Simple Yet Delicious [Blackberry] Pies

blackberry crumble pieConfession: I don’t really care for cooked fruit. So, many pies for me are just…ok. But, I’m getting over this either due to aging tastes (booo) or maturity (that sounds better).

What I now like in a fruit pie: Fruit that’s not slimy. Crumble top. And lots of whipped cream!

What I love about fruit pies is that they are really easy to make. I mean, very little measuring, you can cheat with a pre-made crust (I won’t tell anyone), and it won’t be runny if you use this:

Kraft Minute Tapioca.

This will make fruit pies juicy but not runny. No soggy crusts! Bonus: there’s recipes for fruit pies right on the box. And that’s what I use. ┬áTa Da! TIP: mix the fruit of your choice in a bowl, with the tapioca, sugar, and any other flavors you wish to add (such as lemon juice). Mix well, it’s ok if some of the fruit starts to break down a bit. Let sit for 15 minutes. Stir again. You want there to be some sticky, awesome, delicious sweetened fruit juice at the bottom of the bowl. And don’t worry, the little white bits of tapioca will cook (disappear) into the pie as it bakes.

Whatever berries you chose (here I use blackberries and strawberries), the pie will be better with a crumble crust. At least that’s what my husband says.

CrumbleEasy Crumble Crust

  • 1/3 cup butter, slightly softened (approximately, see note below)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pie spice (or cinnamon, if you prefer)
  • Optional add in: 1/4 cup chopped toasted pecans

Using your fingers (or, if you’re picky, a pastry blender or fork), mix the butter into the dry ingredients. As the butter softens and incorporates, it will start to stick together when squeezed, but crumble easily. This is the texture you want!

strawberry blackberry crumble pieNote: if your crumble is too dry, add more butter one tablespoon at a time. If your crumble is too moist, add more flour one tablespoon at a time. Too much butter will melt the crumble into the pie, too little will leave dry, loose crumbs at the top of the pie. But it will still taste delicious, don’t worry!

Serve with vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream.

Drunken Dessert Pizza

Sometimes you thought you failed at something, but then you tweak it a little, and maybe you get a little success. That’s Drunken Cookie Cookin’ for you.

DessertPizza20150321_223546This is easy. This is for when you thought your pizza dough didn’t rise, but it did an hour late. Or you thought you made dough for a single pizza, but really you made dough for five pizzas. Or, because you want to have dessert for dinner. Either way, it’s a pulling victory out of the sticky, gooey jaws of defeat!

The directions can’t be more simple – follow the photos. Here’s some guidance:

  • Don’t use your normal “pizza” pan, unless you’re sure that no trace of garlic or seasoning remains. (And it probably does). Grease the pan, especially the sides (if it has sides) because the sugar topping will run off.
  • The┬ástreusel topping is 1/2 c brown sugar, 4 tablespoons butter (1/4 cup), 1/4 cup flour, 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Pulse in a food processor until clumpy. Or use a fork, your fingers, whatever it takes.
  • Drizzle is simply powdered sugar, a bit of water or milk, and vanilla. I used a basting brush to spread it on top when the pizza was still hot.
  • Use whatever jam you like. I don’t recommend grape, because you’re not 5 years old, but it’s your dessert pizza – make it how you want.

I want to try this with a few other options. Maybe cinnamon sugar on the dough first, then cream cheese. Maybe add a little pecans to the streusel. I wish it had clumped more, so maybe a touch more flour or less sugar. Either way, I plan on making it again the next time we make homemade pizzas.