Vegan Blackberry Pie
Make the most of seasonal blackberries with this scrumptious blackberry pie. This rustic blackberry pie comes together in a little more than an hour and it's the perfect way to celebrate wild summer berries. Top with vegan vanilla ice cream or custard for an irresistible summer dessert.
The season for blackberries is here! The juicy berries are ripe and ready for picking. My friend and I went blackberry picking over the weekend and we came back with several large baskets full of wild blackberries. I made my favourite blackberry jam with half of the blackberries, and I used the rest to make this delicious blackberry pie. There is nothing I find more relaxing than baking pies, but what makes the process of baking pies even more satisfying is using freshly foraged seasonal fruit.
How does it taste?
A flaky shortcrust pastry case is filled with wild, juicy berries. The flaky shortcrust pastry and sweet, juicy berries makes a combination that’s hard to resist!
How to forage for blackberries
Head to your local forest or nature reserves and look for blackberries along riversides and lakes or in unkept areas. They thrive in full sun, but can also be found along partially shaded areas. You’ll notice that blackberry bushes found under direct sunlight will ripen sooner than the ones that are partially shaded. You can forage for blackberries without hesitation or fear because they have no poisonous look-alikes, so it’s the perfect place to start if you’re new to foraging.
Tips for blackberry foraging
Wear a long-sleeved shirt, trousers and comfy shoes for picking the blackberries. The stems have thorns so you’ll end up with a few scratches on your arms and legs if they aren’t covered.
Wear washing up gloves when picking the berries to prevent getting scratches on your hands.
Put the berries in bowl rather than a bag to prevent them from getting squished.
Wild or shop-bought blackberries?
If you know an area where wild blackberries grow, then it's worth going foraging for them as it's so much more satisfying when you know the produce you've used is 100% seasonal and organic. If you don't intend on going foraging, by all means, you can use shop-bought blackberries, but you'll need to purchase a large quantity to make this blackberry pie.
How to store blackberry pie
This pie is best eaten on the day it's baked, as the crust will lose its crispness the longer it’s left to wait. If you’re not serving it right away, you can store it for 2-3 days in an airtight container at room temperature. I wouldn’t suggest storing it in the fridge as this can cause the filling to become too firm.
Can this pie be frozen?
Yes, you can freeze this pie, but as I’ve mentioned already, it's best when it’s eaten fresh. If you’re going to freeze it, place it in a container or wrap in in cling film, and store in the freezer for up to a month. To defrost it, remove it from the freezer and leave out room temperature for around 4 hours, or until it’s thawed.
Can I use store-bought shortcrust pastry for this pie?
Yes, ready-to-roll shortcrust pastry can be used instead of making your own, but I promise you if won’t taste as good as a homemade pie crust.
What tins to use
I'd recommend using an 8-9 inch pie dish. To make it easier to slice and take out the pie, grease the dish before placing the shortcrust pastry into it.
Blackberry Pie ingredients
Here’s everything you’ll need for this delicious pie – consider it your shopping list!
For the Shortcrust pastry:
Plain flour: Used to make the vegan shortcrust pastry. Make sure not to use self-raising flour!
Sugar: The sugar will give the shortcrust pastry a subtle sweetness. You could caster sugar or icing sugar instead of granulated sugar.
Vegan block butter: I used the Flora vegan butter block, but ant plant-based butter will do. using a block butter will give the shortcrust pastry a light and crumbly texture. I wouldn’t recommend using margarine as it won’t create the same outcome.
For the filling:
Blackberries: You'll need about 800g of fresh or frozen blackberries.
Sugar: You'll need some granulated sugar to add sweetness to the filling. You could use a sweetener, but the level of sweetness will vary, so you may have to make adjustments to the amount you add.
Lemon juice: The lemon juice helps to balance out the sweetness and also brings out the tartness of the blackberries.
Vanilla extract: The vanilla extract gives the the filling a lovely flavour and aroma.
Cornstarch: Cornstarch is used to thicken the blackberry filling.
Ice cream or custard: This pie tastes delicious on it's own, warm or cold, but why not make it even more irresistible by serving it with a big scoop of vegan vanilla ice cream or a dollop of vegan custard.
How to make blackberry Pie
To make the shortcrust pastry, place the flour, sugar, salt, vegan butter, and 7-8 tbsp cold water in a large bowl & mix until the ingredients start to come together. Knead the dough for a few minutes until a smooth dough has formed. Divide the dough in half, cover each piece of dough with cling film and place in fridge to chill for 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/356°F/gas mark 4. Sprinkle some flour onto a clean surface and use a rolling pin to roll one of the dough pieces to about ½ cm thickness and create a round shape big enough to fit a 8-9 inch pie dish. Lift the dough away using the rolling pin and place into the pie dish. If the dough breaks apart, just cover the cracks with the scrap pieces of dough. Press the edges down and leave the excess dough hanging from the sides. Roll out the remaining dough to an 11-12-inch round.
To make the filling, add the blackberries, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla extract and cornstarch to a large bowl and stir, lightly mashing a few berries. Pour the filling mixture into the prepared pie crust.
Brush the edge of the pie crust with some water. For a lattice top, weave strips of shortcrust dough over the top of the blackberry-filled pie dish. Press the ends of dough strips into the rim of the bottom crust. Use a knife to trim the excess dough and use your fingers to crimp to seal the edges. For extra crispness, sprinkle some extra sugar (preferably demerara sugar) on top on the pie crust.
Place the pie on the middle rack of the oven to bake for 55-60 minutes, or until the crust has browned and the filling is bubbly. Remove from oven and let it cool down a little before serving.
Notes and Tips
Wear a long-sleeved shirt, trousers and comfy shoes when foraging for blackberries. The stems have thorns so you’ll end up with a few scratches on your arms and legs if they aren’t covered.
I recommend using the gram measurements rather than the cup conversions. When it comes to baking, accuracy is key, and cups conversions are never as accurate as grams.
For the best, crispy pastry, make sure that you don’t overwork the dough. Before rolling the dough out, place in the fridge to chill for 15-20 minutes.
When rolling out the dough, make sure to keep it about ½ cm thick – if the pastry is too thick, it won’t cook through, and it’ll be hard to slice.
Make sure your vegan butter is chilled when preparing the shortcrust pastry as it’ll give it a crisper texture when baked.