In 1986, my oldest daughter had been entering needlework in the Ohio State Fair for several years. She kept nudging me to enter something in the food division but I was hesitant after seeing all of the beautiful entries that come in from all over the state. Finally, I gave in and decided to enter a blackberry pie to use up some of the buckets of wild blackberries we picked every day in a thicket on the far edge of our property. I used a recipe from a book by Susan Purdy that my daughter had just given me (unfortunately, I lost the book and I’m not sure of the title*) and made the long trip from Cincinnati to Columbus to enter the pie for judging.
I was pleased to win a third place ribbon on my first Ohio State Fair entry.
We no longer live in the house with the blackberry thicket but there were some beautiful blackberries at my farmers’ market in Loveland, Ohio (Blooms and Berries) and the pie turned out great.
STATE FAIR BLACKBERRY PIE
- Pastry for a 9″ two-crust pie (click here for my favorite recipe)
- 4 cups fresh blackberries
- 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp. cider vinegar
- 3 Tblsp. cornstarch
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 2 Tbsp. water
- 1 Tblsp. quick cooking tapioca
- 2 Tblsp. butter
- 1 Tblsp. milk
Preheat oven @ 375 degrees F
In a heavy pan combine the blackberries, sugar, vinegar, cornstarch, salt, and 2 Tblsp. water.
Mash fruit very slightly with wooden spoon to start juices flowing. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, just until mixture nears boiling point (3-4 minutes). Remove from heat and cool completely. Stir in tapioca.
Pour into unbaked pie shell and dot with butter. Fit top crust over fruit, sealing well. Brush top crust lightly with milk and cut vents.
Place on flat pan to catch spills and bake @ 375 degrees F for 45-50 minutes until crust is golden brown.
Cool on a wire rack.
The flavor of this pie is so delicious – even the leftovers the next day were good.
*UPDATE: I was able to identify the book – As Easy as Pie by Susan G. Purdy and found a nice hard-cover 1984 edition on eBay.com. I feel better now. That was the only cookbook that I have ever lost and I’m happy to have a copy to complete my collection.