I am trying to manufacture a little Thanksgiving spirit over here in Scotland, even without canned pumpkin or grocery store freezer cases full of turkeys. However, I will not be attempting to make an entire feast that usually I make alongside my extended family. Instead, I have reached the conclusion that all I really need to feel warm and fuzzy in November is my mother’s blackberry pie. Well, and my Grandmother’s rolls.
Last year I spent practically the entire month of November at my parents house, trying to stay as close to my grandmother as possible during her final days on this earth. Many of those hours were spent in my mama’s kitchen, a space that was actually designed and built by my Grandmother many years ago.
I remember that when we made the blackberry pies for Thanksgiving, my grandmother asked for her piece early. Actually, in her confusion, she thought it already was Thanksgiving. My mother is a stickler for not cutting into the pies before it is time, so we made Grandmother a small hand pie that we cut into four pieces and shared on Thanksgiving eve.
For me, the memory of laughing in the kitchen the night before Thanksgiving and making that pie with my mom and sister-in-law while my Grandmother looked on and put in her two cents from her chair, is enough Thanksgiving to last me for three years in Scotland, and maybe longer.
I’ll be making a little hand pie in memory of my Grandmother, without whom I would rather not celebrate Thanksgiving anyway, and I’ll be filling the pie crust with shortening instead of my usual butter crust, in honor of my mother, who bless her heart, would never have it any other way.
6 cups blackberries
¾ cup to 1 cup sugar, depending on how sweet the blackberries are
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
¼ cup flour
Mix filling ingredients together. Let sit while you roll out the crust. (recipe below)
Roll out half of the dough. Place in a 9 inch pie plate. Pour filling into crust.
Roll out other half and either top the crust, or slice first and make a lattice crust.
Bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour, until golden brown.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup shortening
6 – 7 tablespoons ice cold water
Mix flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl. Cut in the shortening using a pastry blender or two knives until the mixture is pea sized. Slowly add ice water and mix with a fork. Add just enough to pull the whole mixture together. You do not want it really wet, but if it is not holding together, keep adding more ice water a spoonful at a time.
Divide dough in half and roll out for a top and bottom pie crust.