Raspberries and blackberries are the perfect summer fruit. And to make the perfect summer berry pie, you just need a few more ingredients to help them shine. You can use frozen berries to make this any time of year, but it will always taste like summer.
A few years ago we planted an apple orchard and a berry patch with rows of blackberries and raspberries. We have little to no luck with the apples, but we are lucky enough to harvest quarts of fresh berries every summer. There is always a period of overlap between them in June, and again in September. And when that happens, we make this homemade pie.
Not too sweet, not too tart
This is one of my husband’s favorite dessert recipes, since it is not super sweet. (His other most requested are key lime pie and plum cobbler, which both have a little tartness to them.)
If you like super sweet pies, you will want to increase the sugar in this recipe. I start with the amount of 1 cup as a minimum, but once you’ve added that, be sure to taste the filling. The natural sweetness of the berries will vary, as will your personal taste. If it doesn’t seem sweet enough, add another quarter cup or even half cup of sugar. If you like things a little tart, then one cup will probably be plenty for you.
Even though berries and delicious and perfect for pies and cobblers, they are very juicy. So this is something we have to try to correct to avoid a mess when we cut into the pie. There are two things that help with this: cornstarch and cooling time.
By mixing cornstarch into a little lemon juice and then stirring it into the berry mixture, the liquid in the berries will start to thicken up. This process continues as the pie cools and sets. You will need to cool the pie in the fridge for at least 4 hours, but overnight is best.
Crust for homemade berry pie
This recipe calls for a classic double pastry crust. I like to use a recipe with a healthy amount of sugar in the dough. My favorites are Ina Garten’s pie crust and the sweet pie crust recipe in this cookbook. But any classic recipe with flour, butter or shortening, salt, and sugar will work well. If you aren’t comfortable with making your own pie crust, a store bought one is fine.
Either a lattice top or plain double crust will work. Make sure you cut adequate slits in the top crust because you want all the steam out of the filling while the pie bakes.
THere are some berry pie recipes that use a graham cracker crust, but I don’t think it would hold up well with the juicy berries. Stick with a pastry crust.
Step by step blackberry raspberry pie
To get ready, prepare your pie pan with the pie crust and preheat the oven to 400 degrees. You may want to place the pie plate on a foil lined baking sheet to catch any drips and keep your over clean.
The first step is to place 7 cups of berries in a large saucepan.. You can do half of each type of berry, or an uneven mix. It depends on what you have and what you prefer. Mix in 1 cup of sugar, and then heat the berries and sugar over medium heat for 5 minutes. The berries will start to release their juices.
While this is happening, mix together 2.5 tablespoons of lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. Mix this into the berry and sugar mixture and give it a gentle stir. Let it simmer for 1 minute, then remove the pan from the heat.
Pour the blackberry raspberry mixture into the prepared pie plate, and top with the other half of the crust. I like to brush with milk and sprinkle with coarse sugar.
Bake for 40-45 minutes, until the filling is bubbling and the crust is golden brown. But halfway through, check to see if the crust is browning too quickly. If it is, shield it with some aluminum foil. (Or get a pie shield if you bake a lot.)
And it is very, VERY important to let this cool completely, AT LEAST four hours, as we have already discussed. That’s a good thing! Make it the day before a special dinner and the next day, it’s already done.
Pie making essentials:
- Coarse sugar that will hold its shape in the oven gives the crust a yummy sweetness and crunch
- A pie shield is handy to keep the crust from overbrowning
- If you want pretty lattice strips, you’ll need a pastry wheel to cut the crust.
Here’s the recipe!
Blackberry Raspberry Pie
- 2 prepared pie crusts 1 top, 1 bottom
- 3 1/2 cups blackberries
- 3 1/2 cups raspberries
- 1 cup sugar more according to taste
- 2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
For topping the crust
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 2 tablespoons coarse sugar
- Prepare a pie plate with a pie crust. Place on a foil lined baking sheet. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Combine the berries and sugar in a large saucepan. Cook over medium heat until berries release their juices, about 5 minutes. Taste the filling and add more sugar if desired. While the filling is heating, mix the cornstarch and lemon juice in a small bowl. Add it to the berry mixture and heat for 2-3 minutes more.
- Pour filling into prepared pie dish and top with second crust. Brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar.
- Bake at for 40-45 minutes, until pie is golden brown and filling is bubbling. If edges are overbrowning, cover them with a foil guard halfway through the baking time.
- Allow pie to cool to room temperature on cooling rack, then cover and refrigerator for 4-24 hours. Serve cold or room temperature.
Enjoy this summer treat!