saskatoon rhubarb pie
Hello! Today we have such a wonderful (and maybe unusual?) Summer pie to talk about. If you're unfamiliar with saskatoons, they're kind of like a smaller blueberry, with almost a nutty taste. Hard to describe! But they make amazing pies, even if they are a pain in the butt to pick! Ha! They tend to ripen individually, versus blueberries which often ripen in clusters. Soooo.....when you're picking them for money, the saskatoons are much harder! I was always a terrible berry picker when my family had more berries (we used to grow a ton of raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries), and I didn't even bother to attempt to make money picking saskatoons. Hahaha.
Anyway, we still have a couple rows of saskatoons left, and that's where I shot these photos. It was such a dreamy night, and the light was so magical. I took my time, enjoyed the whole thing, marveled at golden hour and the lovely pink sunset that appeared, and shot for about 2 hours. Often food shoots can be a bit frantic (prime example: the popsicles I shot in 30 degree C (86 F) the other day!! #stressed), and this one was so relaxing! Was such a good reminder of why I love this crazy food blog thing.
Things to note:
Blueberries sub perfectly for saskatoons!
Replace rhubarb with any other fruit if you don't like it/can't find it, or simply use all saskatoons/blueberries.
saskatoon rhubarb pie
yields: one 9-inch pie
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons brown sugar (packed)
1 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
4 teaspoons white vinegar
1/2 cup minus 4 teaspoons very cold water
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and brown sugar until completely combined. Cut in butter with a pastry cutter or a fork. I like to use my hands to finish, and will shake the bowl to bring the butter chunks to the surface, and use my fingers to break the larger pieces into pea size pieces. You don't want them to be smaller than this, or they won't spread in the dough to create those wonderful flaky layers!
Measure out the vinegar into a liquid measuring cup, and then fill to the 1/2 cup line. I sometimes will do this at the start, and keep it in the freezer until I add it to the dough. Pour over the flour-butter mixture, and gently stir it with a spatula. Once the dough barely comes together, but is super shaggy looking, dump onto a lightly floured surface. Carefully fold dough over onto itself, scooping up flour bits and pressing them in, and fold over again. Your goal is to not overmix the dough, or melt the butter at all! Once the dough has just come together, cut it into two pieces, and form two flat discs. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for a minimum of an hour for it to chill, but up to a week or two.
It also keeps well in an airtight container in the freezer! Let it thaw in the fridge when you bring it out.
6 cups saskatoon berries
2 cups chopped rhubarb (should be in about 1/2 inch pieces)
3/4 to 1 cup of granulated sugar (depends on your tart preference, I'll always err on less sugar since I like things less sweet, esp if I'm going to be adding a scoop of ice cream when serving!
1 teaspoon ground Cardamom
1/2 cup water
Juice of 1 lemon (about 1/4 cup)
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 egg, beaten
In a medium saucepan, combine saskatoons, chopped rhubarb, sugar, cardamom, and set aside.
In a small bowl, combined water, juice of 1 lemon (about 1/4 cup), and cornstarch. Whisk together to make a slurry. *If you don't do this separately, it can be hard for the cornstarch to dissolve properly, and you can get weird lumps of it in your pie!
Add the slurry to the saucepan, and cook on medium heat while stirring, until the mixture is thick - this will take about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and allow to cool to room temperature before adding to the pie dough. If you add it warm, it will melt your crust!
Once the filling has cooled, roll out your pie crust and place into a pie dish. You want to have an inch or two hanging over the edge of your pie dish so that you can crimp it after.
Add filling, and place into the fridge while you roll out the top crust. If you want to do a lattice, or braids, I like to place things onto a cookie sheet as I work, and place it in the fridge if the dough starts getting soft. In summer it can be challenging, so give yourself lots of time, and don't be too hard on yourself if it doesn't work out! Honestly a plain double crust with a few vent holes (small knife cuts on the top) tastes the best to me!
Place in the fridge or freezer for 15-20 minutes before baking. This helps your crust harden up again and not get mushy. Remember, cold dough means cold butter = flaky crust!
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F while the pie firms up! Brush pie with egg mixture (or milk), and sprinkle with coarse sugar for some extra sparkle.
Bake at 425 for the first 20 minutes, and then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F, and bake for an additional 40 minutes, or until pie is brown and bubbling well.
*If crust is getting dark, especially around the edges, you can make a protector out of aluminum foil. This is best done before the pie goes into the oven! Simply lay foil over chilled pie, lightly crimp edges, then remove and cut a whole in the middle. You'll want about 2 inches in from the edge protected. Remove foil and use if needed.
Let pie cool almost completely before cutting, otherwise you'll have a runny mess. Still delicious, but the filling will likely note be quite set. My rule of thumb is that you want to be able to comfortably place your hand on the bottom of the pan. This can take a couple hours!
Serve slightly warm with ice cream for best results. Pies are always best the first day, but will keep several days on the counter. I also cut mine up and freeze the individually pieces if I can't eat it fast enough. Let it thaw in the fridge when ready to eat.
Happy pie baking!