Summer Jumbleberry Pie

Summer Jumbleberry Pie

Freely adapted from a Gourmet magazine (RIP) recipe

Whole Wheat Lard Pie Crust

Adapted from More Best Recipes (America's Test Kitchen) by the Editor's of Cook's Illustrated

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 1/2 cups of pastry flour (see note)

1 tsp salt

2 Tbsp white sugar

12 Tbsp (1 ½ stick) of cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4" cubes

½ cup of cold lard cut into ½" cubes

1/4 cup of cold vodka

1/4 cup of cold ice water

1. Put the pastry flour, salt, sugar in a food processor and pulse until combined (a couple of 1 second bursts). Add the butter and lard to the processor and pulse until a dough starts to collect in chunks. About 15 seconds or so. You want the dough to look chunky like cottage cheese and covered in flour

2. Scrape up the dough and evenly distribute the chunks in the processor and add the whole wheat flour. Pulse until the dough starts to form, about 4 to 6 pulses.

3. Empty into a large bowl and sprinkle both the vodka and the water over the dough. It seems like a lot of liquid, but don't worry it's suppose to be that way. With a large spatula, "fold" the dough into the liquid until it is all incorporated. The resulting dough will be sticky and tacky. Divide the dough in half and flatten into disks and refrigerate for at least an hour or up to 2 days.

Note 1. Pastry flour is flour that has less gluten in it than regular all purpose. If you don't have it, you can fake it by using 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour minus 1 tablespoon. Add a tablespoon of cornstarch.

Note 2. The vodka has alcohol that inhibits the gluten from forming. It evaporates when you bake it, but because it has moisture, you'll find the pie dough is incredibly easy to work with and drapes like a dream.

To make the Pie

2 cups strawberries, cleaned hulled and sliced or quartered

2 cups raspberries, washed and dried (see note)

1 cup blackberries, washed and dried

1 cup olallieberries, washed and dried

1 cup tayberries, washed and dried

1 cup boysenberries, washed and dried

total 8 cups of mixed summer berries (see note)

1/3 cup arrowroot flour (see note)

1 ½ cup white sugar plus more to sprinkle on top

zest from 3 lemons

pinch of nutmeg

pinch of cinnamon

3 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into bits

1 egg white beaten until frothy

1 egg yolk plus 1 Tbsp water beaten together until slightly frothy for egg yolk wash

plus the pie crust from the above recipe

1. Preheat the oven to 425˚ F

2. Roll out the pie dough with a generous amount of flour (remember the dough will be sticky. Don't be afraid of using more flour as you need it) to about a 12" disk and fit it into a 9” deep dish pie pan. Trim the edges leaving about a ½" overhang.

3. Brush the bottom and sides of the pie dough with the beaten egg white. This will help the crust from getting soggy.

4. Combine berries, arrowroot flour, white sugar, zest from lemons and spices in a large bowl. Toss together gently with a large spatula.

5. Pour mixture into prepared pie dough pan. Dot the filling with the unsalted butter chunks

6. Roll out the second disk of pie dough to about a 12" square. Cut the disk into 10 even strips (if you want to get fancy or are trying to win a county fair contest, run out and buy a fluted pastry wheel and use that. Otherwise just use a pizza wheel or a plain old knife).

7. Place the longest strip of pie crust over the filling in the center and turn the pie 90˚ and place the second longest strip perpendicular to that in the center of the pie. You should have an "X" on the pie. Turn another 90˚ and place the third and fourth strips of dough on the right and left of the center strip. Now turn another 90˚ and place two more strips of dough, lifting up the strips to "weave" the strips above and below the placed strips. Continue until you have topped the entire pie, saving the short pastry strips for the ends of the pie top.

Conversely you can just skip the weaving and lay the strips on top of each other. Trust me, no one will really notice and everyone will just ooh and ahh over the fact that you made a pie from scratch.

8. Crimp the ends of the pie decoratively with your fingers, tucking the ends of the top pie strips inside the ends. Brush top of the pie with the egg yolk wash and sprinkle the top with sugar.

9. Bake the pie on a large baking sheet (to catch any drippings) for 20 minutes. Then reduce the temperature to 375˚ F and bake for 35 to 45 minutes more, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling and thick. Cool to room temperature before serving.

Note 1. When washing the berries, make sure they are dry before using them in the pie filling. Berries give off a LOT of liquid, so you want to minimize the liquid you are putting in the filling. You don't want to be serving jumbleberry soup. 

First, gently place the berries into a colander and turn on your faucet. Don't run the berries under the water directly, but instead, use your hand to spray the water around the berries, shaking the colander ever so slightly as you do it. This will keep the berries intact. Fast running water will destroy the berries. 

Second, line a large baking sheet with a double layer of paper towels and gently pour the wet berries onto the sheet. Shake gently to even distribute the berries and to let the water get soaked up by the paper towels. You should always wash the berries right before use as the water will make the berries go bad faster. However, you can store the berries on the paper towel lined baking sheet in the refrigerator (before washing) and they will keep longer than they normally would in a container (apparently this is how the professionals keep their berries. That said, the professionals probably also have very large refrigerators with space to keep large sheets of berries).

Note 2. You can use any mix of berries that you want. The original recipe called for blueberries and red currants. This is also a great way to use up berries that have been sitting in your fridge and are on the brink of going bad. Just make sure the volume of the berries sum up to 8 cups.

Note 3. I like to use arrowroot flour as my thickener as it thickens without clouding up the fruit or muddying the flavor. Tapioca flour is also great as a thickener (substitute 1 to 1) but sometimes it imparts a grainy texture. If you don't have arrowroot or tapioca (and I highly suggest you get some of each) you can substitute cornstarch (substitute 1 to 1) but expect your filling to look a little cloudy. If you must, you can also substitute flour (use twice as much flour as arrowroot) but the muddiness will be even worse.