Nix on the jam. But all systems go on pie!

After doing a lot of reading up on jam making via various Internet sites, I got utterly intimidated by the prospect. The final clincher was when we went to Kroger’s to see what they had as far as supplies. They had jars. That’s it. No jar funnel, no tongs, and of course no racks or anything more specialized. I have to admit to feeling some relief. I don’t think I’m ready to do jam yet. I’m going to hold off on my first foray into homemade blackberry jam until next year. Maybe I’ll ask for a kit with all the necessary and optional tools for a Christmas or birthday present.

Instead, I made blackberry pie. Surfed about online until I found this recipe. It had the virtue of being simple. Four cups of blackberries, some awkwardness with a boxed crust mix, sugar, flour, and about an hour later, I ended up with this:

It’s not going to win any pretty awards, but it’s fantastic on the taste buds. I added a little more sugar (about a quarter cup) because our blackberries are slightly on the tart side, but aside from that, I did exactly as the recipe stipulated. We had a couple pieces for dessert and it’s absolutely delicious. Yum! I’m so proud of myself. I made blackberry pie from scratch using the fruit from our backyard. How cool is that? And it looks like we’ll have enough blackberries from this harvest to make at least one more pie, maybe two. For the next one, I’m going to try to make it a little more visually appealing.

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52 Responses to Nix on the jam. But all systems go on pie!

  1. terracinque says:

    It looks delicious.

  2. ex_girlmech says:

    what is this, eugie going domestic?

  3. dreamtech says:

    If it tastes good, who cares if it is aesthetically pleasing.

  4. horrordiva says:

    Yummers is right! Looks delicious 🙂 Do you have one to go??? lol. BRAVO!

  5. Your pie is BEAUTIFUL! And, looks absolutely DELICIOUS!

  6. pegkerr says:

    Congratulations. You have achieved pie!

  7. mabfan says:

    The pie does look delicious. If you like chocolate cheesecake and fruit, try this:

    • Eugie Foster says:

      Now that recipe looks complicated. Gleep.

      • gnomi says:

        The recipe looks complicated, but 80% of it is making the crust. Me, I cheat — I buy a pre-made crust. Doing that makes the rest of it take maybe 10 minutes total.

        • Eugie Foster says:

          Yeah, crust from scratch is beyond me. But the “finely shredded orange peel” ingredient intimidates me. Plus the melted jelly part. But it does sound like it would be a yummy pie.

          • gnomi says:

            I melt the jelly in the microwave (measure it into a microwave-safe container and then zap it for no more than 30 seconds). And I just grate the orange peel by using my hand grater. And then I put the rest of the orange in a ziplock and eat it with lunch the next day. 🙂

  8. aimeempayne says:

    Pies are for eating, they don’t have to be pretty. (In other words, it looks good to me.)

    Baking isn’t really going domestic. Baking is a way to have yummy baked goods, and sometimes baked goods can diffuse a nasty situation. SO it’s more like a pre-emptive peace initiative.

  9. That pie looks freakin’ good!

    ~Maggie 🙂

  10. nmsunbear says:

    Blackberry is the best kind of pie in the whole entire world!! I’m very jealous. And I don’t think your pie is fugly — I think it looks mouthwateringly homemade.

    Now I’m hungry.

    • Eugie Foster says:

      This whole homemade pie thing has opened new vistas of culinary experimentation to me. I’m beginning to seriously contemplate the idea of a homemade apple pie next . . .

      • nmsunbear says:

        Did you actually make your own crust from scratch? I’m lazy and buy mine.

        In the fall, I love to buy way too many apples and make large batches of apple-pie filling, which I then keep in baggies in the freezer and use throughout the year to make what I call “apple tarts” — I take one crust, dump the apples in the middle, and pull the sides up and over (leaving a pretty large gap in the middle). Perfect amount of pie for a two-person family.

        • Eugie Foster says:

          Nope. I don’t think I’m up to “crust from scratch” yet. I buy a box mix–just add water and then wrestle with resultant doughy mess. I’d use a totally ready-made one, but the majority of the ones I’ve found have lard in them, which does not sit well with my vegetarian sensibilities.

  11. Okay, that’s it. We’re going to the state park to pick blackberries this weekend!

    Hey, Eugie, I got my SIX! contrib copies of Cicada on Friday! But no check yet–what gives with that? Did your check come later than the copies?

    • Eugie Foster says:

      Woohoo! Contrib copies! The squee factor of holding a shiny, bound publication that has something you wrote in it never dims.

      But no check yet–what gives with that? Did your check come later than the copies?

