The plan was to make a huckleberry pie. Plans change. I ordered wild huckleberries from Good Eggs and realized only later that the $10 of berries that I purchased was only an 8oz container. Luckily, I had also ordered blackberries and raspberries. So, triple berry pie it became. I was soon to discover that this was only the first bump in the road. This site/blog isn’t about perfection and so I’ll share what I did, how it could have been better, and what I learned along the way.
This is my first foray into the pie-making world. I grew up in a Romanian-American household that often smelled sweetly of delicious desserts but never of American-style pie. So, I was a little intimidated by the prospect of making my own pie crust. I did a little research online and more-or-less followed Smitten Kitchen’s well-written pie crust instructions, both how to prepare and how to roll and crimp. I didn’t want to cut any corners with this first pie and so even latticed the top of the pie.
- 2.5 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 8oz cold butter cut into cubes
- 1 cup cold water (chill briefly in the freezer or add some ice cubes)
- 1 cup huckleberries (these were very juicy and might have made the pie too juicy)
- 1 cup blackberries
- 1 cup raspberries
- 1/3 cup sugar (add more if not eating the pie with ice cream)
- sprinkle of salt
- 2 teaspoons of corn starch (perhaps add more if your berries are as juicy as mine were this time)
- zest of one lemon
- a squeeze of lemon juice (probably about a teaspoon or two)
- 1 tablespoon milk (to brush on top of the pie before baking)
- 1 teaspoon sugar (to sprinkle on the pie after brushing with milk)
The raw pie looked lovely and was ready to bake. I had preheated the oven (we just moved and so this oven was new to me) to 375°F. However, I noticed that it didn’t appear to be cooking very quickly. I actually let it go the full hour before realizing that “preheat” on this oven meant just that. The oven turned off after reaching 375°F. Great. I also noticed some pooling of fruit juices on top and that some had even made its way through the crust (advantage/disadvantage of a glass baking dish). This modern, but less than intuitive, oven told me that it was actually around 200°F. I cranked it back up to the right temperature, this time on “bake,” for another 35 minutes.
So, our pie came out very juicy. The crust on top was crunchy and buttery. The crust on the bottom did indeed soak through a bit, though it was fully cooked. I also learned that cutting the sugar used in other recipes made a pie that, as my husband said, was “addictive” when combined with ice cream. However, if you want to eat the pie without ice cream, add some extra sugar to the filling before assembling the pie for more a more traditional level of sweetness.
So, this is clearly not a perfect pie but it was a fun first try at something new and it still turned out pretty delicious. Have any pie-making tips you’d like to share with a newbie?