28 March 2011

Blackberry Silk Pie

For every mountaintop, there has to be a valley, right? We've been hiking along the ridge for a few weeks now with some great pies. This week, however, I think we're off the trail.

Blackberry Silk Pie sounded so promising. I was thinking French Silk - yummy, creamy chocolateness - breeded with blackberries - sweet, tart, berryness - and expecting greatness. Instead, I got a purply wobbly mass in a pie shell - essentially, blackberry custard.

This is the pre-baking color

Custard, yum. Blackberries, yum. Blackberry custard, not so much.

Are we back in January?
The pie started out ominously like the sugar and cream pies I made for two months: eggs, sugar, heavy cream. The only spot of color was a blackberry purée, of which there is extra to enjoy over ice cream later.

The resultant mixture is an odd purple color. It would be pretty on fabric, perhaps, or an iris, but food? Not so much. The custard is poured into a par-baked crust and baked low and slow (300° for 60-75 minutes). Baking doesn't improve the color at all - the light purple inside is covered by a darkened purple puddingskin-like top layer.

Post-bake. It's only slightly prettier in real life.

I couldn't help but think "Barney pie" (or Grimace, I suppose)

Flavor-wise, this pie is okay. You can definitely taste blackberries, but the egg custard matrix is somewhat odd. The texture is like a soft baked custard - I thought it was fine but Tiffany couldn't take it. After my sample slice, we hurriedly distributed the pie to friends. I'll let you know what they think of it.

To sum up, we won't be keeping Blackberry Silk Pie as part of our baking repertoire. Save the blackberries to garnish the top of your plain custard, and I think you'll be happier with the results.

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