Homemade Summer Berry Pies

mulberry-pieWe know you love the berry of the week posts – now here’s a recipe you can use with all of your fresh berries! Pie is delicious, especially in the summertime and this recipe combines healthier ingredients than a store-bought pie. So whip one up and serve to your family and friends using everyone’s favorite berry. Yum!

Soon, July will have come to an end, and with it, the mulberries will, too.  That’s a shame – mulberries are probably the easiest and most satisfying wild food to forage. If you don’t have a mulberry tree in your backyard, odds are you know someone who does. Or you’ve probably walked underneath one and didn’t realize that the smushy dark stuff lying on the pavement underneath it was actually a giant clue that there was an edible treasure hanging over your head. (Always look up! Just not with your mouth open.) As delicious as they are, though, mulberries don’t travel well, so you won’t find them in markets. Mulberry rule #1: eat them within a few hours of picking them. Or make a pie with them.

If you can’t find free mulberries hanging around, you can substitute any kind of smallish berry: raspberries, blackberries, or blueberries. (Strawberries would be too big and watery.) Any of these would pair well with the oat-and-nut crust.

Mulberry Pie (or Raspberry or Blackberry or Blueberry Pie)

For the crust:
3/4 cup ground gluten-free oats (either steel-cut or rolled) or a heaping 2/3 cup pre-ground gluten-free oat flour*
1/2 cup ground almonds*
1/2 cup brown rice flour*
1 cup sorghum flour*
1 tsp. sea salt
1 stick chilled butter, preferably from grass-fed cows (Kerrygold is a great choice)
1 egg, preferably from pastured hens
1/3 cup cold water
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar

For the filling:
About 6 cups berries
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup brown rice flour*
2 tsp. cinnamon (or a total of 2 tsp. of cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and/or ginger)

Preheat oven to 375F. Grease a 9″ glass pie pan with a bit of the butter and set aside. Also make sure you have a rolling pin and some plastic wrap handy.

Whisk together oats, almonds, flours, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Use a knife to cut the butter into chunks before plopping it into the flour mixture, then cut the butter into the flour with a pastry cutter or two knives, continuing to work the butter into the flour until your mixture looks like coarse crumbs. (If you try to do this with not-cold butter, the butter will smush and melt rather than cut cleanly into crumbs. Not good.) Make a well in the center of the mixture and add the egg, water, and vinegar to the center. Whisk them together, then whisk in widening circles to mix everything. Finish by gently pressing the dough together with your hands, kneading it in the bowl until you have a smooth and slightly wet dough. If the dough is too wet and is coming apart, add a little more flour and mix again.

Split the dough in half. Refrigerate one half and press the other into your greased pan, pressing in the center and outwards to the edges until the dough covers the bottom and most of the sides. The dough should be uniformly thick, so don’t press too hard in any one area; if a tear develops, pinch off a overly thick part and press it into the tear/thin part.

In another large bowl, gently toss the berries with the remaining ingredients. Remove the dough from the fridge and place it between two sheets of plastic wrap. Gently roll out the dough, pressing evenly on the rolling pin to make a layer that’s evenly thick.

Spoon the filling into the crusted pan. Peel the top piece of plastic wrap off of the just-rolled dough and invert the dough over the filled pie pan before removing the other piece of wrap. Pinch the edges of the two crusts together. Again, if a tear develops, snitch a patch-it piece of dough from a spot that’s too bulky and gently press it into the tear.

Use the tip of a sharp knife to carve several little holes into the top of the crust to allow steam to escape while the pie is baking. Be creative! You can cut fanciful shapes if you like, or you can stick with simple slashes. Or carve your initials into the top of the pie. Historically, bakers had distinctive marks they would cut or stamp into their baked goods as a signature of sorts.

Bake for 1 hour, then check on the pie’s progress. It may take up to 1 hour and 20 minutes to get a nicely browned crust, but better to check early and often than burn your beautiful pie. Let cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting into the pie.

Note: this is not a sweet pie – it’s an opportunity to showcase the flavor of the berries rather than the sweetener. If you’d prefer a sweeter pie, use 1/2 cup date sugar and 1/2 cup sorghum flour rather than 1 full cup sorghum flour. Or you can serve the pie with a splash of maple syrup or a scoop of ice cream. I like to have it for breakfast just the way it is or with a little bit of maple or date sugar on top.


* These are gluten-free flours/ingredients. If you’d prefer to make a wheat-based version, use whole-wheat, kamut, or spelt flour in place of the brown rice and sorghum flours. You can use standard oats if you aren’t making a gluten-free pie (standard oats are grown/processed with gluten-containing grains and flours; gluten-free oats are kept separate). I would keep the almonds and oats, though, since they both pair well with the fruit and they add flavor and nutrition to the pie.

Courtesy of Cultured Cook.

You may also like:

Strawberries, Blueberries, Raspberries

Gooseberries, Acai Berries, Blackberries


© Copyright 2011  Allison Stuart Kaplan  www.Askinyourface.com LLC

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  1. Wow and YUM, and I sure wish I had the time and energy to make these incredible pies. The recipes are wonderful, especially for those who need to watch gluten protein or wheat ( moi). I am forwarding them to a friend who does like to bake and cook.


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