By Eva Kosmas Flores
Could you tell it was summer pie season yet? I’m coming at you with another one of my favorite summer pastries, in the form of this classic huckleberry pie. Huckleberries grow wild along the northern United States, and they’re little berries that can range from black to red to purple depending on the variety and growing area. But all you really need to know is that they’re tasty little guys, and their flavor is akin to a tart blueberry, which makes them perfect for cooking down and incorporating into pies and jams and the like. I let this guy cool for about 30 minutes before slicing, and then I love topping it with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream while the pie is still warm and letting the ice cream melt a bit on the slice. The flavor of the cooked concentrated huckleberries mixes with the melty vanilla ice cream and creates some real summer magic. Hope you guys enjoy it!
Ingredients for Spiced Crust
3 cups flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup unsalted butter, frozen
6 to 10 tablespoons ice water
Ingredients for Filling
4 cups huckleberries
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
3 tablespoons plain dried bread crumbs
First, prepare the crust. Mix together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Grate the frozen butter over the bowl on the largest hole setting, stopping every 10 seconds or so to stir in the grated butter bits so that they don’t form one giant butter shard clump. Add the ice water mixture 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring then kneading, until the dough just comes together. Grab a handful of the dough in your first and then release it. If it generally sticks together when you let go, it is fine. If it completely crumbles apart, it needs another tablespoon or two of water.
Once the dough holds its shape, separate it out into two balls, one just slightly larger than the other. Roll out the larger ball to 1/4-inch thickness on a well-floured surface. Transfer it to a 9-1/2 inch pie pan and center it so that an even amount of crust hangs over each side. Press the crust into the bottom of the skillet so that it is nice and snug (you don’t want any air bubbles appearing), still allowing the extra crust to hang over the side. Cover and refrigerate the pan, and cover and refrigerate the smaller ball of dough.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. For the filling, toss together the huckleberries and vanilla extract in a large bowl until coated. Add the sugar, flour, cinnamon, cloves, and salt and toss until combined. Set aside.
Remove the small ball of dough from the refrigerator and roll it out into a rectangle. Cut it longways into 10 roughly 3/4-inch wide strips.
Remove the pie crust from the refrigerator and evenly distribute the bread crumbs on the bottom of the crust. Pour the filling over the bread crumbs.
Lay half of the strips across the pie and use this guide to fold them back and place the other 5 strips as needed. Once the lattice is in place, fold the hanging crust edge back over the ends of the lattice strips and pinch with your thumbs to seal the crust in place.
Place the pie in the oven and bake until the crust is deeply golden and the interior is bubbly and thick, about 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. If the crust is browning too quickly, cover the edges with tin foil. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes before slicing and serving.