Caneberries are one of the many joys of summer here in the Pacific Northwest. Blackberries and raspberries are in abundance in every farmers market and roadside stand in the state this month and the real prize, the berry we all search for, is a hybrid blackberry that is unique to Oregon, the marionberry. Its a cross between the Chehalem and Olallie blackberries, and is large, sweet and juicy with a complexity of flavors that has led to it being called the “Cabernet of Blackberries.”
If you visit Oregon you will find marionberry pies, cobblers, preserves, ice creams and desserts of all kinds in our finest restaurants to the smallest coffee shops. We all have our favorite recipes and in my family its the pie. The berries have so much flavor that all that’s needed in addition to sugar is a squirt of lemon juice and a bit of zest to bring out their luscious flavor. Just use your favorite berry pie filling recipe and substitute marionberries if you can find them. These berries are juicy so I add a tablespoon or two of flour depending on the size of the pie. Dot the berries with bits of butter before adding the top crust.
As I browsed through my previous pie posts I realized that I’ve never shared my favorite pie crust recipe with you. A neighbor gave it to me many, many years ago and it’s the recipe I always use for robust pies that need a sturdy crust to hold juicy fruit fillings. I occasionally see this recipe printed in newspapers or community cookbooks so I know it’s nothing new, but just in case you’ve never seen it before I promise you it’s a good one. It doesn’t suffer from being rerolled a time or two and if it should crack it can easily be repaired with a bit of water and a pinch.
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1-1/3 cup shortening
Mix together with a pastry blender until crumbly.
1 tablespoon vinegar
3 tablespoons cold water
Mix with fork and add to flour mixture. Combine well and roll out on a floured surface.
Makes 1 2-crust and 1 1-crust pie.
I found little foil pie tins at the local grocery that are the perfect size for a pie for 2. Marionberry pie freezes beautifully so I made up several extra that will be a special treat for dinner during the winter. Now is the time to start stocking the freezer for the coming months when there is nothing local available in the produce section of the markets.
My friend, Marie, at Proud Italian Cook has written a new ebook of her treasured Italian sauce recipes. This is a must in every cook’s kitchen . Click this link to view her cookbook and to add it to your own library.
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TO BE PARISIAN IS NOT TO BE BORN IN PARIS, BUT TO BE REBORN THERE - Sacha Guitry