Crumble Top Triple Berry Pie


Northern Ohio is known for having fairly erratic (often deemed bipolar) weather. It can be 30 degrees and overcast one day, 60 and sunny the next, and then snowing two days later. Especially with spring- last year I was wearing my winter coat until what seemed like the first days of May. However, this year I was pleasantly surprised when in early March we started having consistently sunny, warm weather.

Suddenly everyone was wearing open-toed shoes, biking around and drinking iced drinks. Immediately I began to yearn for the fresh produce found in summertime markets, and decided that waiting until July to make my favorite berry pie just wasn’t going to happen.

Unable to find fresh raspberries or blueberries, I opted for frozen fruit, which I had never done before in an all-fruit pie. Although it wouldn’t hold a candle to fresh fruit, it was still pretty good. I upped the sugar a tiny bit since I knew they wouldn’t be as sweet, and was pretty happy with the results. I like to use a slightly larger pie pan/tin (9 1/2” or a 9″ deep dish) for this recipe, as the volume of fruit will nearly overflow in a standard 9” pan. If that is all you have, just consider not adding in the full amount of fruit. I think deep-dish 9” pan could also solve that problem.

A couple of pie tips/considerations:

  • If you don’t like the crumb topping (although if you don’t, seriously what is wrong with you?!?) you could just double the crust to make a lid for the pie, as I think it needs some kind of topping.
  • Par-baking crusts can be a total pain, but I think it’s pretty important in making this kind of a pie because otherwise you end up with a very soggy crust.
  • If your kitchen is at all warm, as mine was, keep the butter for the pie crust in the fridge until immediately before mixing, so that the butter doesn’t soften at all- this will make the dough easier to handle. If the dough becomes sticky, just put it in the freezer for a couple of minutes to firm it up.

 

Triple Berry Pie

  1. Roll out prepared pie dough (recipe follows) on a lightly-floured surface into a 12” circle. Transfer to pie tin (I fold mine in half and then move it) and trim any excess to 1” over the edge of the pan, then fold that under the sides to create an edge. Prick all over with a fork (this is called docking the crust).
  2. Freeze crust for 30 minutes.
  3. While crust is freezing, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  4. Butter the shiny side of a 12” piece of aluminum foil to cover the pie pan, then press onto the crust.
  5. Place crust on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven (don’t turn off the oven!) and gently peel off the foil. Let cool for 5 minutes.
  7. Pour the prepared filling (recipe follows) into the crust and generously sprinkle the crumb topping all over
  8. Bake for 1 hour, or until the top is golden brown. Cool for at least 30 minutes. Serve warmed or at room temperature, although I actually love it cold as well.

 

Pie Crust

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (4 ounces or 1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and diced
Ice water as needed

  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. [You can also do this in the bowl of a food processor if that is what you’re using]
  2. Using a pastry blender, two knives or a food processor, blend the butter into the flour mixture until pea-sized lumps form. I prefer to do this by hand to avoid over-mixing, and the large lumps you might get
  3. Pour 1/4 cup of ice water over the dough and use a spatula to mix it in. You might need a few more tablespoons, no more than an additional 1/4 up. Add it in by the tablespoon until
  4. Shape into a ball, then flatten into a disk and refrigerate for at least an hour. If you are in a rush, you can freeze it for half an hour or so, then refrigerate for 5-10 minutes.

While your crust is chilling, make the pie filling.

Triple-Berry Filling

2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and halved (quartered if large)
2 cups fresh blueberries
2 cups fresh raspberries
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  1. Combine berries in a medium to large bowl. Pour lemon juice over the berries and toss to combine.
  2. Mix the sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon in a small bowl. Add to the berries and toss again until evenly distributed.
  3. Let the filling sit for at least 30 minutes while the berries macerate.
Crumb Topping
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
4 1/2 tablespoons white sugar
Big pinch of salt
9 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled
  1. Whisk together the flour, sugars, and salt in a medium bowl.
  2. Using a pastry blender, two knives or your fingers, blend the butter into the flour mixture until there are large lumps. Refrigerate until ready to use.

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