blackberry recipe no. 2
this bake-off challenge came from my friend, and fellow Business With Intention Workshopper, Ashley who lives in fabulous southern California. she suggested I try this blackberry crostata from Karly of Buns in My Oven. I was a little hesitant because it mentioned 'pastry cutter' but I then remembered that my sister whips up homemade pie crust all the time with just a fork. I was hoping to make it mid-week but as I mentioned, my blackberry bushes are taking their sweet time so I fit it in between hockey games on saturday. read on... a crostata is basically a funky, pan-less pie crust but this particular crust is touted to be 'the best crust ever' which I found to be intimidating so once again I enlisted the moral support of Tim Gunn. there's just something about his crossed arms and purposeful gaze that I find reassuring. plus, if you press the button he says encouraging things like "make it work", "carry on" or "I can't make you want to succeed any more than you already do" (that one stumps me a little)
anyhoo - I made sure to pick up shortening during the week and the rest of the ingredients I already had so I was good to go. it's true, you don't need a pastry cutter - I followed all the directions and the fork worked out just fine. I was feeling pretty good about it all until I realized I had to get the rolled out dough onto the parchment paper-covered cookie sheet. but in another 'make it work' moment, I remembered watching both my mother and my sister roll the dough ONTO the rolling pin then un-roll onto the cookie sheet (or pie pan, etc) so I gave it a whirl. it worked pretty well but I did need to reassemble some of my 10" circle with a little patch job.
the berry mixture was pretty basic - honey, lemon juice and cinnamon although I have no idea how much '12 oz of blackberries' works out to be. was I meant to measure a weight of 12 oz or fill a container to 12 oz? we'll never know because I did neither and winged it. I poured it all into my patchwork crust and after I folded the edges some of the juices leaked through but it turned out the leak or lack of measurement wasn't a big deal.
Karly's is on the left, mine is on the right. aside from the fact that I snapped this with my phone notice anything else different? my crust isn't brown or flaky and my blackberries aren't black. the recipe calls for a cook time of 20-25 minutes. mine was in there for almost 30 trying to get my crust to flake and in the end I called it because I had no idea what was happening to my fruit. since when are blackberries red? basically I didn't add enough lemon juice which would've stabilized the pigments but I did add what was called for so maybe I used more than the mystery 12 oz of fruit. it's a good thing I didn't add more lemon juice because the fruit that grows in my yard is S O U R. really sour and the honey and cinnamon weren't enough to change that. would I make it again? probably not. I might try the crust again. you actually end up with two balls of dough so I still have one in my freezer plus I bought too much shortening and when am I ever going to use bricks of crisco again?
did my family like it? meh. we weren't exactly home a lot this weekend but it wasn't eaten nearly as fast as the first recipe. we've tried it with vanilla ice cream and we've tried it with a sprinkling of extra sugar on top but it still doesn't taste like something you want to waste your calories on. I think if I did try this again, I'd scrap the honey/cinnamon and go for the cup of sugar/cornstarch to thicken and maybe add another fruit.
what's up next?? my friend from London suggested a blackberry sorbet which sounds amazing but I don't have an ice cream maker. I thought about making a granita, but it's time consuming and unless this fruit sweetens up on its own I'm sticking with things that call for a fair amount of sugar. like this cobbler the girls' second grade teacher suggested. what's not to love about sugar and butter?