      Yepper. I think they’re sent by two different department. The check comes significantly later than the contrib. copies, but it will come. Although I have pinged a note to my editor about it for reassurance in the past.

  12. msisolak says:

    Jam is really not bad–after making umpteen batches of blackberry jam last week, I can say it’s all about organization. Make sure the jars are washed and dry, and ready on the counter. Lids you can boil as the jam cooks.

    Actually, it’s probably better with two people doing it. So find a friend. 🙂

    As for the pie? Yum. If I’m not drooling, it’s only because I have several jars of blackberry jam in the pantry. A few homemade biscuits and I’m set.

    • Eugie Foster says:

      I think I definitely need someone to hold my hand through my first jam-making enterprise. Everyone whose done jam says it’s easy, but I’m scared. It might end up being my hubby doing the handholding, but since he’s never made jam before either, it would definitely be morale support rather than practical assistance.

      Homemade biscuits . . . droooool.

  13. nojojojo says:

    Woo hoo! Yum. Wish I was there! =)

  14. Not jam or writing related, but . . .

    I’ve added you to my friends list — I hope you don’t mind. I was reading you every day anyway, so I thought I might as well. Don’t feel obligated to add me, as I’m very boring. 🙂

  15. leahbobet says:

    Jam’s pretty easy — it only looks intimidating (says the girl who’s done eight batches of strawberry in the last week and has one more pending). Most of the work’s in the prep, and I’ve been able to get away with just using tools I have around the house: barbeque tongs, a cookie pan instead of a cooling rack, a soup ladle and a careful eye instead of a jar funnel. Yeah, you spill a little every so often, but meh. *g* Only thing you really need are jars and pectin, and most pectin boxes have good easy recipes included inside.

    But I will toss you one in e-mail if you’d like. 🙂

    • Eugie Foster says:

      I’ve collected a pile of blackberry jam recipes from the Interweb, but I’d be happy to have another one, especially one that someone I know has used successfully.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Mmmm. Tummy gurgling picture. Looks scrumptious.

    I don’t think baking is domestic, at least not in a girly sense. My husband does all the cooking in our house. Left to me, we’d be eating microwave popcorn and ramen noodles.

    And the pies, even I even got that far, would be blackened because I burn everything.

    So, I am in awe.

    Pat Kirby

    • Eugie Foster says:

      Hee! My hubby does most of the cooking too. I make periodic forays into the kitchen, especially of late when I’ve had so much more free time on my hands, but if left to my culinary initiative, we’d be eating cans of corn and cold cereal.

  17. galateadia says:

    i could definately coach you through the jam making process.
    it is terribly easy once you get the hang of it all. 😉

    an aside, you might try hitting up a hardware store (like say ace hardware, not home depot) for canning supplies. i’ve found them to be much more stocked year around on things like that than the grocery stores. pectin you should be able to buy at a grocery store year around though.

    • Eugie Foster says:

      Yeah, a hardware store was my next thought on getting jam supplies, but I took it as a sign from the cosmos that I was fated to make pie this year. I’ll do more prep next year and hopefully have a better grasp of what I need to do then.

  18. dean13 says:

    The pie looks wonderful!

    Sorry to hear you didn’t try making jam. When I was a child freezer jams were popular in my family. A sauce pan with a pouring spout worked for us.

    • Eugie Foster says:

      What’s the difference between freezer jam and non-freezer jam?

      A sauce pan with a pouring spout worked for us.

      Err, we don’t have one of those either.

      • dean13 says:

        What’s the difference between freezer jam and non-freezer jam?

        Not much. I found some recipes by googling the key words: blackberry freezer jam.

  19. Pie is better than jam, anyway. Yay, pie!

    Visiting your old stomping grounds next week. Is there anything you want from central Illinois? 🙂

  20. keesa_renee says:

    Oh, it is a beautiful pie, Eugie! I see I’m not the only one enjoying the fruit of my berry-picking labors.

    How are your mosquito bites?

    • Eugie Foster says:

      Beautiful or no, it is now an ex-pie . Yum!

      Mosquito bites are better. My initial reaction to them is always the worst. But I’m still itchy and leery about going outside again. The hubby has been taking solitary berry picking duty, the poor thing. The mosquitoes may not be chomping on him, but the thorns from the blackberry bushes are still cutting him up something fierce (I tend not to get as mangled by the thorns because my hands are smaller and can slip between them).

  21. yummy!!!!!!

    Hmm, say…do you have vanilla ice-cream to go w/ that blackberry pie? I would like a piece. *grin*

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