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  • Writer's pictureGrace Saadi

50 Tastes: Marionberry Pie, Oregon

Updated: Jul 24, 2022

Despite having been cultivated in 1948, the marionberry and its respective pie are timeless Oregon staples. A blackberry that's known for being bigger, juicier, and sweeter, it's almost a crime to not bake it into a pie... or cobbler...or ice cream... or whatever else tickles your fancy.

 


I originally came across this recipe on the Oregon-Berries recipe page but added some of my own little touches. The original original recipe came from The Neighborhood Cook Book, a charity cookbook published in Portland in 1912. This blackberry cream pie illustrated how vital blackberries have been to Oregonian baking, even prior to the cultivation of the marionberry. While this cream pie has been modernized by Heather Arndt Anderson from voodooandsauce.com, I tried my best to take it a step further by introducing a pâte à foncer crust. Which is simply a french shortcrust pastry dough, which is sweeter and more enriched than traditional pie dough due to the inclusion of an egg and is great for custards and runny pie fillings. And since I wasn't certain about the variety of blackberry available at my local grocery store, I also topped mine off with some marionberry syrup that I reduced down to a thicker consistency. Personally, I think this pie is just fine without the addition of the syrup but it definitely does its part for authenticity's sake!



 

Blackberry Cream Pie from 1912

Makes 1 9" round pie


Crust- Pâte à Foncer

150 g all-purpose flour

75 g cake flour

113 g butter, cold

1 large egg

20 g water

2 g salt

23 g granulated sugar

zest of 1 lemon


Instructions:

  1. Combine the flours in a bowl and pour them onto your work surface.

  2. Break up butter into small pieces and mix into the dough. Work the flour into the butter between the palms of your hands without overheating it. It should have the consistency of sand or breadcrumbs. (if overheated, the dough will become too elastic and shrink when baked).

  3. Make a well out of the flour-butter mixture. Add the egg, salt, sugar, water, and lemon zest in the middle, and mix it in. Gradually mix in the dough to form a ball. Do not over-knead. If there are lumps of butter or flour in the dough, crush the dough with the palm of your hand.

  4. Shape the dough into a flat disk, wrap with plastic, and chill for 1/2 hour - 1 hour, to relax the gluten and to chill the butter.

  5. Once chilled, roll out the dough to be a couple of inches bigger than your greased pie dish. place the dough in the dish, tucking it in to sit flush, and trim the excess to make the crust uniform. Tuck the excess dough and crimp the edges with your fingers and thumb.

  6. Chill the dough for roughly 30 minutes before prebaking.

  7. To prebake, add parchment paper and pie weights to the chilled pie crust. Bake at 350 F for roughly 10-15 minutes. Remove the weights and let cool to room temperature.


Filling

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1 ¼ cups fresh or frozen blackberries (if using frozen, thaw first)

Powdered sugar for dusting (optional)


Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F

  2. Stir together the cream, sugar, and egg until thoroughly combined. Stir in 1 cup of the blackberries.


Assembly:

  1. Pour custard into the pie shell and sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup of berries over the top.

  2. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until the filling begins to boil. Once the filling starts bubbling, bake for 10 additional minutes, until the center is slightly jiggly and the top and crust are golden brown.

  3. Remove the pie from the oven and cool on a cooling rack before transferring it to the fridge to chill for at least 6 hours or overnight.

  4. Dust with powdered sugar, top with whipped cream, marionberry syrup, and fresh berries to serve.

 

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