The best part of living in Berkeley? Well, there are A LOT of great things about living in Berkeley, but one of the best perks is the Berkeley Bowl. Why? Because I managed to snag four pounds of blackberries for two dollars and had my choice of 35 different types of apples with which to make this pie.
There is a constant debate in the baking world as to which apples are the best for pie baking. My favorite method is to include at least two different types of apples in order to enhance a pie with a variety of tastes and textures. Most often I choose a blend of Granny Smith and Pink Lady apples. For this pie, I used four different types of apples I (Daring, I know). I went with Pink Lady, Granny Smith, Honeycrisp and Fuji.
Because the pie is only half apples, I only needed one apple of each variety. The rest of the filling consists of tart and fresh California blackberries. Combined, the two fruits provides a fragrant and slightly earthy flavor experience. Everyone loved it, and I’m sure that you will too!
Butter pie crust
From the Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book
2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup cold butter, cubed
1 tbsp refined sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup ice water
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
Mix ice water and apple cider vinegar in a glass or measuring cup. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, whisk together flour, salt and sugar.
Add cubed butter. The dough will begin to cut together.
When the mixture forms pea sized crumbles, sprinkle in three tbsp of the ice water and apple cider vinegar mixture, one at a time. Allow the dough to come together until shaggy. Add an additional tbsp if dough still appears dry and crumbly.
Turn dough out onto a floured surface and bring together with hands. Form two discs. Wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour
Blackberry Apple Filling
4 medium sized apples
2 cups blackberries
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp granulated sugar, separated
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tbsp flour
Dash of cinnamon
Dash of allspice
1/2 tsp salt
Peel and dice apples. Place in a large bowl with the lemon juice, two tbsp sugar and blackberries and stir to coat. Let sit for 30 minutes to fruit to soften and release liquid.
In a separate bowl, combine remaining dry ingredients.
After fruit has sat for 30 minutes, drain excess liquid. Toss fruit in flour mixture.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Roll out one pie dough disk on a floured surface. The resulting circle of dough should be about 12 inches in diameter. Gently line a 9 inch pie pain, allowing the edge of the dough to hang off the sides (I always use this pie pan).
Fill prepared pie crust with fruit.
Roll out second dough disk. Decorate top of pie any way you please! I chose a lattice pattern ringed with a braid. For the crust cut outs, I used these Wilton cookie cutters, these Totoro cookie cutters and these leaf cutters from Fox Run.
Whisk egg and use a pastry brush to paint the exposed pie crust with a wash.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, until apples are soft and juices are bubbling.
For me, the edges of the pie always brown before the center. I usually bake the pie for 20 minutes and then cover the edges with tinfoil to allow the center of the pie to catch up.
Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before serving.