It turns out that Paradise is all that it’s cracked up to be; we had a wonderful time.
Highlights were feasting, visiting the ponies, spotting frogs and dragonflies galore in the little pond, a bike ride on country roads, lounging beside and in the pool, seeing chickadees, a woodpecker, goldfinches and wayward neighbour’s chickens in the front garden, and then feasting some more. And if that wasn’t enough, as we left, we were given a generous freezer-bag of this year’s sour red cherries, already pitted and a humungous freezer-bag of 2013’s blackberries. We wrapped them all in newspaper and reluctantly got back onto the highway to head back to reality.
When we got home, all the fruit was still frozen solid. We didn’t have room for the blackberries in our little freezer so T set them aside in the oven (turned off with no light) to thaw overnight. We would use some to make pie the next day and then re-freeze whatever was left over.
The next morning, T raced down to get started on the blackberries. I love hearing morning humming, opening and closing of cupboards and drawers, and the gentle clatter of spoons and bowls. I’m not so thrilled to hear the following:
he: [louder than normal opening and closing of cupboard doors] Where’s the aluminum foil?
me: It’s under the telephone ta… oh oh…. Why? What happened?
he: [pause] …I think I’ve cleaned it all up now.
By that time, I had arrived in the kitchen to see the freezer bag of still partially frozen blackberries balanced precariously in a cereal bowl on the counter, lying in a pool of dark dark juice that appeared to be growing. Inexplicably quickly.
We quickly transferred the dripping bag to a larger bowl, finished removing all traces of blackberry juice from the oven floor and replaced the aluminum foil liner (don’t even think about asking why we didn’t think to put the freezer bag of blackberries into a bowl the night before, rather than simply laying the solid block on one of the oven racks…. Just remember when thawing blackberries, the importance of using a receptacle cannot be stressed enough).
Once the kitchen was once again spotless, to comfort ourselves, we sat on the front porch and ate breakfast: granola and yoghurt. With blackberries. Of course.
Here’s what he did:
based on G’s recipe for strawberry pie
- 4 c frozen blackberries
- 2 c blackberry liquid
- 180ml sugar
- ~3 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 cooked pie shell, completely cooled
- Put the container of frozen blackberries into a bowl to thaw. Once they have thawed, drain them. Reserve the juice!
- Pour the liquid into a heavy bottomed pot and stir in sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce it by half until there is about one cup of thick syrup. Remove from heat and allow it to cool completely before adding lemon juice.
- Gently stir cold blackberries into the cooled syrup. Spread over cooled pie shell.
Serve with whipped cream or creme fraiche.Notes
Next time, we’ll add a little flour or cornstarch to the juice. The pie was great on the day it was baked. But the juices soaking into the pastry turned into blackberry pudding the next day.
And the seeds that we vaguely worried about? …pfffft!
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