Get ready for one of the only Easter dessert recipes you’ll need with old school blackberry pie! Like many Easter pie recipes of days past, this uses tapioca, a thickener alternative — plus enough berries to start your own farmer’s market!
And don’t feel like blackberry desserts can only be Easter recipes! These dark, decadent berries are perfect from spring to fall. My cherry crisp and blackberry pie bars are a great addition to any barbecue spread, just like the sun-and-sand favorite Atlantic Beach pie or the ever-popular million dollar pie.
Let’s bake up something delicious with this pie recipe!
There are certain flavors that stand the test of time — and blackberry is one of them! These succulent little bursts of berry richness always evoke the best spring and summer memories.
- Nostalgia with a buttery crust
- Berries for DAYS!
- The fun kind of messy
- Goes great with any event!
How To Make Blackberry Pie Recipe
My pie follows a pretty standard pie progression, but with a few surprises!
Start with a store-bought or homemade pie crust (your choice!). Next, ready your filling — take your blackberries (fresh is best!) and combine with your sugar, tapioca, lemon, and water so the berries get all sweet and the juices get thickened.
Put the bottom of your pie crust in your pie dish and spoon your blackberry mixture into the crust. Add dollops of butter (YUM!) and top with a lattice crust. Brush with heavy cream and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake until bubbly and brown and irresistible!
Fruit pies follow the same basic steps: crust, thickened filling, bake until bubbly. But there are a few secrets hidden amongst these steps that you should know about! Read on!
Tapioca Measurement: Note the measurement given in the recipe is the amount before grinding. After it’s been ground, the volume will change, so make sure you’re measuring ½ cup straight from the box, then grinding it.
Burning: You can tent the top of the pie with foil, if necessary, to prevent it from burning.
Bubbling basics: Short of setting off your smoke alarm, it can be hard to tell when the pie is done. Obviously, the crust needs to be deep golden brown, but the proof is in the bubbles! When the pie is cooked, the juice from the fruit will form bubbles in the center of the pie that burst slowly.
It takes longer for the center to reach temperature, so this is a great way to tell whether you’re ready to take the pie out of the oven. If the fruit doesn’t get hot enough to be in this “bubbling” stage, the tapioca will not work as well.
Some of the juices will be spilling out over the edges of the crust at this point (which is why we suggest placing the pie plate on a cookie sheet.
To dot or not to dot: If you have many old pie recipes, you’ve likely seen directions that call for dotting the top of the filling with butter before adding the top crust. I don’t really see the need since the crust itself is plenty rich, but you may feel drawn by tradition.
If you need a little encouragement to skip the dotting step, here you go. Cooks Illustrated gives you permission!
Easy Blackberry Pie Ingredient Notes
From getting the perfect blackberry pie filling to having deliciously buttery crust, here are my best tips!
Berries: You’ll want eight cups of fresh blackberries for this recipe. There are two cups of blackberries per pint — so you’ll need four pints total. You can also use frozen if fresh isn’t an option!
Thickener: Flour is the standard thickener for fruit pies, followed closely by cornstarch. But both flour and cornstarch can actually lose their thickening power when exposed to acid (i.e., lemon juice), so for any fruit pie that brings tartness, I use tapioca.
- Grind: Obviously grinding the tapioca is an extra step, but it’s worthwhile to ensure it dissolves smoothly, especially when making a lattice-topped pie. Parts of the fruit filling will be exposed directly to the hot air of the oven which may cause the tapioca to dry out before dissolving fully. I don’t grind it before using it in my Strawberry Cobbler, for example, but it’s important when making a lattice-topped pie.
- Best Type: I like to use Minute Tapioca, Kraft’s brand of instant tapioca, which is a granulated version of the big pearls you find in the pudding. You don’t have to cook it before baking with it, but it does need to “bloom” for a few minutes (similar to activating yeast) to make sure it’ll work the way it’s supposed to. Then your filling is ready for baking!
Dietary Restrictions: You can easily make a vegan blackberry pie by substituting a homemade or store-bought vegan pie crust, then using non-dairy milk to brush the pie crust before baking. Since we’re not using flour to thicken the pie, you can also substitute a gluten-free pie crust and make this suitable for anyone with sensitivity.
Lattice: You can forego lattice and top the pie with another solid piece of pie dough — just be sure to add some vent slits so the steam can escape. I still recommend brushing the top with milk or cream and dusting it with coarse sugar to add that little professional touch to your pie.
Flavors like these deserve to be guarded at all costs! What’s the best way to store your pie? Here are my suggestions!
Can You Freeze This?
Yes! Pies love freezers.
Be sure to let your pie thoroughly cool first — let it sit on the counter until it reaches room temp and then let it chill even further in the fridge. We don’t want any residual heat to raise the temp of the freezer!
When you’re ready, wrap your pie airtight or store in a container and freeze for up to eight months!
To thaw, let it sit in the fridge until it reaches the desired temp.
Fresh Blackberry Pie Make Ahead Tips
My pie recipe has make-ahead magic built right in!
You need to let the pie rest for several hours after baking, preferably overnight, before cutting. It’s an important step when you’re working with tapioca — this rest gives it additional time to soak up any loose juices and make sure you have a picture-perfect pie slice, not a sloppy mess.
How Long Can You Keep This In The Fridge?
I love my pie slices chilled! Store your pie in the fridge for up to a week. The berry filling holds together so well and makes the juices almost jam-like. Who can resist??
Blackberry Pie Recipe
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3 tablespoons Minute tapioca
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 8 cups fresh blackberries (2-36 ounce containers)
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 (9-inch) refrigerated pie crusts
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream or milk
- 1-2 tablespoons coarse sugar
- Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat to 400 degrees.
- Grind the tapioca in a spice grinder, or just cleaned coffee grinder, until it becomes a fine powder.
- Whisk together sugar, ground tapioca and salt in a mixing bowl. Add blackberries, lemon zest, lemon juice and water and fold until mixture is evenly coated. Allow to set on the counter at room temperature for 15 minutes.
- Roll one of the pie crusts, on a lightly floured counter, into a 12-inch circle. Fit into a standard 9-inch pie plate. Trim excess dough leaving a 1-inch overhang. Put back in the fridge while you prepare the second crust.
- Roll out the second crust, on a lightly floured counter, into a 12-inch circle. Cut into 12-one inch strips with a knife or pastry wheel.
- Spoon blackberry mixture into dough-lined pie plate. Dot with butter. Arrange strips in a tight lattice pattern. Trim excess on ends of dough off strips flush with the overhang of the bottom crust. Fold lattice ends and bottom crust under. Flute edges using your thumb and forefinger or crimp with a fork.
- Brush lattice top with heavy cream and sprinkle with coarse sugar.
- Place pie plate on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake in a preheated oven, until crust is golden brown and the juices of the pie have slow bursting bubbles in the center of the filling, about 50-60 minutes. If crust begins to brown too quickly, cover loosely with aluminum foil.
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The people want pie, so let’s give them pie!
- Chocolate Cream Pie – Like pudding, fudge, and mousse all in one!
- Smores Pie – The backyard firepit favorite in a pie!
- Strawberry Pie – Another unforgettable seasonal celebration
- Blueberry Pie – Blueberry lovers dream pie!
- Blackberry Cobbler – sweet and tart from the wonderful fresh blackberries then crowned with a coconut-pecan cookie-like topping.
If you weren’t excited for spring and summer before, I bet you are now! My blackberry pie recipe has that effect on people.
What event did you make this pie for? Let me know in the comments!