Saturday, August 14, 2010

Apple Blackberry Crumb Pie

The blackberries have been slow to ripen this year but there are now enough to pick a pint at a time with some left over for popping in your mouth straight from the bush.

The day before he left to visit Natasha, the Captain joined me and we picked a couple of pints of blackberries (see them peeking out from the apple slices?)

plus about 10 ripe Gravenstein apples, then, the next morning we peeled, cored and sliced some of the apples,

lined a pie tin with purchased pie dough, mixed the apple slices with a flour-spice-sugar mixture,

gently stirred in some blackberries, piled the pie high with apple-blackberry mixture,

then topped it with the pre-cooked nutmeg streusel (from the freezer) I used here.

Into a 375 degree oven it went for about 40 minutes. About 10 minutes before it came out of the oven I poured on 1/3 cup apple cider syrup and topped it with heavy foil to keep the topping from burning even more (a bit had gotten too browned for my taste anyway).

The pie looked and smelled wonderful! When it was cool enough, I wrapped it up, leaving the foil on top, for it's ride up the freeway to Natasha and her honey. I hope that they enjoyed it with some whipped cream and will soon let me know if it tasted as good as it looked.

In case you want to make your own, here is the recipe. Gravenstein apples tend to soften and shrink a bit when cooked. If you use apples that retain their shape you may want to not pile the fruit mixture quite so high.

Apple Blackberry Crumb Pie

6 cups peeled, cored and sliced tart apples
1/2 pint fresh blackberries
1 crust pie crust
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg or 1/4 teaspoon already grated nutmeg
1/4 cup granulated sugar (or to taste)
2 cups Nutmeg Struesel, baked and crumbled (recipe below)
1/4 cup apple cider syrup (optional)

Make sure that the apple slices have no soft or browned spots. If apples will sit for very long bathe them in a mixture of water and lemon juice, then drain. Pick over the blackberries to remove any that have mould or are too soft.

Fit the pie crust into a 9-inch pie tin and crimp the edges. Set aside.

In a small bowl mix together the flour, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and sugar. Place the apple slices in a large bowl and sprinkle on the spice mixture. Toss with a spoon to coat the apple slices. Add the blackberries and gently stir to distribute them and coat with the spice mixture.

Pile the apple-berry mixture into the prepared pie shell.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

While oven is preheating, top the fruit mixture with the crumbs, starting at the top and cupping with your hands if needed to distribute the crumbs as evenly as possible over the whole pie top.

Bake in preheated oven about 40 minutes or until apples are tender. Check about 10 to 15 minutes before pie is done. Cover top with heavy aluminum foil to keep topping and/or crust from burning.

Cool on rack 15 minutes before serving. Serve warm or cooled. Serves 8.

Fresh Nutmeg Streusel
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup walnuts
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter, cold
½ cup brown sugar
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Preheat oven to 400 degrees while you prepare the streusel. Line a half sheet or jelly roll pan with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat. Set aside.
In a food processor pulse together all of the streusel ingredients until the mixture clumps. To make without a food processor, chop the nuts finely and use a pastry blender or two knives to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture clumps.
Spread the streusel mixture out on the pan, leaving it in clumps and globs, but breaking them down if bigger than your thumb. Bake in preheated oven for 10 – 15 minutes until golden to medium brown. Remove from oven. Mixture may have spread. Use a small spatula to break the mixture up if pieces have gotten larger than your thumb. Let cool.


  1. When we lived in the Vendee the path to my potager (vegetable garden) was lined with brambles... I'd eat my way down to the garden, and pick lunch on the way back. Love blackberries.... Never had enough (for obvious reasons) to make a pie tho...LOL I used to miz them with peaches for lunch.

  2. Elle, you have to be one of the best bakers currently blogging. Not only do your breads, pastries and pies always look straight out of a magazine, but the flavors and creativity are so out of this world. Down home with a twist. I would give most anything for a slice or three of that pie right now, and a bear claw!

  3. Next sister down1:59 PM

    Blackberries always remind me of Dad. Remember how, on Sunday rides in the country in the early summer, he would look for places along the roadside where there were blackberry vines blossoming, and we would come back later in the summer to pick the berries?

    Apple pies remind me of him too. This looks like a pie he would love. (But was there ever a fruit pie he wouldn't love?)

  4. Katiez, I love peaches and blackberries together and eating them right off the bush is just the best. We have a whole building (an old chicken coop) covered in blackberry brambles so I have enough to eat out of hand and make pies.

    Lisa, You are too kind, but thank you. I would say much the same about your lovely blog, although you are more gourmet than I think I am. Wish you could come by for a slice of pie and some coffee or tea.

    Next sister down, You almost got me crying. I do remember those country road hunts for ripe blackberries and the busy hands quickly picking loads of them to take home for pies and jelly. Dad really liked the pie dough so a second crust would have be preferable, but he did indeed love any kind of fruit pie and this one would have gone down well with a scoop of vanilla Sealtest ice cream. Thanks for the memories!!

  5. Anonymous11:47 PM

    It was delicious!! We had it warmed up, with whipped cream. Yum! There's a small piece left that we'll have to fight over.
    Thank you oh so much!

    The Captain made waffles for us, whipping the egg whites by hand. They were deluxe! Light and delicious, we had them with lots of strawberries that had been picked that day.

    He said he would make bear claws, but there hasn't been time.

    Wish I had the Dad memories. =(

    Love and hugs,

  6. Oh it looks just yummy! The kids love crumble and I'm sure they would adore this. The combination of apple and blackberry sounds just super!