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August 24, 2010

Blackberry pie apology

blackberry pieKate Smith, a Loyola College junior and intern here at The Sun, sent me this essay about apologizing by way of pie. Here's Kate. LV

I don’t think I could have survived high school without this pie.

Not that I was a trouble-maker necessarily, but my mom and I did our fair share of verbal sparring in my high school years. Whether it was about one of my numerous car accidents, a bad grade, or a missed curfew, a raised voice in my home in Connecticut wasn’t a total rarity.

Now don’t get me wrong: I love my mom. When we get along, I love spending time with her. But when she’s mad, well, it’s no good, which is where this pie factors in.

My mom is a svelte little woman with Southern roots. While she’s spent almost all of her life up North and even married the Yankee my dad is, she still enjoys her grits, sweet tea, and like any other self-respecting Southern woman, a good pie.

After an exhausting yelling battle, my mother and father would usually get too frustrated with me and go for a walk, which is when I’d get busy in the kitchen. One slice of this pie could absolve me of any minor to mid-range offense and give me a solid head start on the road to forgiveness (and usually a lesser grounding) on those doozies I’d find myself in the middle of every once in a while.

Everything about this pie is fantastic. The sour cream and sugar-based filling balances out the tart blackberries without stripping them of their tangy flavor, and the topping adds the perfect amount of crunch to the bite without segregating itself from the rest of the dessert.

My mother knows all of this too well and lucky for me, has yet to grow sick of the flavor after the many fights we’ve had. We’ve sat down many a time, slices of warm pie in front of us, apologizing for our loud behavior and her listening to my promises to be better next time.

And if I’m not, I promise to at least have a pie ready.

So for all of you, here is the recipe to my infamous blackberry and cream pie.

It’s not one of those secret recipes. I’m fairly sure my grandmother (the Southern one, of course) cut it out of a newspaper and just saved it. And for the help it did for me, I’m putting it out there for all daughters who’ve found themselves in some inevitable high school trouble.

Bake often! And to my mom, I love you and I hope that I never bake you another pie again.

Blackberry and Cream Pie

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup flour

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 1/3 cups light sour cream

1 tsp vanilla

3 cups blackberries

1 unbaked 9" pie shell

1/3 cup flour

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup chopped pecans

3 tbsp. butter, softened

whipped cream

Preheat oven to 400°F.

In a bowl, combine sugar, 1/3 cup flour, eggs, sour cream, and vanilla until smooth. Toss in blackberries and stir well. Spoon into pie shell.

Bake 30-35 minutes or until set.

In a bowl, combine 1/3 cup flour, brown sugar, pecans and soft butter, mix well. Sprinkle over pie. Return pie to oven for 10 minutes.

Posted by Laura Vozzella at 3:33 PM | | Comments (10)


Kate, that's just beautiful.

Kate, I am so angry with you. I have been having nightmares about some women named Florence Tyler and the Fruit of the Loom dudes ever your last article. I will be out walking for a while. The key is under the mat. You know the rest.

Wow, Kate. I have some Southern roots, too, but I don't have a pie recipe like that or the story to go with it.

thanks a lot .This is a cool article

Store bought pie shell, not when you can make one using Cook's Illustrated recipe for foolproof pie crust. Of course Owl Meat Gravy might think it is a waste of vodka, but him I say a quarter cup of vodka for the crust and a quarter cup of vodka for the cook.

I tried the vodka crust last Thanksgiving after The Sun's Andrew Green touted it in an editorial of all things, titled: "A brief treatise on pie."

I found it made my all-butter crust significantly flakier. But for some reason -- is there a food scientist in the house? -- the usual saltiness was muted. I upped the salt next time and was very pleased.

Here's a link to Andy's piece:

Great blog Kate! I wish I had known about this when I was in high school...probably would have saved me (and my sisters) a lot of grief. Although that would have been a lot of pies coming from all of us over time.

As for this recipe, I may just get into an argument with myself, storm out of the house, buy the ingredients and bake me a pie. Which I will share with my family just for putting up with me.

Of course Owl Meat Gravy might think it is a waste of vodka

The only waste of vodka is when you give it to gremlins after midnight. Ditto for pie.

After coming in scratched up and bug bitten from gathering wild blackberries,seeking a pie recipe, I was smitten with your story. My sixteen year old and her horrid mother could only laugh as we relate to every statement made!

Elizabeth says she isn't a pie maker, but she will be happy to make peanut butter cookies to ease the simmer we sometimes reach when NOT communicating!

Thank so much for the smiles!
Vermont admirers

I just made this tonight -- YUM! Thanks for the recipe and the very nice story to go with the pie.

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About this blog

You are reading the archives. For updated blog posts about the Maryland food scene, see Richard Gorelick's new Baltimore Diner blog.
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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