Mother’s Day was yesterday and to celebrate my family invited over my Grandma and Auntie Andrea. For dinner my Dad barbequed turkey and beef burgers. The dessert I made is a family favourite – bumbleberry pie. All of the ingredients for the pie happened to be in my Mom’s pantry. The berries I used were half fresh and half frozen. Once strawberry season comes I plan to make Jonathan help me go strawberry picking. Making a pie for the blog had been on my baking to-do list for a while, so I was delighted to make this scrumptious pie.
The recipe I used was from my Martha Stewart’s Pies and Tarts cookbook that Jonathan gave me for my birthday. At the back of the cookbook was a recipe for a butter and cream cheese pie crust. Within the pages of this wonderful cookbook I found a picture of a pie that inspired me to use heart shapes as the top pie crust. My Mom has always made wonderful bumbleberry pies, so I thought I would give her a break from the kitchen on Mother’s Day. The recipe I used based on the blueberry pie recipe from Martha’s Pies and Tarts Cookbook. (My Mom has the Martha Stewart’s Pies and Tarts Cookbook as well, and her version has been well used over the years.) The pie turned out perfectly golden and delicious.
One of the debates we had when talking about pie filling with my Grandma, Aunt and Mom at dinner, was about cornstarch versus flour as a thickener. I used cornstarch in this pie recipe, but the consensus was that flour is better for thickening pie filling. So, I will try that next time. My sister Laura also helped with this Mother’s Day pie. She helped with cutting the hearts and arranging them on top. In the second picture below you will see a round piece of metal, it is one of my Mom’s many kitchen gadgets. What it does is prevents the outside crust from burning to a crisp. It comes with a round base piece that catches any pie filling that might drip over the edge. The baking gadget does wonders, as the pie crust was perfectly cooked.
Last night at dinner my Mom told a story about when she and my Dad were first married and they had a brand new chest freezer. As fresh fruit came into season that summer, the chest freezer was quickly filled, almost entirely with pies. So, there is a genetic urge in my family to bake pies and sweet desserts. Jonathan, you better watch me carefully in your kitchen, I might just fill up your freezer with pie!
Cream Cheese Pie Crust Recipe (Make sure you double the recipe below if you are making a pie with a bottom crust and a top crust. )
- 2 teaspoons cold water
- 1 teaspoon cold cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 ounces (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 4 ounces cold cream cheese, cut into small pieces
- Combine water and vinegar in a small bowl. Combine flour and salt in another bowl. Cut butter and cream cheese into cubes and then place with flour and salt mixture in food processor and pulse until crumbly.
- Add water mixture to dough in a slow, steady stream, stirring, until mixture just begins to hold together. Pulse in food processor to combine.
- Turn out onto a piece of plastic wrap, and wrap. Press dough into a disk using your hands or a rolling pin. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. (Dough can be frozen for up to 1 month; thaw before using.)
- Roll dough into a 12-inch round on a lightly floured surface. Fit dough into a 9-inch pie dish. Trim edge, leaving a 1-inch overhang. Turn overhang under so that edge is flush with rim. Flute edge. Freeze until firm, about 15 minutes.
Bumbleberry Pie Filling
- 7 cups of fresh or frozen strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries (if you are using frozen, let the berries thaw in the refrigerator and drain excess liquid from the bottom.
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch or flour
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out one disk of dough to a 12-inch round. With a dry pastry brush, sweep off excess flour; fit dough into a 9-inch glass pie plate, pressing it into edges. Trim dough to a 1/2-inch overhang all around. Fold edge of dough over or under, and crimp as desired. Place back in the refrigerator to keep cool while you are making the pie filling.
- For the hearts roll out remaining dough in the same manner; and then use a cookie cutter to create two sizes of heart shaped crust.
- Place berries in a large bowl; with your hands, crush about 1/2 cup of berries, letting them fall into the bowl as you work. Add sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice; stir to combine. Spoon mixture into pie plate with crust and mound berries slightly in the center.
- Arrange larger sized hearts around the edge of the pie plate on the berries, then add smaller hearts when you get closer to the middle. Make sure to leave a few spaces between the hearts to allow steam to escape from the pie.
- Brush surface with egg wash, being careful not to let it pool. Freeze or refrigerate pie until firm, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees, with rack in lower third.
- Place pie on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 50 minutes and until crust begins to turn golden.
- Transfer pie to a wire rack to cool completely. The pie is best eaten the day it is baked, but it can be kept at room temperature, loosely covered with plastic wrap, for up to 2 days.