Blackberry Birthday

Blackberry pie with vanilla ice cream! My grandmother picked blackberries every summer – not at a u-pick, but wild ones along the creek bank at the back of her property (in Scappoose), or in the vacant lots further down the bank. She’d take a board and lay it down on top of the blackberry vines so she could get deeper into the thicket “to get the really good berries.”

My birthday is in February and blackberries are my favorite, so Grandma would freeze enough berries that she could bake me a fresh berry pie for my birthday, each year. It was better than any cake; it was like a beautiful burst of summertime in the middle of gray, wet February. Best birthday present, ever.

My grandmother is gone, but my mom tries to pick berries at a cousin’s house each summer so she can freeze enough to bake me a pie for my birthday. I love my family!

Warm, dark purple for the berries, of course, but there should be a lighter shade for the juicy filling – reddish-purple, shading to lighter still – where the “extra” sugar sometimes settled at the bottom of the filling, right above the crust. Medium brown patches for crust, but remember that the juice bubbles up on the crust and caramelizes, so it can be dark purple/brown/almost black, too. And then there’s the ice cream – creamy off-white, but also with that yummy shade of pink/lavender where the melted ice cream blends with the berry juice, in the bottom of the bowl.

If I had to summarize down to three things, it would be a kettle-dyed warm purple, shading from dark to lighter pinky-lavender and white for the ice cream, and then some small bits of warm brown pie crust. Yum!

Blackberry Birthday!


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