Oh My Potluck!

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Saskapple Berry Pie

I feel sort of, kind of bad posting this. Saskatoon berries are a very regional delicacy native to inland Western Canada (that is Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and possibly reaching into parts of Ontario). They start coming out in late July especially in river valleys and tons of people can be seen filling ice cream buckets with the anti-oxident rich fruit. It’s slightly smaller than a blueberry but the colour is quite close. It has it’s own unique flavour that I honestly can’t put into words. It’s a bit tart and definitely sweet. So, I feel bad posting this because I know not all readers will have access to the berry. You could try blackberries or raspberries instead.

Just to be fare though. We don’t have ramps where I live and this is a major source of disappointment for me. I’ve heard they’re amazing and have seen several phenomenal, lick-you-lips delicious sounding recipes containing ramps but what can I do? I spent 3-4 hours one day running from market to grocery store to specialty food store without any success. Boo.

Since this dish is very regional I thought I might as well through on some good western Canadian music. Unfortunately the limitations of Youtube made it difficult to find a lot of the songs I wanted to throw on this garage-rock jam. I think this’ll suffice, although it does run a little short, which means you can listen to it twice!


Watch here or watch on Youtube.

Ever since I was a kid my family would rave about Saskatoon berries. I remember when our new neighbours cut down the Saskatoon bush in their backyard and how angry my mom got. It’s true, why would you do that? My BFF shares equally fond memories of his family’s Saskatoon Berry eating. In fact, that’s how I got the idea for this tasty treat.

After a very quick jaunt to the river with a pail ready to be filled with berries we still didn’t have enough to warrant an entire pie. My BFF recalled back to how his family would make the Saskatoon Berries last longer by making Saskatoon-Apple pie. This sounded delicious. So, I got to work. A day later I got not only an attractive pie and some very happy tasters but I also got a pretty mighty new recipe to add to my collection.

After having his slice of pie my BFF remarked how neat it was that just a few days ago we were picking these berries off the bushes and then in a couple of days we were eating them. Yes, we are the hunter-gatherers. We are like the men and women that settled the west… Except for everything else that goes into these is bought conveniently from a single supermarket down the street. Life is great.

Saskapple Berry Pie

Makes 1 pie (about 8 pieces).

Crust:

  • 1 pound shortening, chilled (or lard)
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance substitute, chilled (or butter)
  • 5 cups whole wheat flour (or all-purpose)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 to 1 cup cold water

Filling:

  • 1 1/2 cups Saskatoon berries
  • 1 1/2 cups apples, peeled and sliced (2 large apples; Braeburn, Gala, and Spartan offer a nice sweet-tart flavour to the pie)
  • 1/2 – 2/3 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons whole milke or 1 egg, slightly beaten (for glaze, optional)
  1. For the crust, mix flour, sugar, and salt. Cut in the lard and butter. Add the lemon juice. If the crust is still crumbly gradually add water just until a ball starts to form. The less water you use the flakier it will be.
  2. Roll out a bit more than 1 pound (500 grams) of dough between two sheets of parchment or wax paper. Final thickness should be 1/4 inch thick. Gently remove the wax paper from one side and place over an 8″ round pie plate. Use a sharp knife to remove the excess.
  3. Roll another piece of dough out like the first for the pie cover. Store prepared pie plate and pie cover in the fridge for 2 hours, or overnight.
  4. Preheat oven to 35o°C.
  5. For the filling, place the berries and apples in a large bowl. In a medium bowl mix the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Stir together. Sprinkle over the fruit and toss to coat. Pour into the prepared pie crust. Top with the cover. Use a fork to decorate the edges and a sharp knife to trim excess from around the rim and cut slits into the top. You can also use cookie cutters or a paring knife to make designs in the top before placing it on top of the pie or cut into strips and weave them on top. Brush top with whole milk or a slightly beaten egg for a nice shine if you wish.
  6. Place in oven and bake for 45-60 minutes. If edges start to brown too quickly place aluminum foil or a pie plate ring over top to prevent burning.
  7. Allow to cool completely for 1-2 hours. Put into a pie plate tote and carefully take to the potluck.
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3 comments on “Saskapple Berry Pie

  1. jen
    August 8, 2012

    lots of service berries in the interior of BC as well.

    • kahht
      August 12, 2012

      Excellent! THe more the merrier.

  2. Rae C
    August 9, 2012

    Oh, man, I’m still not over that Saskatoon bush being cut down. Those people … ‘Dumb and Dumber’, that’s what they were nicknamed by the neighbourhood. BTW, great blog, Kat.

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This entry was posted on August 8, 2012 by in Pie and tagged , , , , , .

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