I’ve had my entire life to prepare for the solar eclipse that is happening on Monday, August 21st 2017. Literally, my entire life. But, staying true to form, I decided to make a solar eclipse inspired pie in the eleventh hour and 59th minute. This Brown Butter Blackberry Pie may have been thrown together last minute, but the out of this world flavors were worth the time and space it took to make.
This Brown Butter Blackberry Pie is a culmination of celebrating this historic eclipse and my sweet hubby’s equally important 41st birthday. He’s a giant space nerd, so the timing of this eclipse is pretty impeccable. He’s also a big pie guy, and a handmade berry pie is a guaranteed path to a total eclipse of his heart. I’d been considering a browned butter crust pie for months, but I’ve been waiting for the right recipe to arise. Brown butter and blackberries just made sense, and so a star was born; Brown Butter Blackberry Pie.
I started with my tried and true All Butter Vodka Pie Dough recipe, but browned the butter to add more depth of flavor. A tender, flaky pie dough requires cold butter, so melting down the butter to brown it seems counterintuitive. This is where I got tricky with it. Once I browned the butter, I poured it into a shallow glass container and chilled it the freezer to re-solidify the now browned butter. It worked like magic. Then, I cubed the brown butter and cut it into the dry ingredients just as I do with in my trusty pie dough recipe. The only difference in the dough is that extra step to brown the butter, but the flavor is well worth the work.
With the warm, slightly smoky notes of the brown butter crust, the depth of flavor flirts with the savory side and offers a comforting blanket for the tart blackberry filling. The filling is sweetened with rich brown sugar, brightened with lemon, and then mellowed with a hit of smooth bourbon. In this Brown Butter Blackberry Pie, the berry filling snuggles into the brown butter crust with flavors that align like stars between sweet and savory. As a nod to the eclipse, I shaped the buttery yellow pie shell into a shining sun with pointy crusty rays. The top crust is a simple, round, full moon shape fully eclipsing the berry filling before baking. The rich and nutty crust settles when baking and exposes a ring of vibrant blackberry filling around the edge of the moon crust resulting in the tastiest eclipse of all time.
A total solar eclipse may be a once in a lifetime experience, but thankfully it lives on in this Brown Butter Blackberry Pie, which can be baked up any day of the century.Print
BROWN BUTTER BLACKBERRY PIE
- Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Yield: 8
Blackberry filling is sweetened with rich brown sugar, brightened with lemon and then mellowed with a hit of smooth bourbon. The warm, slightly smoky notes of the brown butter crust flirt with the savory side and offer a comforting depth of flavor to the tart blackberry filling.
BROWN BUTTER PIE DOUGH
- 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
- 1/4 cup vodka (ice cold)
- 2–4 tablespoons ice water
- 6 cups fresh blackberries
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup bourbon
- 1 whole lemon (juice & zest)
- 2 tablespoons tapioca starch (or corn starch)
- 2 tablespoons butter (cut into 1/4″ cubes)
- 1 egg
- 1–2 tablespoons sparkling sugar
BROWN BUTTER PIE DOUGH
- Whisk the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
- Chop the butter into a few chunks and add to a small saucepan warming over medium – medium high heat.
- Slowly whisk or swirl the butter until it begins to turn a warm chestnut color and tiny brown flecks start to form on the bottom of the pan. This is a delicate process, so stay vigilant. You want the butter browned but not burnt. Just before it’s ready the butter will start to foam up.
- Remove from heat and transfer to a shallow, heatproof dish. Allow to cool for a few minutes. Stir the butter to redistribute the brown bits, cover and transfer to the freezer to chill and re-solidify.
- After 10-ish minutes, remove the butter from the freezer and stir the butter mix again to distribute the brown bits. Chill again and repeat once more once more after another 10 minutes.
- Once the butter if fully firmed up, after about 1 hour in the freezer, chop into 1/2″ cubes.
- If you have a food processor, you can use it to mix the pie dough. Place the flour mixture and cubed butter in food processor. Gently pulse until the flour changes from silky to mealy; this should only take a handful of pulses so watch it carefully. If you don’t have a food processor, you can easily cut in the butter by blending the flour mixture with either a pastry blender, two butter knives or even just by squishing it between your fingers, just be careful that the butter doesn’t start to melt. Test the dough by pinching it occasionally. If you aren’t using a food processor, use a pastry blender or fork to combine the vodka into the dough.
- If using a food processor, while pulsing, gently pour the vodka through the feed tube until just combined. At this point, I like to turn the crumbly dough into a large mixing bowl to check the hydration level of the dough by gathering a small fistful; if it holds together, it’s ready. If it is dry or crumbly, slowly add the ice cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, using a pastry blender (or the butter knife method).
- Gently gather and pat the dough to form two disks, careful not to overwork the dough. Wrap the disks in plastic wrap and chill for at least 1-2 hours before rolling and forming.
FORMING THE PIE SHELL & TOP CRUST
- Remove the dough disk from refrigerator and roll out onto a lightly floured surface into a 12″ round about 1/8″ thick. Then gently transfer the rolled dough into a 9″ pan, leaving a 1-2″ overhang all the way around.
- Tuck the edge underneath itself to form a ring around the edge of the pie plate. Flute the edges by pinching the dough between your thumb and pointer finger on one hand and your pointer finger on the other.
- Place the pie shell in the freezer and chill.
- Roll out the top crust into a 12″ round about 1/8″ thick. Use a plate that is slightly smaller than the pie dish as a template to cut out a round for the top crust. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet and chill in the fridge or freezer while you prepare the filing. *Save the trimmings to make brown butter crackers!
- In a large mixing bowl, toss together the berries, brown sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest and bourbon. Allow the mix to sit for at least 15 minutes while the juices release from the berries.
- Sprinkle with tapioca starch and toss together.
ASSEMBLING & BAKING THE PIE
- Preheat the oven to 400° F.
- Place the pie shell on a lined baking sheet and fill with blackberry mixture. Gently place top crust centered on the top of the blackberry filling.
- Whisk together 1 egg and gently brush the top crust and edges of the pie with the egg wash. Sprinkle with sparkling sugar.
- Bake at 400° for 20 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350° and bake for another 30-40 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. Bake until the filling is bubbly and the crust starts to turn a deep golden brown.
- Allow the pie to cool for at least 2 hours before cutting into it.
- Prep Time: 45 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Category: Dessert
- Cuisine: American
Melissa @ Insider The Kitchen says
I am obsessed with blackberries too. And brown butter. This looks amazing girl!
Ahhh, thanks Melissa! You’re so sweet, I truly appreciate it. 🙂 Honestly, there aren’t many things better than blackberries and brown butter. Some of the best things in life. <3