Blackberries grow in wild abundance here in Oregon, especially near the creek by which I live. You should see me in late August; I never learn to wear a long sleeved shirt and my arms take a beating from the bushes. I could simply go for the berries in front, but the temptation of all those berries taunting me, growing as far as the eye can see, proves too much for me and I forget that berry bushes are vicious and spiteful... but they reap a reward so juicy and mouth watering.
Day two of General Conference proved just as rewarding as day one, as one could expect. We started this morning off with, as you can guess: Blackberry Pie.
Elder Holland spoke of the Atonement of our Savior, Jesus Christ; how Christ bore His burden out of love and respect for each of us, but He solitarily bore it alone. Not only did Christ not receive comfort or help from any of His earthly companions, but He was even betrayed by them. Holland's ultimate message was one of comfort, that although our journey may be rough and difficult to bear, though we may feel lonely, our Heavenly Father has never, and will never abandon us.
President Monson iterated Holland's message. His was a message of hope, also compelling each of us to remember that we are not left to walk alone. My favorite quote was said by President Monson, in this talk,
"We could become cynical if we only dwell on what is wrong."Often times, I get caught up in the every day. I begin to think of blessings in terms of cause and effect - if I do this, then the Lord will bless me with this. This conference was a beautiful reminder that regardless of what trials we may face, our ultimate blessing and reward is Eternal life with our families and with our Heavenly Father. When we keep this truth forefront in our lives, that which we bear is inconsequential.
2/3 cup Crisco
1 tablespoon salt
2 1/2 cups flour
Mix together until resembles pea sized crumbs
7 tablespoons water
Dough will come together to form a ball
Roll half of dough to 1/8" thickness and form to bottom of pie pan, allow crust to overhang pie pan
6 cups blackberries*Garnish with a generous (always be generous with whipped cream) dollop of whipped cream! Sweet deep blackberry flavor, and flaky crust always invite a cozy afternoon.
1 cup sugar
1 cup blackberry syrup
1 tablespoon flour*
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Place all ingredients over med heat in saucepan and bring to a boil stirring constantly
Remove from heat, and let sit while you make your pie top
*You can use canned blackberries, but of course they won't be nearly as good as fresh blackberries (3 cans equal 6 cups)
During August and September, I use fresh picked blackberries while the rest of the year I used fresh picked blackberries that I have frozen in a sugar syrup (equal parts sugar and water, bring to a boil, pour to cover berries, use for all fruits)
Make certain your berries have completely thawed before baking
With fresh berries you'll need to crush an extra cup of berries to create liquid and use in place of syrup
*To prevent clumps in your thickening mixture whisk flour, cornstarch and liquid in a small container first, before adding to your berries and sugar
Pour hot filling over bottom crust and fill pan
Immediately roll out the second half of your pie crust and drape over the top of the pan
Trim both bottom and tops of crust to about 1/2 inch over sides of pie pan
Tuck dough together in a tubular shape lining up with the rim of the pan, and shape as desired
Brush top of crust with 1 tablespoon melted butter and 1 egg white, sprinkle with sugar
Poke tops of crust with fork or knife to allow steam to escape
Bake at 350°F, 45-60 minutes, until filling is bubbling inside
Turn oven off, leave in hot oven for additional 30 minutes to prevent top crust from cracking