The biggest bonus of growing berries in the garden, in our case black raspberries, is having enough to make a pie! I find it difficult to justify using fresh berries purchased from the store to make a pie when the cost is so astronomical. Berries from the garden, however, are like free gifts! And our plants produce enough to have provided the opportunity for me, over time, to perfect a black raspberry pie.
The secrets to great pies are practice and patience. Fresh berries deserve a home-made pie crust which, although it is a “difficult” rather than an “easy” feat, is not an impossibility and is so worth the extra effort.
Pastry for 2 crust pie
2 cups white flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup Crisco (I would not use the butter flavored kind.)
5 to 6 tablespoons very cold water (I put ice in it.)
1. Stir together flour and salt.
2. With pastry blender, cut in shortening until mixture resembles course crumbs. This step takes a few minutes. You want a uniform mixture.
3. Sprinkle in cold water, a tablespoon at a time, mixing with a fork after each addition until pastry just holds together.
4. With hands, bring the dough together and shape into a ball. (If it is a hot day, wrap in waxed paper and refrigerate for 30 minutes.)
5. For a two-crust pie, divide the ball of dough in half. Roll out the first pastry on lightly floured surface. Line the bottom of a pie pan with your bottom crust and then role out the top.
3/4 cup of sugar
1/4 cup white flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
5 cups of fresh raspberries (although frozen is better than nothing)
1 tablespoon butter
1. Line pan with pastry layer.
2. For filling, combine in a bowl and toss together sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt with berries. Place in piecrust; dot with butter.
3. Roll out remaining pastry for top crust; cut a few slashes and cover filling with slashed top. Make a decorative edge. Bake 45-50 minutes at 425F.