Le Food Snob


Yesterday morning my sister and I drove to Canby, Ore. to go berry picking. I had every intention of going raspberry picking (what I really wanted to make was raspberry pie), but when we arrived they told us they were out of raspberries.

The other options were blueberries, marionberries, lingonberries and boysenberries. I settled on boysonberries knowing little to nothing about them. They just looked like blackberries on steroids to me.

There’s something calming about toting your berry bucket aisle by aisle bending down or reaching up to pick berries as the warm (hot, actually) Oregon sun penetrates the back of your legs. I haven’t been berry picking since I was a kid but quickly figured out if you can’t easily pull the berry from its stem; it’s not ripe. I got a few cuts and  jabs here and there from the prickers on the stems but after about an hour or so I emerged with six pounds of boysenberries. Nine dollars later, I was done for the day as I waited in my sister’s car for her to arrive with her haul.

The first thing I did upon arriving home (and tasting a few berries – they taste like blackberries to me) was to find a recipe for pie.

When I don’t already have a recipe on hand, my go-to site is usually: http://www.simplyrecipes.com. Per usual, I was not disappointed and immediately found what I was looking for.


  • 1 pie dough recipe for top and bottom crust
  • 5 c. boysenberries, rinsed, picked clean, lightly patted dry (if you use frozen berries, first defrost them and then drain them of excess moisture)
  • 1/2 c. to 3/4 c. sugar (depending on how sweet you want your pie)
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 3 T. instant tapioca pudding
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten, for egg wash


  1. Put berries, sugar, lemon juice, nutmeg, and quick tapioca in a large bowl. Gently fold so that the berries are all coated with some sugar. Let sit for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F. Roll out one ball of pie dough on a lightly floured surface to 12-inch diameter. Line the bottom of a 9-inch pie pan with the dough. Chill in refrigerator while you roll out the bottom crust.
  3. Roll out second ball of pie dough. If you plan to do a lattice top, prepare the dough strips as described here.
  4. Scoop berry mixture into dough-lined pie dish. If you would like your pie to have a lattice top, weave strips of pie dough over the top of the fruit-filled pie dish. If you would like your pie to have a solid top, place the second rolled-out pie dough crust on top of the pie. Press ends of strips into the rim of the bottom crust. Trim the edges to 1/2-inch. Fold the edges back over themselves and crimp to seal. If you are using a solid top crust, score the top to create air vents.
  5. Gently brush the top with beaten egg.
  6. Place pie on middle rack of the oven, on a baking sheet to catch any juices that might bubble over. Bake at 400°F for 30 minutes. Place a sheet of aluminum foil over the pie to protect the edges and tops from getting burnt. Reduce the heat to 350°F and bake for an additional 30 minutes, until crust is browned and filling is bubbly.

I am a person with little impulse control – especially when it comes to food (especially when it comes to food that has just come from the oven). Think about it for a minute. Doesn’t a cookie taste best when right out of the oven? It does. Within that line of thinking, pie should taste best when out of the oven, too. In my opinion.

Not fruit pies. They are meant to be eaten once completely cooled. It took all my will power to wait until the next day to try this pie, but I was glad that I did. The last time I attempted a fruit pie I did not wait and had to turn my disaster of a blueberry pie into a rather delicious Blueberry Pie Crumble (though not what I had intended). This time when I sliced into the pie, I came away with an entire gelatinous piece.

I used half a cup of sugar and found the pie a bit tart. If you don’t like tart, you should go with three-fourths a cup of sugar in your pie.

Recipe rating: 



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