Blackberry Crumb Pie from The New School of Cooking

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This recipe comes from Chef Carol Cotner Thompson, from The New School of Cooking in Culver City. Check out Chef Carol’s blog for more of her delicious recipes.

I absolutely love (I mean love) blackberries. I once taught an entire class entitled “Blackberries!” Anyway, I’ve incorporated some of my favorite flavors in this pie: brown butter, brown sugar and vanilla bean. I added some orange flower water to the recipe to give the pie an exotic, floral essence. The crumb topping does a good job of not allowing the berries to completely disintegrate in the cooking process.

Keep reading for the recipe…

Single Crust:

1 1/2 c. AP flour
6 oz. cold, unsalted butter

1/8 c. sugar

1/2 t. salt

1/8 c. ice water

Crumb together the the dry ingredients with the butter until the mixture resembles wetsand. “Glue” the dough together with the ice water. Do not over-work. Refrigerate for at least one hour, not more than 3 days, tightly wrapped.

Crumb Topping:

¾ c. flour

¾ c. brown sugar

½ t. cinnamon

¼ t. salt

4 oz. unsalted butter

Combine the dry ingredients. Cut in the butter to a crumbly texture. Refrigerate.

6 c. fresh blackberries

½ t. salt2 oz. unsalted butter

½ c. brown sugar (sweet berries) OR 2/3 c. brown sugar (tart berries)

1 vanilla bean, split & scraped

2 T. cornstarch

½ t. orange blossom water

Toss berries in a bowl with the cornstarch.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter and allow the butter to brown (look for lots of little brown specks). Add the brown sugar, salt and vanilla bean. Simmer for one minute. Add the butter mixture and orange flower water to the berries and gently mix.

Roll the dough, place in a 9 inch pie dish, and crimp edges. Blind bake the crust for 20 minutes at 375 degrees.

Remove the pie weights and fill with the prepared berries.

Top with the crumble topping and bake for 50 minutes.