Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Harvest on the Table ~ Lemon Saskatoon Berry Pie
I made this pie for an event in 2007, and haven't made it since. The first time, I found the recipe online, but of course I couldn't find it again.
Overall, it's pretty simple - pie shell, lemon pie filling, saskatoon berry topping (whipped cream on top if you're game for the extra calories). I figured it would be easy enough to swing.
You didn't think I was actually going to make everything from scratch, did you? I did plan to make a graham cracker crust, but the premade crusts were on special, and for 50 cents extra I was willing to take the easy route. Plus, it's been so hot lately, the less I use the stove and oven, the better.
I unwrapped the pie crusts, and cooked the lemon pie filling according the package directions. For the saskatoon berry topping, I adapted a recipe from epicurious.com:
4c fresh berries (saskatoons or blueberries), cleaned and picked over
1/2c + 2T water, divided
2tsp fresh lemon juice
Place 1c of the berries and 1/2c of the water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Then, reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until juice starts to thicken (after 7 minutes, mine still didn't seem to have thickened, but by that point, the liquid had noticeably evaporated, so I figured it was close enough). While the berries are cooking, mix 2T cold water with the 2T of cornstarch. Once the berries are ready, add in the cornstarch mixture, the sugar, and the lemon juice. (Honestly, I didn't have fresh lemons on hand, so I just squirted in some of the stuff from my plastic lemon.) Continue cooking for about 5 more minutes, until thickened. Once it starts thickening, it will go fast, so keep an eye on it. When you have to start scraping the juices off the bottom of the pot, pull it off the heat and quickly fold in the remaining berries.
I don't know if it makes a difference or not, but I like my lemon filling to gel a bit before I put the berries on top. According to the berry recipe on epicurious, the berries can sit out on the counter for a few days, so they should be okay while you finish up the lemon pies. After pouring the filling into the shells, I refrigerated them for about 10 minutes. I then careful sprinkled and spread the berry mixture on top of the pies.
4c of berries makes just enough topping for two 8" pies. Next time, I'll probably make 5 cups of berries.
I like this recipe because it's fast and easy, and nice for the summer when you don't want to heat up your kitchen too much. It also doesn't require a lot of berries, so if you don't have too many ready yet, or if you have to buy them from your farmers' market ($$$), you can stretch them a little further.