Sunday, July 19, 2015

Blackberry Crumb Pie with Brown Butter Blueberry Bourbon Ice Cream

There's a cute sign hanging in our kitchen that says "Fresh Baked Pies Served Daily" .  Every so often, after we finish dinner, my husband will look at me and ask, "What kind of pie are we having tonight?"  And if I tell him we don't have any pie, he says, in all seriousness, "That's not what the sign says."

But I have been baking lots of fruit pies lately, because when berries and stone fruits are this fresh and juicy, it seems a shame not to take advantage of their abundance.  And my husband loves pie, probably more than any other dessert, except for maybe doughnuts.

The blackberries burst while baking, their juices thickening into a jam-like filling that was really beautiful.  I added a little freshly grated lemon zest and cinnamon to enhance their flavor, and just enough sugar that the pie wasn't too sweet.

I love trying different crusts and designs on top, but the simplicity of a crumble topping tends to be my favorite.

Fruit pies are wonderful on their own, but everything is better with a scoop of ice cream.  I started this ice cream recipe with browned butter, and if you've never smelled the nutty aroma of browned butter, you're missing out.  Then I cooked blueberries in the butter, just until juicy.  An egg-based custard came next, with fragrant vanilla bean seeds speckled throughout.  And a splash of bourbon.

The moment the ice cream is finished churning, and it's so soft and creamy straight from the ice cream maker, is when I want to sample spoonful after spoonful.

Blackberry Crumb Pie

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
  • 1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cold, unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons ice water
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup cold, unsalted butter
  • 2 pounds fresh, or frozen and thawed, blackberries
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • zest of 1 small lemon
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 425.

In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt.  Use a pastry cutter to cut in the butter until the butter is the size of peas.  Add the ice water, toss with a fork to moisten, then use your hands to bring the dough together into a ball; it should just barely hold together.  Flatten into a disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Use the same bowl for the streusel.  Place all the streusel ingredients in the bowl, and combine with the pastry cutter until moist and crumbly.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

In a large bowl, combine the blackberries with the sugar, corn starch, lemon zest, cinnamon and vanilla.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the chilled pie dough to 1/4 inch thick, and fit into a deep-dish pie pan.  Sprinkle the bottom with about a tablespoon of flour, then pour in the blackberries.

Bake for 20 minutes at 435.

Reduce the oven temperature to 375.  Sprinkle the streusel topping over the berries and bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes, until the filling bubbles.

Cool completely before serving.

Yields 8 servings

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen

Brown Butter Blueberry Bourbon Ice Cream
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon

In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.  Continue to cook the butter, swirling around every so often, until nutty brown solids form on the bottom of the pan and the butter smells very fragrant.  Stir in the blueberries and cook for several more minutes, just until the blueberries release their juices.  Transfer to a strainer set over a bowl.

In the same saucepan, whisk together the cream, milk, nutmeg, vanilla and salt.  Bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat, just until the cream starts to bubble around the edges.

Meanwhile, break up the egg yolks in a bowl and whisk in the brown sugar.  Slowly stream about a cup of the hot cream into the eggs, whisking the eggs constantly to temper them.  Scrape the eggs back into the saucepan.  Continue to cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, for about 5-8 minutes, until the custard is thick enough to coat a spoon.  Remove from the heat and whisk in the bourbon.

Pour the custard into a blender.  Add half the blueberries, along with the buttery liquid, and blend until smooth.  Stir in the remaining whole blueberries.  Cover with plastic and chill until very cold, preferably overnight.

Churn the ice cream according to the manufacturer's instructions on your ice cream maker, then transfer to a container and freeze until firm, about 4-6 hours.

Yields about 2 quarts

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen