Have you ever eaten something so delicious that it evoked an emotion? Today, I am feeling so nostalgic. Maybe it’s the thoughts of summer bouncing around in my brain. Let’s just say it’s summer…and, for now, you should know I am NOT thinking about my beach body but rather my belly.
Baking calms my nerves and always makes me feel better. I think everyone should have that one thing that gives them peace. I have a few, but in the past four weeks I have relied heavily on my baking, and it has helped everyone in this house get through. As I was saying earlier, y’all, I was reminiscing about the past, and it has me thinking of all the things I am thankful for.
Some of my fondest memories are centered around our summer trips. For many of these, as a young married couple, we spent traveling back and forth to Brighton, MI, to visit with my hubby’s family. Every time we visited they would run around town buying all the foods we loved to indulge in while visiting. One of my personal favorites was the Lakeshore Berry Pie from the Grand Traverse Pie Company. I am not kidding when I say this, I dream of this pie. It is the perfect mix of sweet and tart but has a delicious crumb topping that just locks in all of its goodness. Another thing made this pie so special. Only my father-in-law Bill and I ate it. We would each have a share of this pie every night, every visit. (Bill has since passed away. He was so much more than just a father-in-law to me. He was a gentle man who had an overwhelming amount of love for me and his family. I seriously long for the day when he and I are reunited in heaven so we can sit down and share a huge slice of this blissful deliciousness together.) Although we still visit our family in Michigan, we rarely eat the pie.
Since first discovering Lakeshore Berry Pie over 15 years ago, I can tell you I have spent many days attempting my own version of this pie that would make my father-in-law proud. I finally hit the nail on the head when I created this Triple Berry Pie recipe packed with flavor and fullness. It is comfort food for my soul and so darn hard to just eat one slice. This Pie has a unique blend of blackberries, blueberries, and red, ripe raspberries. In just a few short months will be the best time to buy berries, so I’m suggesting you start practicing making this little beauty so you are well versed come summer.
First, you are going to need your favorite buttery crust recipe. This awesome pie needs an equally amazing buttery, flaky crust. Once you have your crust rolled out and ready in your pie plate, go ahead and pop it into the freezer for about a half-hour, or maybe make life easy and make it the night before. After it is frozen to the touch, poke your fork into the crust several times all over the pie crust so it doesn’t get bubbles and lift while cooking.
Next, take a large sheet of foil, larger than your pie crust, and butter it. Yup, I said butter it. Next, press the butter side down onto your crust covering the entire surface and place it in your preheated oven (425º) for about 20 minutes. While that’s cooking go ahead and prep your berries. After the pie crust is finished baking, remove the foil but don’t throw it away (I’ll explain that later), and reduce your baking temperature to 375º.
For the filling, I used 2 heaping cups of each: blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries...all my favorites, yum. How could you go wrong with a trio like this? Go ahead and rinse the berries well and place them into a large bowl.
Don’t they look amazing? The colors are so rich, I love it! (Well, enough of that, I'm getting hungry. If I don’t get to baking I’m going to start eating these berries.)
I am going to add my favorite kitchen helper Rylie. (She most likely is only helping for the tastes but I’m happy to have her beside me creating. So what if she loves me for my berries. There’s nothing wrong with that!)
While that's resting inside your crust, mix up your crumb topping. Place 1/2 cup of sugar, 1/2 cup of brown rice flour, 1/2 cup of white rice flour and, 1 teaspoon of baking powder in a bowl. Give that a quick stir, then add half a stick of cold butter cut in little squares on top. With your pastry blender or fork, blend it up until you have nice crumbs. (For a faster version, you can also use a Cuisinart blender. I prefer to control the size of my crumbs, so you can see we are throwing some elbow grease into it.)
Take the crumbs and sprinkle them on top of your pie filling. (Try not to eat any but, I warn you, it is worth a taste. As I said, this is why Rylie helps. She longs for the tastes.)
Now, go ahead and give your pie a gentle sprinkle of cinnamon right across the crumb topping and place it on a baking sheet. (This is an important step that you don’t want to miss. The pie will bubble over at some point and I’d rather the drippings go on the pan than the bottom of your oven. You’ll thank me for that later.)
WOW! I mean have you ever seen something more luscious in your life? Seriously. Step back and admire that beautiful pie you just created. Okay, Okay. Now that we checked our egos, it’s time to place the pie in the oven.
Keep a close eye on your pie and check it often. I like to watch my crust pretty closely because once it is the perfect golden brown, I take that piece of foil I mentioned setting aside and place it over top of the pie. This will prevent your crust from burning. That never tastes good.
Cook your pie until you see the filling boiling a little. Remove the pie and let it cool. The pie thickens as it cools. It’s delicious warm, but if you cut it prematurely it will be runny and will not resemble pie at all. (Just an FYI, the bottom of your pie plate might be sticky if you filled it well so be aware when you place it on the counter. I learned that the hard way.)
Oh my gosh, doesn’t that look amazing? I seriously need to make another one! The real challenge is always not eating the entire pie by yourself. Yup, I have done that many times. This time I was smart and took half the pie straight to the neighbors.
Rylie and I sat down and ate our slices together. We did space things out of course, too. We had one for breakfast, one for lunch, and then there was dessert. (Oops, I meant to leave that part out. Oh, well…this is why I work out, folks.)
I hope you love this pie as much as I do. Maybe it will even become nostalgic for you too. If you decide to give this pie a try please come back and comment on how it turned out. We would love to hear from you.