Saturday, June 6, 2009

A Slice of Memory Pie

Upon reading the theme for May's challenge for You Want Pies With That? (Childhood Memory Pie), my thoughts raced through a variety of possibilities.

Blueberry pie.

That was my grandfather's favorite pie, and consequently, one of my favorites. But , how about . . .

Lemon meringue pie.

Watching my grandmother make the filling is one of my earliest cooking memories. Oh, but, how about . . . .

Pumpkin pie.

My father cooked only a few times a year, and one of his responsibilities was making pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. Truly one of my favorites, but this isn't really the right time of year for a wintery pie. So, how about . . .

Blackberry pie.


I grew up in a suburb of Bellevue, Washington. Our house was on the very last street in the subdivision, so my backyard was, quite literally, a forest. My friends and I would spend hours exploring that forest, following trails, seeing how far we could travel in every direction.

Being the Pacific Northwest, one of the special wild treats during the summer was blackberries. I'd go into the forest, armed with a bucket, and return home with a large supply of freshly picked, juicy blackberries. My mother would turn them into the most delicious pie.

Now, fast-forward about 25 years or so. I'm now living in Eugene, Oregon, in the hilly southwest part of town, where my neighborhood is surrounded by forests. My older daughter is about 6. One summer day, I grab a bucket and take my daughter into the forest, and together, we pick enough blackberries to fill the bucket, and, of course, bake a pie. The circle is complete, and tradition has been passed down.

Will my daughter bake blackberry pies with her daughter? Since there are no blackberry-laden forests where they live, I will suggest that they plant blackberries in their garden, so perhaps in a few years, they can share the fun of picking fresh berries and turning them in to a pie.

Thanks to Ellen at Kittymama for choosing such a memorable theme.

Blackberry Pie

One 9" baked pie shell


4 cups fresh blackberries

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup flour

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon ginger

In a large bowl, gently mix together the blackberries, sugar, flour, lemon juice and ginger. Pour the mixture into the cooled pie shell.


1 cup flour

3/4 cup toasted slivered almonds

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

4 ounces melted butter

In a bowl, mix together the flour, almonds, sugar and cardamom. Mix in the melted butter. Top the pie with the crumble and place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until the crumb topping is golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool completely.


Megan said...

What a great story - and I just saw blackberries in Costco the other day.I'll have to try this someday.

But I have a bigger problem, in that my freezer is full of blueberries. I am DYING to make a blueberry pie (I never have!). But I have a feeling I'll be the only one eating it!

LunaMoonbeam said...

Oh, you just brought back memories. My grandmother lived in Edmonds, WA. and I used to troll the abandoned bits around her house and come back with blackberries. We would freeze them and save them to make blackberry cobbler in February when we were REALLY missing the sunshine.

Your pie looks amazing. :-) Can I ask...which part of Bellevue were you in? I grew up in Bellevue and Issaquah...

suz said...

Picking blackberries with my aunt is a fond memory of mine so thank you for sharing your story and that delicious looking pie. Yum!

Jen H said...

What a lovely story and delicious pie. Thanks so much for sharing.

LaDue & Crew said...

This is so gorgeous and sounds amazing!

Ellen and Tom said...

Wonderful story and I love Oregon blackberries! I have a few friends in Eugene - what a great town!