The summer months are my absolute favorite for going to the market to scavenge for baking ingredients. Just today I was at my local verger and they were selling a kilo of strawberries in the cutest wood basket for just 4,99 euros and buy-2-get-1-free blueberries. Then my eye landed on the rhubarb – a new addition to my baking repertoire – so I added two stalks to my basket, plus a lemon, and my mind fluttered to one of the easiest summer recipes out there: a Bumbleberry pie.
Normally this recipe is for using up any leftover berries you have at the end of the season, but I think finishing up half a kilo of strawberries and some extra blueberries that I won’t be able to get to in the next few days works, too.
The joy of this pie is that you can throw in any berry or fruit you have in a pie crust and bake it down to sticky delicious goodness.
So I climbed up the four flights of stairs to my apartment with a full bag of produce, holding strawberries on outstretched arms, while plotting to add some ginger and cinnamon to the mix.
Molly’s Baked Bumbleberry Pie
142g flour (T55)
¼ teaspoon salt
24g shortening (or can replace with cold butter)
57g cold butter, cubed
Ice water (about 4-6 tablespoons)
750g fruit, fresh or frozen
100g granulated sugar
45g flour (T55)
1 teaspoon cornstarch
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
15g lemon juice
Grated ginger (optional)
1. Start with the pie crust. Carefully whisk together the flour and salt, then cut in the cold butter and shortening (if using, or more butter) drizzling in a couple tablespoons of cold water to form a dough. Keep adding water little by little until the dough holds together, but is not wet. Press into a ball and chill about 30 minutes.
There are so many old-wives tales and tricks to pie crust, but really it just goes back to good old baking smarts. Don’t let your butter get too hot while you’re working it in, and don’t add too much cold water. Why fret over vodka or ice-cold water or using a food processor? The most important thing to do is let your dough rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes before rolling it out.
2. The filling is as easy as it gets. In a big bowl, throw in about 4 to 5 cups (750g) of fruit. I did halved and quartered strawberries, depending on their size, sliced rhubarb, and blueberries. Other great additions would be blackberries, raspberries, or even apples and cranberries in the Fall. Oh la la! wouldn’t peaches, raspberries, and blueberries be good!
Stir together with sugar and then flour and cornstarch to thicken. I added ginger, lemon zest, lemon juice, and cinnamon as well.
3. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Roll out the dough on a floured surface into a big circle about 2mm thick. Place it into a 9” pie tin. (For those of you that don’t have one, here’s a nice little trick – use a cake tin!) Let the edges hang over the sides and pour in the fruit, then fold up the leftover sides over the fruit – all unfinished edges and all for a rustic shape. Brush the crust with milk and sprinkle with Cassonade or granulated sugar.
4. Bake for 35 minutes on the lowest rack, then move the pie to the center of the oven for the last 15-20 minutes until the filling is bubbling and the crust is browned.
I almost ate half the pie in one picnic sitting. Your turn to enjoy! Bon appetit!