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Mix apples and blackberries for a pie that showcases summer

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When I use apples in a pie, I always slice them very thin with a mandoline, or a slicing machine that does not require electricity. If you don't have one, they would be easy to find at most department stores in Tucson, or at Bed, Bath & Beyond, a place I like so much that I love one more excuse to go there.

Once you have sliced the apples for any pie, including this one, you add the lemon juice, sugar and spices to it, stir and leave it until you are ready to bake. The apples will remain fresh and crisp thanks to the lemon juice that will prevent them from turning brown with oxidation as they wait for the rest of the recipe.

I see blackberries all the time in the supermarkets, but I don't often use them. If you would like to pick some up, especially when they are on sale, this apple and blackberry pie is perfect as the fruits begin to dominate the produce section of Tucson's supermarkets for a summer of nature's bounty.

MONICA'S SUMMER APPLE AND BLACKBERRY PIE

America Online Food Pages

Ingredients:

4 cups fresh organic blackberries
1 large or 2 small tart organic apples, unpeeled, cored, and sliced into 1/4 inch slices
1 cup granulated organic sugar
3 Tablespoons powdered tapioca
1 teaspoon fresh organic lemon juice
Pinch of kosher salt
Double pie crust, made or purchased (organic pie crust is available)

Prepare your pie pan with a single crust and set it in the refrigerator to chill for at least 1 hour.

Preheat your oven to 400°F.

Remove the top crust dough from the refrigerator and allow it to sit at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes. Combine all the filling ingredients in a bowl and let it sit while you roll out the top pie crust.

Using a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface, roll the disk to ⅛-inch thickness. Fill the lower crust with the filling, and cover with the other round of dough. Crimp the edges with a fork or pinch them with your fingers to seal, removing any excess dough. Cut about five vents around the top of the pie to allow the steam to escape.

Bake the pie in the lower third of the oven for 30 minutes. Then reduce the oven temperature to 350ºF, slip a baking sheet (a jelly roll pan is better) underneath the pie tin to catch any bubbling juices, and bake for another 30 to 45 minutes. The pie crust should be browned and the juices should be bubbling through the vents. Remove the pie from the oven and let it cool before cutting.

Pies always slice easier when you allow them to cool before you try to cut them up, and in the case of a pie with dark juices like this one, it makes a difference as to how it looks next to a light-colored serving plate, hopefully with ice cream that will make that classic combination that everybody loves.

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