Himalayan Blackberry Pie

By • September 4, 2010 • 110 Comments

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Author Notes: We have a variety of blackberries on our property and the last to ripen are the Himalayan which start mid to late summer and continue through early autumn. These berries have large seeds that are undesirable to some, but we don’t mind a little extra crunch and fiber, after all, they are good enough for the wild critters so why not for us? After picking the juiciest, whether on your property, the side of the road or from the farmers market, nothing beats an "early autumn" homemade blackberry pie. - lapadialapadia

Food52 Review: Though we just rounded the corner into fall, we found some plump blackberries at the Greenmarket and were thrilled to have one last fling with summer in Lapadia's excellent honey-sweetened pie. If you can't find blackberries near you, any kind of berry would work well here, even frozen ones -- you might just need to add a bit more tapioca to make up for the extra juice. Lapadia's all-butter, food processor crust method is as easy as you-know-what and produces some of the tenderest pie crust we've ever tasted -- as light as puff pastry, without the fuss of folding. - A&MA&M

Serves filling for one 10 inch pie

  • FILLING INGREDIENTS
  • 4 cups blackberries
  • 3/4 cup honey (blackberry honey if you can find)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon or lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons instant tapioca
  • Optional – 1/4 cup super fine sugar, or to your taste
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • --------------------------------------------
  • CRUST INGREDIENTS
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
  • 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8-10 tablespoons ice water
  1. MAKE THE CRUST: Put the butter, flour and salt in the food processor, pulse lightly until the mixture resembles wet looking particles (some recipes say pea sized). Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing a couple times after each tablespoon. Keep adding water until the dough just starts to gather into larger clumps. Split the dough in half and place each into a re-sealable plastic bag, pat each into a disk. Let the dough sit in the refrigerator 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Wash and drain the berries.
  3. In a large bowl; add the berries, honey, lemon or lime juice and tapioca. Taste test before adding optional superfine sugar. Stir the mixture and let sit for 15-20 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.
  4. Line a 10 inch pie dish with a rolled out bottom layer of pastry crust. Fill with the blackberry mixture and dot with butter.
  5. Roll out the remaining pastry crust and cover the top of the pie. Seal and crimp the edges together. Brush with milk or cream. Sprinkle with a little sugar. Cut a few slits, with a sharp knife, to create steam vents.
  6. Cook for 45 to 55 minutes, until the crust is browned and the filling is bubbling.
  7. Note: I like to cover a baking sheet with foil and bake the pie on top of that; it seems that whenever I don’t, filling spills over....and I don’t like the sticky cleanup, but the choice is yours.
Jump to Comments (110)

Comments (110) Questions (3)

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4 months ago Sophia Henkel

My understanding that Himalaya blackberries are just domesticated blackberries that have escaped cultivation, in other words rouge. like the ones you find on the road side all over the northwest. I had not heard they were an actual variety. Love anything blackberry!

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4 months ago lapadia

Ah-ah, Sophia, thanks for checking out the recipe and adding your feedback, too! Hmmm, according to Google search (wiki) the Himalayan is a species of rubus armeniacus in the blackberry group. The species was introduced to North America in 1885, was valued and commonly planted. However, the species soon escaped from cultivation and has become an invasive species to many because it is so hard to contain; they quickly got out of control with birds and other animals eating fruit and then spreading the seeds.

We contain our backyard Himalayan and then create tasty creations. We also have the tiny little Wild Mountain Blackberries aka rubus ursinus, native to the Pacific NW and beyond delicious; they ripen earlier and it is hard to get to them before the critters, they especially attract bear. Yikes!

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11 months ago Chocolate Be

Made this today and put it unbaked in the freezer. It's going to be super-tasty, I can already tell. A word about using tapioca as a thickener in fruit pies: You will save yourself a lot of potential pie-failure heartache if you pulverize the tapioca pearls in a spice grinder almost to a powder. If your fruit doesn't give up much juice, sometimes the tapioca will stay in its hard, pellet-y state. Ask me how I know! Pulverizing the pearls eliminates this possibility. H/t to Cooks Illustrated for this advice, which I have taken for many years now.

