I adore fresh pie. I love to make it as much as I love to enjoy a slice with my family. One bite of a freshly baked berry pie and I am magically transformed to a time and place deeply imbedded in my childhood. I simply can’t eat a slice of berry pie without thinking of the time I spent in my Grandmother’s kitchen as a young child.
I don’t wait for a holiday to bake pie. We enjoy them all year long. Bourbon Peach Pie with Brown Sugar Topping is a Derby Day tradition. Brandied Apple Pie with Cinnamon Sugar Topping is a wonderful way to celebrate the arrival of fall. Berry pie is a summer staple, allowing us to showcase the fresh raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and schwatzenberries that we grow right in our backyard.
During raspberry season, I love to make double crusted pies filled with fresh raspberries picked from the 1840 Farm garden. A warm slice topped with a small scoop of vanilla bean ice cream is a powerful reminder of why we toil all year to enjoy our garden harvest. With every bite, we’re reminded of the delicious rewards of farming on the homestead.
- 2 cups (240 grams) All-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 5 ounces butter, cubed
- 6-7 Tablespoons ice water
- 1 pound (approximately 4 cups) fresh berries
- ¾ cup (144 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 Tablespoons tapioca
- 4 Tablespoons water
- 3 Tablespoons butter, cubed
- To make the crust, place flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse the dry ingredients to combine. Add the cubed butter and pulse until the butter has begun to incorporate into the flour and resembles small grains of rice.
- With the motor running, add ice water one Tablespoon at a time until the dough forms a ball. Take care not to over process the dough. Over processing will help to develop the gluten in the flour and lead to a crust that is less flaky. Remove the crust from the processor, shape into a flat disk, and place on a sheet of waxed paper or plastic wrap. Refrigerate while the filling is prepared.
- To prepare the berry filling, combine berries, sugar, vanilla, cornstarch, tapioca, and water in a large bowl. Mix gently to combine. Set aside to allow the berries to begin releasing their juices.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil to catch any pie filling that may bubble over during baking. Set aside.
- Remove the chilled pie dough from the refrigerator. Cut the disk into two equal pieces. Roll the bottom crust into a smooth disk large enough to line the pie plate. Rolling will be much easier if done on a well-floured surface or between two sheets of freezer paper or waxed paper.
- Place the bottom crust in the pie plate, taking care not to stretch the dough. By gently lifting the edges of the crust, the dough will naturally come to rest on the bottom of the pie plate without stretching. Stretching the crust too much will yield a chewy crust instead of one that is flaky and light. Continue this technique around the perimeter of the pie plate.
- Stir the prepared filling before gently placing it on top of the bottom crust in the pie plate. Evenly distribute the cubed 3 Tablespoons of butter on top of the filling. Roll out the remaining portion of pie crust until it is large enough to cover the top surface of the pie. If you will be using a pie bird, place it in the middle of the filling before setting the top crust and cut a slit in the middle of the crust to accommodate the pie bird. If not, simply place the crust on top of the filling, centering it over the pie plate.
- Work around the plate, rolling the excess crust underneath to form a thick ridge along the edge of the pie. Using your fingers, flute the edge of the crust or use a fork to crimp along the edge. Continue until the entire perimeter has been sealed. Using a sharp knife, cut several slits in the surface of the top crust. Doing so will allow steam to escape from the filling as it bakes.
- Place the pie on top of the prepared baking sheet and transfer it to the preheated oven. Bake for 15 minutes before reducing the temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Continue to bake for 45-55 minutes or until the top crust is a beautiful, light golden brown. Rotating the pie midway through the baking time will help to ensure that your pie is evenly brown.
- Remove the pie from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature. Top with vanilla ice cream if desired.
- I make this pie using blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries with great success. If you don’t have fresh berries, frozen berries may be substituted. Gently thaw or defrost frozen berries before making the filling mixture and omit the added water from the recipe. I prefer my berry pie to be on the tart side. If your preference is for a sweeter pie, increase the sugar to a full cup.
- To save time, I usually mix my pie crust in my food processor. This recipe can be made in a bowl using a dough blender or a large fork. Either way, the result will be a flaky, buttery crust that pairs deliciously with the berry filling.
- I like to use a ceramic pie bird when baking a double crusted pie. If you don't have a pie bird, simply cut a few more slits in the top crust to allow excess steam to escape. Doing so will ensure that your filling will be thick and that the top crust will be flaky.
- If you're looking for a fabulous handmade ceramic pie bird like the one shown in this recipe's photo, visit Blue Hen Pottery. Photos simply don't do these little birds justice. My collection keeps growing and I often give them as gifts to friends and family. Tell them 1840 Farm sent you and choose a beautiful handmade bird to last for generations to come. You'll find them at http://www.bluehenpottery.net/