Heda's Mostly Blackberry Pie with Hazelnut Crumb Crust

July 22, 2014
Photo by Mark Weinberg
Author Notes

This pie is inspired by the seventeenth century Dutch Old Master, Willem Claeszoon Heda, who frequently included hazelnut pies in his still lifes. The pie was added to the otherwise stuffy grouping of objects to serve as a warning to the painting's patrons: This pie, a perishable luxury, will keep well until you cut it open (after which the contents will rot), just like the soul when corrupted by outside influences. Who knew that taking a bite of pie could be so complicated! But don't worry, this pie is much more easy-going, and I am sure your soul will thank you when you go in for that extra piece!

The pie dough recipe is adapted from The Flour & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book's All-Butter Crust. —primarycookies

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: Primarycookies is a new Food52er who we hope will stick around!
WHAT: A nutty crust encasing a barely-sweet filling studded with blackberries.
HOW: Enhance an all-butter pie dough with ground hazelnuts. Use half of it as the bottom layer of your pie, then process the rest with oats and more nuts for the crumble top. Fill the pie with black and blueberries, bake until brown and bubbling, and then try your hardest to wait a couple of hours before slicing the pie open.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Sometimes we want a light-as-air mousse pie, but most of the time, we want a pie that’s more hearty than wimpy -- the kind that will hold its own next to a scoop of ice cream at dessert and a bowl of yogurt at breakfast. This one puts the under-appreciated blackberry to use, plus it uses the same pie dough as a crust and a crumble. —The Editors

  • Makes one 9-inch pie
  • For the hazelnut all-butter crust (for a double crust pie) and pie topping:
  • 1 cup blanched, skinned hazelnuts, toasted and ground, divided into 1/2 cups
  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup (two sticks) unsalted butter, very cold and cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • For the berry filling:
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups blackberries
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
In This Recipe
  1. For the hazelnut all-butter crust (for a double crust pie) and pie topping:
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine 1/2 cup ground hazelnuts, 2 cups of flour, salt, and sugar, and pulse until mixed. Add in the cold butter and pulse 20 times.
  3. In a separate, smaller bowl, combine the cold water, apple cider vinegar, and ice.
  4. Add this cold water mixture to the dough a couple of tablespoons at a time, pulsing until combined after each addition. [Editors' note: We used about 4 tablespoons of liquid total.]
  5. Once the dough in uniform, divide into two equal portions and wrap each in plastic. Chill dough for at least 3 hours, or even up to a month. When you are ready to use the dough, keep it in the fridge until you are ready to roll it out.
  1. For the berry filling:
  2. In a small saucepan, melt the butter into the berries over low heat. When the butter is completely melted, add the honey and the lemon juice, and let the saucepan sit over low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring ever few. Add in the lemon zest and remove from heat. Let cool for 30 minutes, and prepare your bottom crust as you wait.
  3. Remove one of the dough halves from the fridge and carefully roll it out on a floured countertop until it's about 12 to 13 inches in diameter. (Because of the hazelnuts in the dough, the fat content is even higher than usual, and therefore the dough gets very soft, very quickly. If you find that your dough is getting too soft, re-wrap it in plastic, chill it for another hour, and try again.) After you have rolled the dough out for your bottom pie shell, carefully move this disc into your 9-inch pie pan. Smooth it into the pan and trim it around the top edges.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375° F. When the berry mixture is cool, stir in the cornstarch so that it's completely dissolved, and then pour the mixture into the prepared pie shell.
  5. For the top crust of the pie, combine 1/2 cup of the remaining prepared dough from the fridge with the 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats, the remaining 1/2 cup of the toasted, ground hazelnuts, and the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour.
  6. Pulse in a food processor until combined and the consistency of green peas. Carefully pour the oat-dough mixture over the top of the pie in a large circle, adding a layer of the mixture around the outer layer of the pan.
  7. Bake the pie for 40 to 45 minutes, and then let it cool completely, about 2 hours. Slice and enjoy with ice cream or by itself.
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