a hint of sparkle to the crust.
This Blackberry Lavender Pie is a more grown up version of the berry pies I used to make each summer. Fresh blackberries (or frozen if you've got a hankering during the off season) melt into the lavender sugar and create a delightful aromatic pie. One that feels reminiscent of both popsicle stick summers, and of replanting the flowerbed summers. It's mature, but youthful, with a radiance that only comes about after school is done for the year and homework is a distant memory. It holds promise, and joy. And I think it will be the perfect addition to your summer.
I made this pie after a wonderful weekend exploring the Eat Drink Vegan Festival at the Rose Bowl with my friend Megan, who also so kindly gifted me the striped pink tea towels you see in the photos. We drank so much kombucha, filled our hearts and souls with amazing vegan food and basked in the perfect weather. I was filled with so much inspiration that the next day I knew I had to make something wonderful. I left it to cool by the window and was reminded of an old comic strip or something where a hot pie is left on the kitchen sill. Eventually a naughty child comes by and devours the entire thing in the flowerbed behind the house. I feel like such an old lady sometimes when I get those images in my brain.
Blackberry Lavender Pie
yields one 9" inch pie
active time: 10 minutes / bake time: 50 minutes
- two 9" pie crusts
- 5 cups blackberries (fresh or frozen)
- 1 tablespoon culinary grade lavender
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 Tablespoon vegan butter
Line a 9" pie plate with one of your desired, uncooked pie crusts. Preheat oven to 375 degree F.
Use a food processor to combine the granulated sugar and culinary grade lavender, until the sugar is fine. Next, add blackberries, flour and lavender sugar into a large bowl, and toss the mixture until the berries are coated. Sprinkle in the lemon juice. If you are using frozen berries, set the mixture aside to thaw slightly, about 45 minutes.
Add the filling into the pie crust, and dot the butter all around. Lattice the top by folding up alternate pieces and weaving them on top of each other. Cut off the excess and seal the edges by pinching the dough between your fingers. If desired, brush the top of the pie with plant based milk or butter and sprinkle with sugar. Cover the edges with foil to prevent browning, and bake for 25 minutes before removing foil (50 min if using frozen fruit). Bake another 25 minutes until the crust is golden brown.
Let the pie cool completely before serving, otherwise the insides will spill out and the pie will fall apart. Pie will keep in the fridge for 4-5 days.
Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens
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