This, my friends, is the quintessence of summer. A mixed berry pie or, as Desmond says, "you have to call it 'four berry.'" Ok, point well taken.
We just got back last week from a trip to the Pacific Northwest. The kids loved the plane ride and the woods and watching all the wildlife, but they also loved the Space Needle and the pricey but also tasty restaurant at the top that revolves, ever so slowly, for panoramic views. I would be so disoriented if I worked there.
While we were visiting family (John's aunt and uncle retired there several years ago), we went on many hikes in the Olympic National Park but we also did some cool, laid-back stuff like visit cute towns such as Port Townsend. I spec'd that one out because the town had a large farmers' market, so we went on Saturday and picked up a flat of locally grown, organic berries, for $20. A total steal. And then I couldn't resist another pint or two of locally grown, organic strawberries, so I nabbed them, too.
Even for six hard-core berry lovers, that's a lot of berries to eat, but I was planning pie from the get-go. I used a combination of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and boysenberries.
For the crust:
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed into small pieces and cold
- 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 small cup ice water, very cold
In a small bowl, combine the cubed butter, flour and salt together using your fingers, a fork, or pastry cutter. (You can also do this in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment and pulse a half dozen times or so.) Your mixture should resemble a coarse meal with pea-sized pieces of butter (or slightly larger) scattered throughout.
Add the ice water, a tablespoon or so at a time, until the dough comes together and begins to form a ball—you don't want it wet. Add just enough moisture so that it stays together. If you're using the food processor, you'll want to add the water slowly through the chute and pulse until the dough starts to peel away from the sides.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
For the bottom crust of the pie:
- 5-6 cups mixed berries of choice
- Zest and juice of one lemon
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup tapioca
Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and let them sit while the dough chills.
For the top crumb crust:
- 1 cup flour
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 cup butter, cold and cubed
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Remove the dough from the fridge and roll out onto a lightly floured surface. Carefully roll the dough around the rolling pin and transfer to a pie dish. Press it into place using your fingertip and lightly prick the surface using the tines of a fork. Using dried beans or pie weights, prebake the crust for 15-20 minutes until it's light in color. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack before filling.
Evenly distribute the filling in the pie shell. Sprinkle the top crumb crust evenly across the filling. Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes until it's bubbling and the crumb topping is golden brown.
Remove and cool on a wire rack before cutting. I know, it's hard to wait, but you don't want a runny pie!