2 1/2 cups flour
3 Tbsp sugar
8 Tbsp cold Earth Balance
8 Tbsp cold shortening
6 Tbsp ice water
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
6 heaping cups blackberries
zest of 2 lemons
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (about two lemons' worth)
2/3 cup sugar
3 Tbsp blackberry brandy or Chambord
3 Tbsp cornstarch
Sift flour and salt in a large mixing bowl.
Mix in sugar.
Add 4 Tbsp each of Earth Balance and shortening, crumbling them into the flour with your hands until the flour gets pebbly.
Add the rest of the Earth Balance and shortening. Your flour should be VERY pebbly.
Mix the ice water and vinegar and drizzle it into the flour, massaging it in as you go. Add more water if you need to, but do so slowly so as to avoid the dreaded soggy crust.
Divide the dough into two equal rounds. Press the rounds into disks and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate them until you're ready to use them, or freeze them if you're going to take a day or so to make your pie.
Preheat oven to 425.
In a large bowl, toss together berries, lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, brandy or Chambord, cornstarch, and cinnamon. Easy!
Roll out pie crust to fit a 9-inch pie plate. I do this by placing the dough between two large sheets of parchment paper and rolling it out in all directions until it's flat and thin. I then take a leap of faith that it will be large enough for the pie plate and feverishly mush it flatter if it isn't.
Heap filling into bottom crust.
Roll out the top crust and place on top, pinching sides into place and poking top with a fork.
Note that this is vegan dough, and so extremely soft, with no gluten whatsoever. The recipe calls for cutting it into strips so as to create a lattice filling: yeah right! This is for braver souls than I. My crust was a ragged heap of disparate scraps, but they bonded in the baking process, making for an almost-normal-looking crust (see above).
Bake for 20 minutes, then lower heat to 350 and bake for another 30-35 minutes, until golden-brown and bubbly. Cool on a wire rack for at least half an hour before digging in.
- The filling can't be beat. I'm a huge fan of citrus in desserts, and the blend of tart and sweet, with a hint of liqueur, somehow makes for the archetypal blackberry experience.
- The crust is not bad for a vegan crust. It's sandy and flavorful; however, it gets soggy relatively quickly. If you're planning to keep the pie around for a few days and don't care whether or not it's vegan, use these ingredients, as found in this whiskey apple pie recipe: 2 cups flour, pinch salt, 15 tablespoons cold butter (almost 2 sticks) and 1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp cold water. I've had great success with this yummy, flaky crust.
- I highly recommend all of the dessert books put out by Isa Chandra and Terry Hope. Their cookie and cupcake books produce to-die-for desserts every time. I've only just started using their pie book, but this recipe seems a harbinger of good things to come.
4 stars; would be 5 with a butter crust (but at least use pasture-raised butter).