It's blackberry season! I mean, it's every-berry-season, but poor blackberries just don't get the same hype as strawberries. But...I'll be honest. Blackberries aren't my favorite. In fact, they're my least favorite. BUT I've recently discovered they are amazing in baked goods. Take, for instance, these Blackberry Vanilla Pies.
These mini pies have the power combo of blackberries and vanilla sugar in a flaky pastry crust. The blackberry-vanilla flavor is out of this world, and paired with the crunchy/flaky crust? Sold. Gimme.
This pie crust is my Mom's recipe and it never fails. Really. Try it for yourself! The recipe uses vegetable shortening instead of butter. I love an all-butter pie crust as much as the next gal, but it's *really* hard to work with on a summer day in Texas. Even with AC. I speak from experience.
If you really miss that butter flavor, you could use a butter-flavored vegetable shortening. While a pastry blender isn't necessary to cut the shortening into the crust dough, it does make the job faster and easier. If you're looking to buy one for yourself, you can find one [here].
I used four 5" pie pans for this recipe. If you're looking to buy some for yourself, you can find them [here]. This pie could also be made into one large (9") pie, but you would likely need more filling and a longer bake time to cook the filling through. I prefer mini pies because of the undeniable cuteness factor, and because I get a baby pie all to myself. 😀
I used fresh blackberries from a local farm, then froze them. You could also choose to use store-bought frozen blackberries (but I can't usually find them). I don't thaw the blackberries before using them. I've found that they have a more pleasing texture (don't get super mushy!) when they start out frozen.
I paired the blackberries with vanilla sugar. I looove vanilla sugar, and it's a quick and easy way to add vanilla sweetness to anything. purchased my vanilla sugar from Beanilla (link here), but you can make your own or substitute with sugar and vanilla extract.
If you love blackberries, you will LOVE these Blackberry Vanilla Pies. If you're not a big fan of blackberries, you'll probably still love them. I fall into the latter category, and being wrong about not liking blackberries was a super delicious experience. 😉
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Blackberry Vanilla Pies
- 3 cups flour
- 1¼ cups vegetable shortening
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 7 tablespoon water, cold
Blackberry Vanilla Filling:
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- In a large bowl, combine flour and shortening. Using a pastry blender (see note) or fork, cut shortening in until no large pieces remain.
- In a small bowl, combine egg, vinegar, and cold water. Whisk to combine.
- Make wells in the flour mixture and pour the egg mixture into the wells. Stir until a soft dough is formed. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead slightly into a ball. Cut dough in half.
- Roll the first half of the dough to ¼" thickness, and cut as necessary to fit the mini pie pans (see note). Line the pie pans, taking care not to stretch the dough (as this may cause it to shrink when baked). Set lined pie pans aside.
- Place filling ingredients in a medium bowl. Gently toss to coat.
- Divide the filling evenly between the four mini pie pans (see note).
- Roll the second half of the crust to ¼" thickness and cut as necessary to cover the top of each mini pie. You can use the remaining dough to decorate the tops of the pies as you desire.
- Preheat oven to 400° F. Prepare the egg wash, and brush over the tops of each of the pies. If desired, sprinkle sugar over the top of each pie. Place the pies on a baking sheet and bake 25-30 minutes, or until the tops are golden. Place pies on a wire rack to cool.Enjoy!