A frozen multi-berry pie has become my “signature” pie and earned me the title “Pie Queen” from my husband.
I use a deep-dish pie plate with a capacity of about 6 cups. Here’s my favorite recipe:
20 ounces frozen tart pie cherries (sour cherries)
20 ounces frozen blueberries
about 13 ounces frozen rasberries or blackberries.
Take the berries out a day in advance and thaw them in a big bowl in the refrigerator. Drain them and reserve the juices.
Place the juices in a large greased heat-proof glass measuring cup. Make sure the cup is no more than 1/3 full or it will spatter. Microwave the juices on high for 10 to 15 minutes, until reduced to a third to a quarter of their original volume. Watch carefully towards the end, or you can overcook them into a sort of “fruit juice caramel.”
Let the reduced juices cool down a bit. Add about 1 teaspoon lemon juice. (If you are using a mix of berries that is quite sweet, you might want to use a little more lemon juice.) Pour the juice back over the berries.
Mix together 1/2 cup granulated sugar (or more, I like my pies quite tart), 1/8 teaspoon salt, about 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest, and 3 tablespoons potato starch (my favorite pie thickener.) Toss with the berries just before you are going to fill the pie.
I make a two-crust pie with Rose’s Cream Cheese Pie Pastry (whole-wheat version). I rub the bottom crust with a bit of softened butter before adding the filling. I glaze the top crust with a mixture of half milk / half heavy cream and sprinkle lightly with turbinado sugar.
If I end up with a bit too much filling, I take the extra and simmer it briefly on the stovetop until it thickens, adding a little water if needed. It makes a great topping for waffles, pancakes, ice cream etc.
If you look around a bit, you may be able to find a store that carries frozen fruit in big 40 ounce bags. In my area, the local “warehouse” supermarket carries them. The brand they get is made by Coloma Frozen Foods. The price is reasonable, the quality is good—not up there with the very best like the frozen wild blueberries from Maine, but good. And with so much fruit packed into the pie, believe me, it tastes great!
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