Surely there's nothing more American than pie and ice cream. Oh sure, I know the old saying is about apple pie, but it seems to me that sweet pies of any type are an almost exclusively American treat. So what better way to celebrate Independence Day than blackberry pie, ice cream, and lighting stuff on fire?
Both of these recipes are simple and unfussy. The ice cream starts with a simple custard base, infused with the flavors of cinnamon and vanilla. I simply heated cream and half and half together with half a vanilla bean, a cinnamon stick, and a little ground cinnamon, then slowly combined it with egg yolks and vanilla sugar. With a total of nine egg yolks, this may be the richest ice cream I've ever made, but hey, it's a holiday, right? I heated it until it coated the back of a wooden spoon, then plunged it in an ice bath and stuck it in the refrigerator for about four hours. Pour it all into the ice cream freezer for about twenty minutes and you've got some very decadent cinnamon infused ice cream on your hands.
The pie absolutely couldn't be simpler. Fresh blackberries are combined with sugar and some thickeners and put aside to combine while you make the crust. I was very pleased with the way this crust turned out. I usually shy away from shortening based crust for two reasons. I like the taste of butter, and shortening simply isn't something I usually stock in my pantry. Really the only use I have for it is in pie crust and in biscuits. I'm happy with the all butter or butter and cream cheese crusts I've made before, but I found a non-hydrogenated shortening at Whole Foods made with palm oil, so I picked it up out of curiosity. This is definitely the flakiest crust I've ever made. I think this one will be my standard in the future.
I can't stress enough how simple this pie is. Waiting for the crust to chill and then rolling it out was really the hardest part about the whole day. I rolled out the bottom crust and laid it in the pie tin, poured in the berry mixture and then weaved together a lattice crust for the top. A simple egg wash and some turbinado sugar on top give it a pretty finish.
This is my entry in Mike's Table's You Scream, I Scream, We All Scream For Frozen Desserts event.