Himalayan Blackberry Pie

September  4, 2010
3 Ratings
  • Serves filling for one 10 inch pie
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. - lapadia —lapadia

Test Kitchen Notes

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&M —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 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
  • 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.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Raphaelle Cassens
    Raphaelle Cassens
  • Sirid
  • creamtea
  • Cheri Mayell
    Cheri Mayell
  • Sophia Henkel
    Sophia Henkel

126 Reviews

Regina R. November 11, 2022
I used blackberries from Costco- a good honey from Whole Foods, and I made a gluten free crust from King Arthur gluten free flour (their recipe on website) - It was simple to make and very good. Even the crust was good!
lapadia November 18, 2022
Hi Regina R, happy you enjoyed this pie, I've never tried KA GF flour, will have to check it out for my GF friends :)
Raphaelle C. November 22, 2019
Well Deserved Accolades! I don’t really care for honey, but I made the recipe as directed and OMG! This is one of the best tasting pies I have ever had.
lapadia November 23, 2019
Thanks so much for your feedback, Raphaelle and Happy Thanksgiving to your and yours! :)
Sirid September 21, 2019
This is hands-down the most delicious and easiest pie crust I've ever worked with. And I usually don't like pie because of the crust! I can't recommend enough. Don't stop with blackberry filling (which is delicious) - use this crust with anything! I'm making savory hand pies with it later today.
lapadia September 24, 2019
Hi Sirid, Happy you enjoyed this recipe totally agree with your thoughts re: an all butter pie crust, has often been my go to with savory pies, too. Thanks for your feedback! :)
creamtea September 14, 2018
I just made this pie (used Stella Parks's all-butter piecrust)!! I pre-froze the berries on cookie sheets because I'd bought them a few days in advance. (Note to self: don't add the honey until berries are at least partially defrosted--I was impatient and the honey froze on on contact, delaying the baking). Added extra lemon juice because my berries needed a little tartness. I used cornstarch. I'd bought tapioca flour instead of pearls; I'm not an experienced pie baker and was not sure how tapioca flour would work. I used a crumble on the top, because I forgot to save part of the dough for a top crust, having rolling and made a second bottom crust instead. Fortunately I had enough berries for two pies, so I made a quick crumble for the tops. The guests loved--LOVED--this pie! Thanks for sharing it!
lapadia September 14, 2018
Creamtea - a name from my past F52 days, Hi! LOVED your comment it sounds like you had quite the adventure making this pie, am so happy you and all your guests enjoyed it :). BTW, I don't know much about using tapioca flour, either, and probably would have done what you did in your situation.
Brian M. August 16, 2018
This pie is really good. I used himalayan blackberries and raspberry honey. Love it!
lapadia August 17, 2018
Thanks for your feedback and happy you enjoy this recipe! The raspberry honey sounds like a delicious addition. I have made this recipe with half blackberries and half raspberries, too, I've posted it here on F52.
ghainskom October 6, 2017
I never had himalayan blackberries but this has become my go to pie crust recipe...
lapadia October 6, 2017
Yes, I love an all butter crust :) thanks for your input!
Margaret R. November 15, 2015
Himalayan blackberries are the best of all blackberries, much more flavor , larger and free for the picking if you live in the NW. The Brits brought them to BC from Northern India and they do travel. The small, wild ,ground-trailing native blackberries are an entirely different taste universe.
Delicious but very different. Marionberries, boysenberries, tayberries, and raspberries all make great pie , but I know of no one on Vancouver Island who doesn't hold a special place in their heart and taste buds for these blackberries. Comparing them with other blackberries in terms of taste is for those uninitiated in the taste of a berry bigger than the first whole tip joint of your thumb warmed by August sun. This year was a berry year unlike any other on the Island. In Victoria, out on the Saanich Penninsula all these berries plus many more were ripe at the same time. Even the incomparable Island strawberries were perfuming the air with the blackberries at farm stands. All local , all the most perfect treats of summer for the tasting.
lapadia November 15, 2015
Hi Margaret, I am definitely thinking of the summer season in the NW after reading your "berry" comment, thanks for all that :)
Haven't been to Victoria in a while, love taking the ferry from Pt. Angeles to get there; a beautiful area.
Cheri M. May 30, 2015
Looks amazing, would semolina not work better!
lapadia May 30, 2015
Hi Cheri. Semolina, hmmm, I've never tried, if you do I'd love your feedback :). Thanks for stopping by!
Sophia H. June 11, 2014
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!
lapadia June 11, 2014
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!
Chocolate B. November 22, 2013
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.
lapadia November 23, 2013
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!
sarah August 18, 2013
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.
lapadia August 18, 2013
Thanks for your feedback sarah, I have been partial to using instant tapioca for a long time. Glad it works for you, to!
em-i-lis July 22, 2013
Lovely, lovely! And blackberry honey- such a great touch!
lapadia July 22, 2013
Love blackberry honey, it is easy to find around here, not sure about elsewhere in the country.
dymnyno July 22, 2013
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.
lapadia July 22, 2013
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.
Lorenza February 12, 2012
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.
lapadia February 12, 2012
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!
Lorenza February 11, 2012
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!
lapadia February 11, 2012
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:


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.
GloriousGarlic January 13, 2012
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.
lapadia January 13, 2012
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 :)
vrunka November 28, 2011
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!
lapadia November 29, 2011
Thanks! Loved your feedback Vrunka, so happy it was enjoyed by all…Happy Holidays!
Abra B. October 2, 2011
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!
lapadia October 2, 2011
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.
dymnyno September 16, 2011
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).
lapadia September 16, 2011
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:
lapadia September 16, 2011
oops! so much for that link :( was interesting, though I am sure you have found a few yourself.
drkate September 7, 2011
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!
lapadia September 7, 2011
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.net/commerce/marionberries.htm