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Blackberry Jam Pie

If you’ve spent any time looking through old cookbooks, you’ve likely noticed that the pie chapters are brimming with variety.  For frugal housewives of yore as well as today, pies can be an economical dessert.  They are typically made of inexpensive ingredients–flour, fat, a sweetener, plus fruit.  While fruit can potentially be expensive, growing (or foraging) your own will lower the cost significantly, making a fruit pie is much more economical than the chocolate, whipping cream, marshmallow fluff-type desserts.

I’ve struggled a long time making pies–usually because of the crust.   For years I used a recipe called No Fail Pie Crust (an absurd name for a recipe that fails so unfailingly for me).  It calls for egg and vinegar, but I’ve had better success since switching to this simple one.  Both the pie crust and pie recipe are from the Searchlight cookbook, first published in 1931 and still easy to find used at a reasonable price.

Plain Pastry

1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. lard or butter
1/4 c. cold water
1/2 t. salt
Sift flour, measure, and combine with salt.  Cut in lard or butter until mixture is coarse and granular.  Work water in lightly with a spatula until little balls of dough just hang together in one large ball.  Chill the dough before rolling it out.  This makes one two-crust pie, which means you can make two of these pies.

It just so happened that I had some slightly overdone (extra thick) jam in my pantry, made from foraged black raspberries, but it is great with other kinds of jams, too.  The sour cream adds a creamy touch.
Blackberry Jam Pie
3 eggs
1 c. sour cream
1 T. melted butter
1 c. blackberry jam
1/2 c. sugar
1 T. cornstarch
3 T. sugar
few grains salt
Beat egg yolks until thick.  Add cream, butter, and jam.  Combine 1/2 c. sugar, salt and cornstarch.  Add to first mixture.  Mix thoroughly.  Pour into pastry-lined pie pan.  Bake in hot oven (425 degrees) about 25 minutes.  Cover with meringue made of egg whites and 3 T. sugar.  Brown in slow oven (325 degrees) 20 minutes.
A gorgeous color, isn’t it?