“There are few foods that feed my soul in the way that a berry pie does. One bite 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.
My Grandmother made pie by feel and made it look effortless. If you were coming for a visit, you could rest assured that she would be standing at the kitchen counter hours before you arrived making a fresh berry pie. Three decades later, I find myself gathering my children in my own farmhouse kitchen to continue the tradition.” –Jennifer Burke: 1840 Farm
makes one 9 inch pie
I make this recipe 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. 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.
2 cups 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
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, 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. Continue this technique around the perimeter of the pie plate.
Stir the prepared filling before gently placing it on top of the 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. If not, simply place the top 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 plate. Using your fingers, flute the edge of the crust using your preferred method. Continue until the entire perimeter has been fluted. 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 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 browned.
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.