Are you sick of pie posts yet? If not, read on!
Up near the Orchard, August is typically the end of wild blueberry season and the start of blackberry season. We've also had some amazing luck picking wild raspberries up near Michael's parents home in Palisades, NY, which means that a frozen bag of berries (or two) can often be found in our freezer at home. I typically mix this with the rhubarb from my plant upstate to get more tartness and then voila, we have pie. Streusel toppings have been my new favorite alternative to a top crust, both for its ease and crunchy texture. It really could not be any easier. Much like pie crust, it can be made in a batch and then frozen in baggies to keep around. It could also be used sans bottom crust, to make a crumble.
You will need 1/2 recipe for all butter pie crust. Make sure you chill the crust for at least 10 minutes in the freezer before rolling out. I like to put the pan in the freezer too. Plus, filling and streusel, below.
For the Mixed Berry filling:
(Depending on how tart you like your pie filling, pick from the amounts below. If you like a sweeter filling, go with 4 cups berries and 2 cups rhubarb.. you get the idea)
- 3-4 cups mixed berries (I've used a combination of strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries)
- 2-3 cups chopped rhubarb
- 2 tablespoons instant tapioca
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of kosher salt
- juice of 1/2 lemon
Using a spoon or spatula, gently toss the above ingredients together so that it's mixed. Set aside in the refrigerator while you assemble the streusel topping and roll out the bottom crust.
For the Streusel topping:
- 3/4 cup flour
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch of kosher salt
- 1/4 cup butter, softened and partially melted in microwave
Mix the ingredients above with a fork until crumbly. If it not making crumbles, place it in the freezer for 2 minutes and then using the fork again to stir so that it crumbles into peas. Place this in the refrigerator until you're ready to use it.
Assembling the pie:
First, roll out your dough on a floured surface and place it in the pie pan. Use scissors to snip the edges so that there is about 1 inch of excess dough on the outside. Take the edges, roll them underneath to create a rim. If the dough is too soft at this point because the kitchen is warm, place the crust and pan in the freezer for 5-10 minutes. Take it out, and crimp the edges, and then put this back into the freezer.
Next, preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Take out a baking sheet and line it with foil so that the pie can go on top of this and the juices won't ruin your oven. Once the oven is preheated, take the pie crust out of the freezer and the filling and streusel out of the fridge. Working quickly. scoop the filling into the pie crust and pack it down as tightly as possible with your hands. Using the fork, crumble the struesel and distribute it all over the top of the pie.
Slip the pie on top of the baking sheet and place it in the oven for 20 minutes, or until the edges are brown. Reduce the heat to 325 and bake for another 30-40 minutes, or until the juices start bubbling out. Remove, and let it cool completely before serving so that the filling can reset. You can always reheat the pie gently in the oven at 200 degrees before serving with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.