Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Summer Berry Pie

It's strawberry season here in Iowa! Well actually, it has been for a couple good weeks now due to our mild winter and wonderful spring temps we've been experiencing.

I took the girls out to Heartland Farms on Memorial Day for our annual strawberry picking. It was a beautiful morning and the strawberries were especially big this year!

One little girl spent more time eating rather than helping to fill our box.

We ended up with about 9 lbs. of strawberries and I'm sad to say they are long gone! We're planning another trip out to the farm this Thursday so I can fill my freezer with berries for smoothies and such.

I did however, get 2 batches of this strawberry freezer jam made and tucked away in the freezer. I first tried Ally's recipe last year and I will continue to make this each year!

We also made some smashed berry waffles for the freezer, I simply used my go-to waffle recipe and then added a mixture of smashed strawberries, blueberries and blackberries to the batter. The kids loved them!

Strawberry season isn't complete without strawberry slushies/smoothies! So of course we had to make those one afternoon and boy were they good. We ate our fair share of the ripe and luscious berries but I did make sure to save enough to make this pie for dessert last week. It was amazing!

I'm a sucker for anything with a graham cracker crust and all of those fresh berries were so good. I did spend most of my nap time putting this little concoction together but I think it was worth it. There's a wonderful thick berry puree down inside that you might not see in the picture, it's delicious and so worth the effort to make. We topped our slices with some whipped topping (of course the hubby had his with some vanilla ice cream) and I think we were in heaven for those 5 minutes while we devoured our pie!

Summer Berry Pie


Graham cracker crust:
9 graham crackers, broken into rough pieces
2 tbsp sugar
5 tbsp butter, melted and warm

Berry Filling:

2 1/2-3 c sliced strawberries
1- 6 oz. container blackberries
2 c  blueberries
1/2 c sugar
3 tbsp cornstarch
1/8 tsp salt
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp strawberry rhubarb jam (you could use just about any kind you have on hand)

Whipped topping or fresh whipped cream for topping
Ice Cream, optional


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. For the crust, in a food processor, process the graham crackers until evenly fine. Add sugar and pulse to combine. Continue to pulse while adding in warm butter, pulse until mixture resembles wet sand. Transfer crumbs to a 9-inch pie plate. Press crumbs evenly into bottom and up sides to form a crust. Bake for 15-18 mins, until crust is beginning to brown. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool while making the filling.

For the filling, combine berries in a colander and gently rinse, spread berries onto paper towels to dry. In a food processor, puree 2 1/2 c of the mixed berries until smooth. Strain the puree through a mesh strainer into a small saucepan, scraping and pressing on the seeds to extract as much puree as possible. You want to have about 1 1/4 c of the puree. Whisk the sugar, cornstarch and salt into the saucepan to combine. Bring the puree to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. When the mixtures reaches a boil and is thickened like pudding, remove from heat, stir in the lemon juice and set aside to cool slightly.

While the puree is cooling, place remaining berries in a bowl. Heat the jam in a small saucepan over low heat until fully melted.  Combine the jelly with berries.

To assemble the pie: Pour the berry puree over the cooled crust, spread into an even layer. Distribute the glazed berries over the puree. Loosely cover the pie with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 3 hours, until pie is chilled and puree has set. Serve pie with whipped cream and/or ice cream if desired.

Adapted from: Baking Illustrated

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