home sweet homework – silky matcha blackberry pie

home sweet homework – silky matcha blackberry pie

If you like to bake pies, you probably have a go-to recipe for the crust. Maybe it’s an all-butter one or a combination of butter and shortening. Perhaps, there’s sour cream or vinegar in it. Whatever your favorite, a well-baked piecrust is the perfect vessel for a plethora of fillings that speaks the language of comfort.

I didn’t come from a family that had a collection of heirloom recipes—and even if there were, it wouldn’t have included a recipe for pie pastry. I’m always envious of people who have family recipes passed down for generations and the stories that come with them. M regales me with his Jewish grandmother’s food stories, there was always rugelach, blintzes, koogle,, and other treats. For the holidays, she even made gefilte fish and horseradish from scratch. The list goes on and what I would give to have that connection with the matriarch of a family to learn about the history, traditions and tips on those recipes (which were never written down, just demonstrated for the next generation). More about M’s grandmother’s in later posts.

Instead of family recipes, I had to do my homework to discover my favorite pie pastry. This Matcha Blackberry Pie started with my curiosity about a certain graham cracker crust I had enjoyed in a restaurant. The waiter assured me that it was no more than a crust made with homemade graham crackers, but it tasted more nutty and delightfully fragrant.

After my research on the use of graham flour,  I didn’t make a graham cracker crust—I made a graham flour pie pastry, yielding a less sweet crust. This pie crust compliments both the texture and flavor of the smooth matcha white chocolate filling and the blackberry preserves. The sweet earthy filling plays off the nutty crust with a hint of salt.


Silky Matcha Blackberry Pie


Graham Pie Pastry
  • 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (8-1/4 ounces), plus additional flour for work surface
  • 1/2 cup  (2-1/2 ounces) graham flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (4 ounces/1 stick), cold, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and frozen for 10 minutes
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons ice water, or more if needed
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons molasses
Matcha Blackberry Filling
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon Canton (ginger liquer), or vodka
  • 2 teaspoon matcha powder
  • 1 cup heavy cream, chilled
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 8 ounces white chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and softened
  • 1/4 cup blackberry preserve
To Serve
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoon blackberry preserve
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups fresh blackberries


Graham Pie Pastry

1. Process both flour, salt, cinnamon and sugars together in food processor until combined, about 3 seconds. Add butter and pulse until butter is size of large peas, about ten 1-second pulses.

2. Using fork, mix sour cream, ice water and molasses in small bowl until combined. Add half of sour cream mixture to flour mixture; pulse for three 1-second pulses. Repeat with remaining sour cream mixture.

3. Turn dough out onto work surface. Gather and flatten into 4-inch disk; wrap disk in plastic and refrigerate until firm but not hard, about 45 minutes, before rolling. (Dough can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours. Let thoroughly chilled dough stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before rolling.)

4. Remove dough from refrigerator, allow it to soften slightly, about 10 minutes. On lightly floured surface, roll disc into 12-inch circle. Transfer to 9-inch pie plate, Flute edges, cover pie crust with plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Adjust oven rack to middle-low position and heat oven to 400℉.

5. Remove pie crust from refrigerator and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Line pie crust with parchment and fill with pie weights, bake until pie shell is set and dry, about 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven, lift parchment and pie weight off, return to oven and bake until golden brown, about 5-8 minutes. Set aside on cooling rack and let cool completely.

Matcha Blackberry Filling

1. Combine vanilla, Canton and matcha powder in a small bowl to form a liquid paste, set aside.

2. In a large heatproof bowl, add whipped cream; whip with an electric hand mixer on medium high speed to stiff peaks, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer whipped cream to a clean bowl and refrigerate.

3. Combine eggs, sugar, and water to the now empty heatproof bowl set over medium saucepan filled with 1/2-inch barely simmering water (don’t let bowl touch water). With electric mixer on medium speed, beat until egg mixture is thickened and registers 160℉, 6-8 minutes. Remove bowl from heat and continue to beat egg mixture until fluffy and cooled to room temperature, about 8 minutes.

4. Add white chocolate and matcha mixture to cool egg mixture and beat until incorporated. Beat in butter, a few pieces at a time, until well combined. Using spatula, fold in whipped cream until no streaks of white remain.

5. Spread blackberry preserve evening on the bottom of pie shell, pour filling into pie shell and refrigerate until set, at least 3 hours and up to 24 hours.

To Serve

1. Combine heavy cream, preserve, sugar and vanilla in a medium bowl. using an electric mixer, beat mixture to stiff peak. Remove pie from refrigerator, dollop blackberry whipped cream on top and decorate with fresh blackberries. Serve.