Sunday, August 12, 2007

Huckleberry Pie, Fer Reals

Since I was in Portland for Dazee's birthday, we planned to celebrate small last night instead. Dazee is all about using local produce as much as possible, and really wanted a fruit pie instead of cake. Perfect! Our friends Justin and Tracey were married in NOLA recently, and Justin's Mom, who lives in rural Louisiana, was kind enough to bring us some huckleberries she'd picked from her property. We've had a freezer full of them since May, so I was delighted to put them to good use. What a sweetie! She packed the berries into ziplocks that were premeasured in 1 cup increments, so measuring six cups was a snap. Here's what I started with:

I made my standard half unbleached white, half whole wheat pastry flour crust. The inside of the pie consisted of huckleberries, sugar, a bit of flour for thickening, and small amounts of salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.

I knew I wanted to spell Dazee's name on top of the pie, and I really wanted to purchase a set of alphabet cookie cutters, but in the end sense came back to me, and I cut the letters out by hand instead. Here's a nice shot of the crimped edge:

And the finished pie:

Too bad the pie itself sucked! We cut into it and it was pure liquid. I think the wild huckleberries had a very thick skin, so even after baking at 375F for an hour, they didn't burst to release their pectin. It was just pie soup, though it was tasty pie soup--and the crust was my favorite part. Our friends Mitchell and Noy brought over some plum and watermelon sorbet from La Divina, so that made it all OK.


  1. I have always wondered if Dazee is his real name or a pet/nickname? It's a cool name either way!

    Also, these pictures made my mouth water! It looks delicious (even if the pie didn't set up).

  2. hey jenni!
    dazee is his nickname, but most everyone calls him that--except at work cuz he's a working stiff.


  3. your pie looks awesome! i want some crust now...
    by the way, what recipe do you use? i want to make me some cherry tarts...

  4. oh my god, kittee, that crust is too much. who cares if it was a runny pie, all the better to soak up in the crust. "wild" huckleberries. why couldn't they just be good?

  5. Your pie is the coolest ever Kittee!!

    Maybe the huckleberries need to be cooked first with some cornstarch and sugar before filling the pie. I haven't tried huckleberries, but they sure delish.

    Happy birthday Dazee!

  6. hey karla!
    i just doubled the pie crust recipe used for the strawberry pie in herbivore (i added a bit of sugar--2tbl).

    What You Need:

    * 1/2 cup unbleached white flour
    * 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
    * 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon Spectrum brand vegetable shortening
    * 1/2 teaspoon salt
    * 3 tablespoons ice cold water, plus 1-3 teaspoons extra as needed

    What You Do:

    Strawberry Pie

    1. Preheat the oven to 475F.
    2. Mix the flours together with the salt in a medium-sized bowl.
    3. Using a fork or mixer, cut the shortening into the flours until you have a coarse mixture consisting of lots of pea-sized particles (mine looked a bit like coarse, wet sand).
    4. Add just enough water, tablespoon by tablespoon, until the flour is moistened and can be gathered into a dough-ball. You can add the extra water if you need some, but be very careful. If you add too much, you will have to start over again.
    5. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured board until it is 2″ wider than your inverted pie plate. If necessary, pull off dough in areas where there is too much, wet it lightly, and mash it into areas where there isn’t enough. Using a knife, trim around the perimeter to clean off the edges. To transfer to your pie plate, I used one of those new-fangled plastic flexible cutting boards. It worked great, after I had the dough rolled out, I just flipped the whole thing over my pie plate and then peeled it off. You could also use waxed paper or you could fold the dough into quarters, then carefully lift it, and place it into your pie plate to unfold.
    6. Gently push the dough into the pie plate. Try to ease it in from the edges towards the center instead of pushing from the center outwards. If you stretch the dough too much, it will actually shrink when you bake it. Make the dough edge pretty using a fork to flute the edges, or by folding and rolling the edge under and then hand fluting using the index finger and thumb of your right hand and the thumb of your left.
    7. Prick the crust all over with a fork to make air vents and bake for eight minutes.

  7. yum yum ymu. pie soup is my favorite soup!

  8. huckleberries make me weak-knee'd

  9. Gauri Radha गौरी राधाJuly 1, 2011 at 7:14 PM

    Don't think I've ever tried huckleberries. This pie looks terrific.


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