Monday, July 16, 2012

Saskatoon Pie

Earlier this week my mom and grandma picked a couple big bucketfuls of wild saskatoon berries from the trails around her house. I went for a walk with them around the trails a few days after and the bushes were still packed full of ripe berries, so we still have lots of picking to do and lots of pies to make. If you're unfamiliar with saskatoons, they are a purplish berry, similar in size and colour to a blueberry, that are native to the Canadian prairies, Northern Canada, and British Columbia. They were traditionally grown by Aboriginal peoples, who used the berries and the shrubs for food and medicinal purposes. Saskatoons are higher in antioxidants than blueberries and other berries, and they taste delicious (especially in saskatoon pie or as saskatoon jam)! 

I made this pie last night and enjoyed it with my grandparents and parents. I have memories of eating saskatoon pie, homemade by either my grandma or mom, as a child so it was really nice to be able to be able to finally make a pie for them! This is a great, basic pie recipe that really lets the flavour of the berries shine through. The pie crust is my perfect pie crust recipe and it really is the best pie crust I have ever had! It is flaky, buttery, and light - and I guarantee you won't have people leaving big chunks of crust behind on their plate. If you don't have saskatoon berries then you can use fresh blueberries instead, but I definitely recommend trying this Canadian superfruit!


4 cups fresh saskatoon berries
1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
3/4 cup white sugar
3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 recipe pastry for a 9" double crust pie - Try my perfect pie crust recipe here
1 Tbsp. butter
Egg wash (1 egg mixed with 1/2 cup water)


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Roll out the pastry dough for your bottom crust and line a 9" pie pan with the crust. I recommend using a glass pie pan so that you can monitor your crust while it bakes. Roll out the pastry for the top crust and cut vents into the crust for the steam to escape while baking; set aside. 

In a large saucepan, simmer the berries in 1/4 cup water for 10 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and continue to simmer. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and flour, then gradually stir into the berry mixture. Remove from heat and pour into the prepared bottom pie crust. Using a pastry brush, brush the overhanging pie crust with an egg wash.

Dot the top of the berry filling with butter. Place the second crust on top of the pie. Seal and flute the crust edges. Lightly brush the top of the pie with the egg wash.

Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes on a low oven rack. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F, move the pie to the middle rack, and bake for an additional 35-45 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the berry juices are bubbling. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for 20-30 minutes. Slice and serve with fresh whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, or on its own. This pie is great warm, at room temperature, or cold.

*Recipe by Brooke McMillan

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