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11 months ago lapadia

Hi CB! Great advise about pulverizing tapioca and CI is a favorite of mine. I've always used the instant tapioca (breaks down better) and then let it sit (step 3), this helps soften the pearls. Happy TG!

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about 1 year ago sarah

I made this with blueberries and peaches and it turned out perfectly. I will probably throw instant tapioca in more pies in the future. Thanks for the recipe.

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about 1 year ago lapadia

Thanks for your feedback sarah, I have been partial to using instant tapioca for a long time. Glad it works for you, to!

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about 1 year ago em-i-lis

Emily is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Lovely, lovely! And blackberry honey- such a great touch!

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about 1 year ago lapadia

Love blackberry honey, it is easy to find around here, not sure about elsewhere in the country.

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about 1 year ago dymnyno

Perfect recipe for today! I noticed blackberries ripening everywhere...and in our vineyard I really mean everywhere. It's a battle to keep them at bay, but the ones that we save are delicious.

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about 1 year ago lapadia

Right now the little wild mountain blackberries, very fragrant, little seeds are ripe, they are my favorite but the critters usually get to most of them first. The Himalayan in our area are half blossoms, half green little berries.

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over 2 years ago Lorenza

Greetings Lapadia, many thanks for your kind reply. I neglected to mention that the Marionberries that I purchase are IQF (individually quick frozen), packaged in 2 1/2 pound bags. They are beauties that are as large as your thumb. I thought that the freeze / thaw process and subsequent release of juices might call for additional tapioca. Apparently not. I do follow your practice of letting the berries sit with the sugar and tapioca until their juices start flowing before proceeding. Thanks for your insights.

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over 2 years ago lapadia

Oh, that sounds great, Lorenza! PS - I quickly transfer my berries over to the pie shell with a slotted spoon and leave some of the juice behind...but that is just my preference. Enjoy!

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over 2 years ago Lorenza

Having been born in the Willamette Valley in Oregon, I was introduced to the Marionberry at an early age. I was transplanted to the Midwest many years ago and have only been able to enjoy fresh Marionberries when visiting the Pacific NW. I have been successful in locating a source for frozen Marionberries in Michigan and I have 20 lbs. of them tucked away in my freezer. Lapadia, I would be very interested in learning how you would modify your recipe when using frozen berries. I typically make a cobbler with a pastry crust as I find that cobblers are much more forgiving than double crusted pies. Please advise and Buon appetito!

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over 2 years ago lapadia

Hi Lorenza!

Wow, 20 lbs, lucky you, and btw, I love cobblers! :) First let me say, I have never used berries that are frozen and stuck together (don’t know if yours are), but, I have used single pre-frozen berries. Please read on, I hope it is what you are looking for!

When making a pie with the single pre-frozen, I pour the berries into a bowl and start with step #3, adding the ingredients it calls for. In this case, because the berries start out frozen, let them sit a bit longer…what you will be looking for is the berries to start releasing its juices so that you can give a stir, allowing the flavors to blend and the tapioca to become moistened. Then continue to the next step.

If your berries are frozen together, the extra step needed would be to unfreeze them enough to measure out the 4 cups needed. From there I would continue @ step #3.

Here is a step by step link to the pie crust I make:

http://lapadia.wordpress...

FYI - Single frozen berries = placing each berry in the freezer – singly, allowing the berry to freeze up a bit before measuring out the four cups needed; this pre-freezing method stops the berries from sticking together once contained and placed in the freezer. I add 4 cups of the pre-frozen berries into a sturdy airtight container…from there I use my sealer meal to vacuum pack the container (if the container is sturdy enough the sealing won’t smash it together). The berries stay frost free for many months and work beautifully for the pie.

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almost 3 years ago GloriousGarlic

I have had the pleasure of indulging in Lapadia's cooking & baking for over 25 years. I know that the picture associated with her receipe is not a picture of her actual pie!. She would never in a million years make a pie that looked like this. It had to have been made by a total novice. Her pies ALWAYS look as good as they taste. Too bad the site can't show how truly incredible the pie REALLY looks when made by Lapadia.

