On the menu: Berry Thyme Crumble Pie
Kevin took his written comprehensive exams early last week. I made him this pie the weekend prior to get him through the last few days of studying for the biggest test of his life.
Naturally, I had ulterior motives: I was really craving berries. Kevin’s mom makes this killer blackberry pie that I dream about. Being budget conscious, I used half raspberries and half blackberries. Frozen berries, since it’s not their season. And there were a few stray sprigs of thyme in the fridge awaiting their fate, so in they went.
Something about these flavors felt appropriate. The deep, sturdy bitterness of the blackberries was brightened with sweet, soft raspberries and grounded with earthy, lemony thyme. It seemed a metaphor for this long ass winter, hopes of summer, and (maybe even?!) signs of spring.
To appease the brain-drained guy, I topped the pie with a crumble. Crumble pies are Kevin’s favorite. They save me from having to execute the lattice or demonstrating my impatience with pale top crusts. Crumbles allow all kinds of customization, too; they’re easy to tweak to whatever nuts/spices/dried fruit/herbs you may have on hand.
The pie tasted like all the feelings of late. I want it to warm up so the bees come out. I want the berries to bloom. I want to see if the thyme plant we left in the ground all winter will come back to life. We’ve had a taste of the warmth this week, and I want to hope it’s here to stay.
yield: 1 9-inch pie
prep time: 30 minutes
cook time: 65 minutes
One single pie crust (I switched it up from my usual and used half of Hoosier Mama’s All Butter Pie Dough recipe)
For the crumble topping:
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
1/3 cup (5 1/2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
For the pie:
2 cups frozen blackberries (one 10 oz package)
2 1/2 cups frozen raspberries (one 12 oz package)
1 1/4 cup sugar, separated
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
3 tablespoons quick cooking tapioca
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced into 1/4 inch cubes
Preheat oven to 400°F. Prepare the thyme sugar: add thyme leaves to 1/4 cup sugar in a small bowl and rub with your fingers to release the oils. Set aside.
Roll out pie dough and place in a 9 inch pie plate. Style edge of crust as you see fit and place in the freezer.
Prepare crumble topping: melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat and let cool slightly. Combine all dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl and add butter. Mix with your fingers to moisten. Set aside.
Prepare filling: Stir berries, sugar, thyme sugar, and tapioca together in a large bowl. Remove pie crust from freezer and add filling, dotting with the cubes of butter.
Top pie with crumble and bake for 30-40 minutes, watching for the crumble topping to get pretty brown. Reduce heat to 375°F and tent the top of the pie (not the edge of the crust, you still want that to color) and continue to bake for 20-25 until the juices are really bubbling and the crust is well browned.