June launches berry season in our area of Central Illinois. The strawberries are ripe and the cherries are ready to pick. Although we left the cherry picking in the orchard too late to save some from the birds, we harvested enough for a couple of Three Berry Pies. Try this wonderful ode to early summer by combining 3 kinds of your favorite berries for a lovely pie. THREE BERRY PIE
- Combine 4 cups of berries in any combination: cherries or strawberries, blueberries and blackberries. I used about 1 1/2 cups cherries, 1 1/2 cups blueberries and 1 cup blackberries.
- Drizzle the berries with 1/2 teaspoon almond extract. Toss together.
- Mix 1/3 cup flour, 1 2/3 cup sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and a good dash of salt.
- Blend flour mixture into berries until incorporated. Set aside while preparing the pastry for a double crust pie.
- Fill the pie shell with the fruit. Dot with butter. Top the berries with the second crust; seal and flute. Cut steam slits in the top crust. Dust top crust with sugar.
- Bake the pie in a 400 degree F. oven for 50 minutes. Cover the pie with a piece of aluminum foil for the last 10 minutes to prevent over-browning of the crust.
Serve this berry-delicious pie with real whipped cream or ice cream.
The secret to flaky pie crust is to cut the shortening into the flour well; then sprinkle the ice water a few tablespoons at a time onto the flour; fluff with the pastry blender but do not cut in. Continue adding more of the ice water and fluffing until the particles begin to hold together. Bring the ball together with your hands. Add more water if the dough is not soft and moist. It is better to have a softer dough than a dry dough. The trick is to avoid over-mixing the dough. Roll dough out on floured waxed paper. Dust top crust with sugar before baking. This is a juicy pie; place a sheet of aluminum foil under your pie before baking to catch drips. The pie is done when the juices are thickened and running out of the steam slits and the top is golden brown. Cool the pie completely before cutting in order to allow the filling to set. HAPPY SUMMER EATING!