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almost 3 years ago lapadia

Wow and thanks GloriousGarlic, how timely this is in more ways than you can imagine; your eyes are not deceiving you! I must say that to my dismay the first photo shown above is not a pie I actually made; it is from Food52’s slide show. They take a lot of time and resources to make, bake and then photograph our recipes, it's important to have consistency in the finalists’ photos across their site…I have been told. PS – if you look at the additional photos above you will be brought back to memories from my kitchen :)

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almost 3 years ago vrunka

I made this pie for Thanksgiving and I am now told that I am required to bring it next year, too! Needless to say, it was a huge hit. The recipe is deceptively simple. Looking at the ingredients, it didn't really look all that different from other pie recipes, but the flavors and texture are really superb. Thanks for this recipe, lapadia!

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almost 3 years ago lapadia

Thanks! Loved your feedback Vrunka, so happy it was enjoyed by all…Happy Holidays!

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about 3 years ago Abra Bennett

Lapadia - I couldn't find any other way to contact you since your nice invitation came from a no-reply address. I'd love, love, love to participate, but I'll be in Barcelona while you all are partying. Have a great time!

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about 3 years ago lapadia

Hi Abra! I used the Food52 messaging, we will have a fun party, as I am sure you will be doing the same in Barcelona! Will message you my email.

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about 3 years ago dymnyno

I think that Himalayan blackberries are most often called Oregon blackberries, even though they grow like super voracious weeds all over California (we had one that grew to be about 7 feet high by about 40 feet in length and 20 feet wide).

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about 3 years ago lapadia

Agree, dymnyno, my husband trims and trains the ones we use, they are in a specific area of our property, we have two varieties (I think one is the marion berry - popular in Oregon, see the link in the comment below. We have to pull the rest of the berries as best we can...or else, Yikes! Here is an interesting link on the Himalayan, a noxious weed:
http://www.co.cowlitz.wa...

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about 3 years ago lapadia

oops! so much for that link :( was interesting, though I am sure you have found a few yourself.

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about 3 years ago drkate

Made this pie with marionberries (I'd never heard of Himalayan blackberries, so substituted marionberries) over the weekend. Even made the crust! It was delish. Thank you!

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about 3 years ago lapadia

Hi drkate! I am delighted you enjoyed this recipe, I have heard of Marionberries, I think we have a little growing on our property, but most are the Himalayan - the Marion leaf looks a little different as well as the shape of the berry. Here is an interesting link about both, paragraph on the Himalayan is towards the end of the article. http://www.salemhistory...

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over 3 years ago lapadia

@sygyzy - oops the link in my comment below did not work, but you can Google the Tapioca product mentioned to find it :)

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over 3 years ago sygyzy

What is instant tapioca? Can I use tapioca flour?

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over 3 years ago lapadia

Hi!
Instant (or quick-cooking) tapioca is a mixture of tapioca flour and water that is cooked, dried, and then ground again to make small little beads. Minute® tapioca is a well-known brand; to maximize thickening it needs to be mixed with the pie ingredients and sit for at least 5 minutes to allow the beads to soften and start to absorb the juices, and then, when heated in the liquid, the beads swell and become transparent…ending with a filling that is not too runny or thick with a beautiful glossy sheen. Some time back, I used tapioca flour for my apple pies; it dissolved into the juices nicely and rendered a smooth, clear sauce - I think it could be a good substitute, but I am not sure whether it would be a 1 to 1 substitution with the juicy berries. Personally I much prefer the texture of a pie made with tapioca and now use it for most of my pies. Minute® tapioca is widely available. Note: don’t confuse instant with regular tapioca…see the link:
http://www.meijer.com/assets...

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over 3 years ago La Panadera

I just baked this today and it was great. My husband, who never eats fruit pie, went for seconds. ;) I grow fresh blackberries in my garden and so I imagine I will have this recipe memorized by the end of summer. Thanks for the great recipe.

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over 3 years ago lapadia

Thanks, La Panaders! So glad you and your husband liked it. Here it is the middle of cold PacificNW weather...I can't wait for blackberry "pie season".

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about 4 years ago ptcook

Congratulations Linda! Is this going to be at the class reunion?

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about 4 years ago lapadia

Hey thanks ptcook; class reunion...hmmm, good question, email me, we can talk!

