I’ve wanted to make a pie with stars on it for the Fourth of July for years, but I never got around to it, probably because I didn’t want to invest in star shape cookie cutters that I only use once or twice a year.
This year, in the spirit of frivolity, I decided to splurge on the cutters and make a blackberry pie full of stars. It’s one of my favorite baking projects to date. I had so much fun rolling out the crust for the top layer and turning it into different-sized stars. I was a little nervous about how it turn out, but as you can see from the above picture, everything turned out for the best.
This pie was one of the best I’ve ever made thanks to an amazing crust recipe from “Dappled,” a cookbook by Nicole Rucker that is devoted to dessert recipes for fruit lovers. Rucker is all about pie, and in the cookbook she gives a bunch of crust recipes including the one I used for flaky pie crust.
I learned the hard way that it’s basically a blogging faux pas to reprint a recipe from a cookbook, even with attribution. I’m not sure why it’s a no no, but I get it; people who write cookbooks want people to buy the books, instead of doing an easy Google search and landing on the recipe for free.
Before I get carried away talking about copyright issues, I’ll just say that “Dappled” is a great investment and if you’re serious about making pie, you should get it. The crust recipe is all done by hand, which sounds intimidating. Truth be told, I usually make my crust in a food processor because the original recipe I found calls for that. But doing it by hand results in a flakier, more tender crust.
Also, I really like Rucker’s recipe because it calls for vinegar and brown sugar. Both of those ingredients help with the caramelization process and result in a golden brown crust that’s both sweet and savory.
For my blackberry filling, I winged it. I provided a recipe below in case you want to use it, but generally speaking, a little cornstarch, lemon juice, and sugar go a long way when it comes to making blackberry pie filling. Blackberries are tart and sweet, so they need a little balance. They’re also really juicy, which is where the cornstarch comes in. It binds everything together and makes a cohesive filling.
Here’s a song to get you started on your blackberry pie journey.
Blackberry Pie Filling
6 cups fresh blackberries, rinsed and patted dry
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
3 Tbsp cornstarch
Gently toss the ingredients in a large bowl and let sit for 30 minutes while you prepare the pie crust. Enjoy!