What pushes a mostly sane woman to wade into a flesh-tearing patch of blackberry brambles? The promise of hot, crisp blackberry pie with peanut butter crust and crumble. Add vanilla ice cream and you have a holy experience.
And I must say thank you to Brian and Pam Ellis, my former next door neighbors, who always let me know when the berries in their yard are ripe for picking. Good neighbors, are a treasure.
I’ve written about pie before. This was one of the pies included in my Pies and Virginity blog. But, in retrospect, I think blackberry pie with peanut butter crust and crumble really deserves its own blog post because it’s a delicious pie, that’s destroyed many a diet. It was pioneered by my mother, and proudly carried on by me.
I may not remember the name of the actress in the movie I saw 20 minutes ago, but I never forget a life-altering food moment. One of them was the time my mom decided to put peanut butter in a crust she was making for a blueberry pie. I tasted it and knew my mom was a food genius, it was that good.
Then, I decided that if a peanut butter, double crust pie was that good, how great would a peanut butter crumble be, especially one with crunchy peanut butter? And if blueberries were good, wouldn’t blackberries be great? That question got answered a few years ago when I made it for a family get together. Both my brothers, who don’t throw food compliments around liberally, said, “I think this might be the best pie you’ve ever made.”
You can also just make this a crisp, by eliminating the pie crust bottom. It’s also killer good, faster, and a lot less work.
As I’ve said many times, we are all ho’s for blackberry pie and the peanut butter puts a blackberry pie in a whole new category of yum. To make the crust, I just take my regular pie crust before it’s rolled out, put a tablespoon or two of peanut butter in the middle, fold it over, roll it, and fold it again a few times, then roll it out. It leaves the crust looking swirled with peanut butter.
*Also, make the crust first, then the crumble so it’s easier to assemble quickly. You don’t want to put the berries in the crust too long before you bake it, or it will get soggy. And bake it closer to the bottom of the oven so the bottom crust gets crisp.
Mary Tunno’s Pie Crust with Peanut Butter Swirl
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup Butter Flavor Crisco
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. sugar
1/2 to 1 cup very cold whole milk (you can put an ice cube in it to make it colder but remove it before you add the milk)
Mix flour, salt and sugar together then cut in Crisco and butter. Mix well, it forms small crumbs. Add enough milk so that dough can be molded into soft balls. Better that the dough is too soft and sticky than too hard. Once you add the milk and have made about four or five balls, wrap each one in flour coated plastic wrap, flatten it into a disc, and cool it in the refrigerator or freezer.
Then take one of the flattened, cooled pie crusts, roll it slightly, and add one to two tablespoons of creamy peanut butter to it. Fold it over, roll it out a little, then fold it over three or four more times. The peanut butter should look like swirls in the crust. Roll it out on a floured board and place it in bottom of a pie pan. Flute the edges then fill it with berries.
Peanut Butter Crumble
1 cup flour
2 cups whole, uncooked Old Fashioned Quaker Oats
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 stick melted butter (not unsalted)
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter (I use Laura Scudder’s)
Blackberry Pie with Peanut Butter Crumble
6 to 7 cups blackberries or blueberries
1 cup sugar
2 1/2 Tbsp. flour
Mix together the berries, flour and sugar thoroughly, then place them in the bottom peanut butter swirl crust. Sprinkle a light covering of the peanut butter crumble top of the pie. You don’t want too much because the crumble absorbs a lot of the liquid, so you’ll have all crumble and not enough fruit. (You may need to lay a piece of aluminum foil lightly on top of the pie or crisp, so the crumble doesn’t burn.) Bake at 350 for an hour or more or until you see the pie really bubbling and crust is brown. Use a pie crust shield to protect crust from burning. And make sure you put a cookie sheet underneath or some aluminum foil to catch the drips!