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about 4 years ago betty burner

Congrats! Well deserved! This pie is on my to make list this weekend, tho as you know we don't have Himalyans here in TX., the market did have pints of blackberries....will just have to wait till I get up your way to have the "real deal"! I'll even struggle thru making my own pie crust!

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about 4 years ago lapadia

Thanks betty burner, let me know how it comes out!

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about 4 years ago lapadia

Thanks-You everyone for your congratulatory words!

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about 4 years ago Midge

Bravo lapadia! Congrats!

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about 4 years ago lapadia

Midge, what an exciting few days this has been and shared with you and your delicious pie which I definitely look forward to trying very soon, seriously honey crisps are my favorite and I believe from my state! My offer still stands; look me up if you come back out to the PacNW, so that we can cook something up!

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about 4 years ago Bevi

Congrats Lapadia! I love your pie!

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about 4 years ago gingerroot

Woo-Hoo! Congratulations, lapadia!! I am so thrilled for you!

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about 4 years ago Sagegreen

Congrats, lapadia, on your win! There is something really captivating with your blackberry pie! Both finalist pies were wonderful!

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about 4 years ago aliyaleekong

Congrats, lapadia!! A well-deserved win!

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about 4 years ago Sunchowder

Congrats!! So pleased you won :)

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about 4 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

I'm so happy for you lapadia!! Many congrats on your win!!

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about 4 years ago ShoeboxKitchen

Congrats lapadia!! This pie is on our "To-Do" list!

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about 4 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Yay lapadia!! Congratulations!!

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about 4 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

WOO-HOO!!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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about 4 years ago Maria Teresa Jorge

Congratulations for being a finalist. The pie is amazing!

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about 4 years ago lapadia

Thanks so much MTJ, welcome back and best of luck with your new gourmet restaurant - Chocolate & Pimenta!

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about 4 years ago betty burner

Another thing we don't get in Texas! Decent Blackberries! Can't say as I miss the work collecting them tho! Blackberry honey! What a great idea! Will definitely try this if I ever get any berries! Good luck Bella!

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about 4 years ago lapadia

Hey betty burner, I hope you will get to try this sometime...Thanks, "bellapadia"!

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about 4 years ago spicecat

Good luck Linda. I really hope you win the contest.

Karen

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about 4 years ago lapadia

Thanks Karen/spicecat!

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about 4 years ago elfstacy

Good luck! This sounds delish. :)

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about 4 years ago lapadia

Thanks elfstacy, hope you get to try this sometime!

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about 4 years ago Stephanie V

Hooray, Linda! Good luck! I'm pulling for you!

Steph

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about 4 years ago lapadia

Thanks Stephanie!

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about 4 years ago halfasiangirl

Lovely recipe. I have never used honey in a berry pie and it sounds fantastic.

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about 4 years ago lapadia

Thanks halfasiangirl, I love the extra touch honey gives in pies. If I sometimes use Agave Nectar instead.

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about 4 years ago MyCommunalTable

Pie is my favorite dessert. This looks great. Congrats on being a finalist.

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about 4 years ago lapadia

Thanks MCT, and I am looking forward to testing your Pasties!

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about 4 years ago lapadia

Thanks to all for your "uplifting" comments. BTW - picked the last of the blackberries yesterday with another pie in mind and that is exactly what I just took out of the oven...wish I could FedEx slices to you all!

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about 4 years ago adamnsvetcooking

I am in!!!! Please!!!!

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about 4 years ago aliyaleekong

Congrats, lapadia! and how beautiful is that picture...

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about 4 years ago lapadia

Thanks aliyaleekong, love your blog!

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about 4 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Congrats on being a finalist lapadia!! I love anything with blackberries and know I'd love this pie!

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about 4 years ago lapadia

Hi ChezSuzanne, Thanks, blackberries...yes I know you love it, I am thinking that maybe the blackberry sorbet would go good with this too! I don't think it would be overkill!

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about 4 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Is it even possible to go overkill with blackberries??? Not in MY house!! YUM! Seriously, I'm looking forward to making your pie!

