O, blackberry tart, with berries as big as your thumb, purple and black, and thick with juice, and a crust to endear them…with such a taste that will make you close your eyes and wish you might live forever in the wideness of that rich moment. —Richard Llewellyn, Welsh novelist (1907 — 1983)
8 cups blackberries fresh or frozen
(thawed slightly if frozen)
1 cup sugar
¼ cup instant tapioca
Juice of ½ lime
Pinch of salt
1 cup flour
1 cup coconut
¾ cup sugar
½ cup pecans, coarsely chopped
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup cold butter, cubed
Preheat oven to 375°. In a large bowl, toss berries with sugar, tapioca, lime juice and salt. Spoon into a 2-quart rectangular baking dish. Don’t be afraid to mix or try other fruits too—peaches, raspberries, blueberries, etc. Use a little more tapioca with frozen fruit or expect the juices to be a bit thinner.
In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, coconut, sugar, pecans, baking powder and salt. Knead in the butter using your fingers. The mixture should resemble coarse sand; avoid overmixing. Blend in egg with your fingers; dough will be sticky. Spread topping over berries in clumps, covering evenly.
Bake for 45–50 minutes or until golden and crisp and filling is thick and bubbly. Place a cookie sheet under the dish during baking to catch spills.
Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack for 1 hour. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.