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Huckleberry Pie


Huckleberry Pie




* — Pastry

* 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (spoon flour into dry measuring cups to overflowing and sweep off excess with a straight edge)

* 1/2 teaspoon salt

* 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

* 1/2 cup Crisco, at room temperature, cut into pieces

* 6 tablespoons ice water

* 1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar

* — filling

* 1 cup sugar

* 4 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca

* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

* 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

* 1/8 teaspoon salt

* 5 cups fresh or partially thawed frozen huckleberries or wild blueberries

* 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

* 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

* — sugar for top of pie


* Prep Time - 30

* Cook Time - 75




1. To make the pastry, stir together the flour and salt in a large bowl. Add the cold butter pieces and work them into the flour using a pastry blender or two knives until the butter is the size of small peas. Add the shortening and work it into the flour until the pieces of shortening are about the same size as the butter pieces. Combine the ice water and vinegar in a small cup. Add to the flour mixture about 1 tablespoon at a time while tossing with a fork. Continue mixing until the dough just gathers into a ball. Divide the dough into two portions, one slightly larger than the other. Flatten each into 1-inch-thick disks, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about 2 hours. Roll the larger piece of dough on a lightly floured surface into a 12-inch circle and fit it into a 9-inch pie plate (ovenproof glass preferable). Do not trim off excess pastry, just let it hang. Refrigerate.

2. To make the filling, combine the 1 cup sugar, tapioca, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl. Add the huckleberries (if frozen, be sure berries are half-thawed before using) and lemon juice and fold everything together gently to combine well. Let stand 15 minutes. (Important to do this to soften the tapioca). Adjust two oven racks with one on the bottom shelf and the other in the center. Put a heavy baking sheet on the bottom rack and preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

3. To assemble the pie, on a lightly floured surface, roll the second piece of dough into an 11-inch circle. Spoon the huckleberry filling into the pastry-lined pan and dome it slightly. Distribute the butter pieces evenly over the filling. Use a pastry brush to moisten the edges of the bottom pastry and cover with the top pastry. Press edges together firmly, fold it back on itself to make a standing rim and flute. Brush top of pastry with water and make 5 or 6 slits for steam to escape. Sprinkle top evenly with 1 tablespoon sugar.

4. Baking. Put the pie onto the heavy baking sheet on the lower rack and bake 25 minutes. Carefully transfer the pie with the baking sheet to the center rack. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees, and bake until the pastry is a deep golden brown and the pie juices bubble thickly through the slits, about 50 minutes more. Cool the pie completely, at least several hours, before cutting and serving. If you cut the pie too soon, the filling will run all over the place. You can hasten the setting of the filling by refrigerating the pie for 3 to 4 hours once it has reached room temperature.


Note: Trout Lake Mushroom Company (509-395-2835) ships fresh huckleberries from August to September. The company then freezes its leftover berries and sells them frozen until they run out. Both fresh and frozen cost $30 to $40 for 5 pounds, enough for 3 pies.


Recipe by Greg Patent.

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