If you want to pick a pie-maker out of a crowd, just look at their hands. Their berry-stained fingers are a dead giveaway every time—especially this time of year, when the bumper season for berries is just beginning. Here's a few time-tested tips to help you put those sweet incoming crops to yummy good use:
Blind bake the crust first—it firms up the foundation, so to speak, adding an extra barrier to prevent soupy fruit fillings from making the crust soggy.
Extra juicy pies need room to breathe during baking. A double crust is more apt to trap steam when baking with berries; opting for a lattice crust will help prevent that.
Most berries don't have a lot of natural pectins to help thicken the filling, so they need a little help. Try blending in fruits that do—such as peaches and strawberries or blueberries and nectarines—and incorporating thickeners such as corn starch or Clear Jel.
If you have more berries than you have crusts, consider canning a few jars of filling for the winter to come. Yes, it's a little labor-intensive, but imagine how happy you'll be to tuck into a summery blackberry pie in November!
Here's a few pie recipes to try your hand—for more, be sure and drop by our online Pie Social anytime. The doors are always open!