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about 4 years ago TiggyBee

Congrats lapadia!! I loved this pie the first time I laid eyes on it! : )

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about 4 years ago lapadia

Thanks TiggyBee, I hope you will try it soon!

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about 4 years ago Sagegreen

Congrats on being a finalist with this lovely pie!

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about 4 years ago lapadia

Thanks Sagegreen, it's kinda quiet around here with you on the road!

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about 4 years ago boing9

lapadia you have a pie that is awesome and perfect for this time of year!! You deserve to win!!! J.T. Brooling

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about 4 years ago lapadia

Thanks JT! Hope you try this soon!

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about 4 years ago lapadia

I am honored to be a finalist, and with Midge…whose pie I complimented 10 days ago!

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about 4 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Yippee lapadia! I had a feeling this had finalist potential! Congrats on the EP, too!

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about 4 years ago lapadia

Love your spirit...thanks, mrslarkin!

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about 4 years ago Midge

Congratulations lapadia! Wish I could get my hands on some of those blackberries..

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about 4 years ago lapadia

Come next year for a fun time berry picking, a trip to Port Townsend and some pie making!!

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about 4 years ago nannydeb

Congratulations! It looks delicious!

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about 4 years ago lapadia

Thanks, nannydeb!

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about 4 years ago cheese1227

Fabulous and it just so happens that I had some foresight to freeze some balckberries last month!

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about 4 years ago lapadia

Cool, I hope you will try this soon, cheese1227!

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about 4 years ago WinnieAb

This looks AMAZING! I love everything about it and cannot wait to try..congrats on being a finalist with the beauty:)

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about 4 years ago lapadia

Great, and thanks WinnieAb! Looking forward to your feedback...

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about 4 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Lapadia--I am so excited for you! Congratulations on being a finalist!!!

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about 4 years ago lapadia

Thanks so much, drbabs!

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about 4 years ago dymnyno

Congrats on being a finalist! Now I know what I am going to do with all those blackberries left on the vineyard fences...what is the difference between Oregon blackberries and Himalayan?

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about 4 years ago lapadia

Welcome back dymnyno, and happy blackberry picking! Looked it up and it seems that the "Oregon Berries" are the same; in fact listed as a noxious weed, this is the PDF link I found...if you care to view it: http://extension.oregonstate...

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about 4 years ago dymnyno

Yes, that "noxious weed" grows fast and is hard to kill...thank god the berries are delicious! Put me down for a slice!

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about 4 years ago adamnsvetcooking

WOHO!!! Congrads!!! :D

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about 4 years ago lapadia

WOHO...thanks adamsvetcooking!

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about 4 years ago gingerroot

Yipee!!! Congratulations on being a finalist!! What a beautiful pie.

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about 4 years ago lapadia

Thanks gingerroot, will let get back to you on the zucchini recipes!

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about 4 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Wow! This is a showstopper.

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about 4 years ago lapadia

Thanks again!

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about 4 years ago Culinista Annouchka

Looks delicious!!!

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about 4 years ago lapadia

Thanks Culinistra Annochka, and I love your father's cardamom pie idea!

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about 4 years ago Midge

Sounds delicious!

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about 4 years ago lapadia

Thanks Midge, and btw, using browned butter in an apple pie - so delicious!

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about 4 years ago lapadia

Thanks all for your comments, I hope you will be able to find some blackberries before the season is over and make this recipe!

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about 4 years ago Sunchowder

This looks wonderful!

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about 4 years ago lapadia

Thanks Sunchowder, I hope you will try it soon!

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about 4 years ago adamnsvetcooking

This looks great too!! I love blackberries too... Can you please send me one of these !! ;)

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about 4 years ago lapadia

Send you one?...Love this comment...thanks!

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about 4 years ago Lena S.

This pie looks incredible!

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about 4 years ago lapadia

Thanks Lena S!

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about 4 years ago TiggyBee

This looks yummy! I love blackberries!!

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about 4 years ago lapadia

Neighbors??...wouldn't that be fun, we could have a F52 potluck too! Thanks for the comments.

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about 4 years ago Sagegreen

My, do I wish we were neighbors!!!!

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about 4 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Me too!!!! This looks wonderful! I LOVE blackberry pie! I love the idea of using the blackberry honey too!