Everywhere you turn in the Irish countryside, hedges are teeming with brambles. Any berry that grows on these thorny canes or trailing vines is considered a brambleberry. Raspberries and blackberries are two common brambles, but bramble berries for baking purposes can loosely refer to any fruit that grows on a prickly shrub, such as raspberry, blackberry, boysenberry, tayberry, loganberry, marionberry, gooseberry and more.
This is a simple fruit tart, but if you pick your hedgerow berries at just the right time, these wild berries are pure, sweet ambrosia. When you serve the pie, imagine yourself under the roof of an old thatched cottage around a table with friends and cups of tea round robin.
Bramble Berry Tart
- 2 (9 inch) tart crusts
- 5 cups brambleberries (raspberries, blackberries, marionberries, black or red currants, or other brambleberries)
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar (approx.)
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon quick-cooking tapioca
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon butter
- whipped cream (optional) or ice cream (optional)
Put an oven rack on the lowest rung, and preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Lightly dust your counter and rolling pin with flour, then unwrap one disk of dough.
With short strokes from center outward, roll dough into a 12-inch circle (about 1/8-inch thick), turning 90 degrees after every 3 or 4 passes of the rolling pin to keep it from sticking.
Transfer dough to a 9-inch pie pan, letting it fall into place. (If you push or stretch the dough, it will shrink back when baked.) Trim overhang to 1/4 inch. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 15 minutes and up to overnight. Meanwhile, roll second disk into an 11-inch circle. Transfer to a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 15 minutes and up to overnight.
While crusts chill, put berries in a large bowl. Sprinkle with flour, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, tapioca, lemon juice, and salt. Stir gently until berries are well coated. Taste and add more granulated sugar if you like.
Pour berry mixture into chilled bottom crust and dot with butter.
Unwrap top crust, and lay over pie. Fold bottom crust edge up over edge of top crust, and crimp edges together. Cut several vents or poke round holes in a circular pattern in top crust, and sprinkle with remaining 1 tsp sugar. Put pie on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until crust is browned and filling is bubbling, 60 to 75 minutes. (Cover edges with foil if they become too dark before middle of top is nicely browned).
Let the pie cool until the bottom of the pie pan reaches room temperature, at least 3 hours. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream if you like.