We love this dessert for featuring a true taste of the Prairies: Saskatoon berries! Make this very-Canadian pie for cozy gatherings this holiday or any night you could use some comfort food.
Farmer’s Saskatoon Pie
By Giselle Courteau
I remember spending summers picking Saskatoons at the lake in Saskatchewan with my family. I would go home with my picking bucket nearly empty as I spent most of the time just eating berries off the bushes. Soon after we opened Duchess, a local farmer came in and told us about his Saskatoon farm. I was thrilled to have found a great local supplier, so we quickly introduced this pie, which we have dedicated to Farmer Wade and Berry Ridge Orchards.
1 blind-baked pie shell (or a store-bought pie shell)
1 ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
⅓ cup unsalted butter, in ½-inch cubes, cold
⅓ cup vegetable shortening, in ½-inch cubes, cold
⅓ tsp salt
⅓ cup ice water
1 egg white whisked with 1 tbsp cream
½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
⅓ cup all-purpose flour
⅓ cup firmly packed brown sugar
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 cups fresh or frozen Saskatoon berries
3 tbsp water
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 cup sugar
⅓ cup all-purpose flour
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
1 tbsp cornstarch
To make the pie dough, place flour, butter, shortening, and salt into a stand mixer bowl. Mix on low speed until the fats are in small chunks and the mixture looks a bit dry. This should only take 10 to 15 seconds. If you overmix you run the risk of turning your mixture into a dough, and then you’ll have a difficult time incorporating all the water into it in the next step. Add ice water all at once and mix on medium speed until the dough just comes together. Some small lumps of fat should remain in the dough. Shape the dough into a ball, wrap with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, making sure the dough is fully chilled before rolling out. At this point the dough can be frozen. Let it thaw completely before using it, but when you roll it out, be sure it’s still cold.
To roll out the pie dough, lightly flour your work surface and place the cold pie dough in the middle. Lightly flour the top of the dough and, using a rolling pin, roll the dough from the centre outward. While rolling out your dough, keep rotating it, lightly flouring the surface under the dough as well as the top as needed to prevent it from sticking. Roll the dough out to about ¼ inch thick. Flip the pie plate you will be using upside down onto the dough. Using a sharp knife, trace a circle 1 to 2 inches out from the edge of the pie plate. Fold the circle of dough in half and transfer it to the pie plate, making sure it’s nicely centred. Unfold the dough, and then, using your fingers, gently press it down to form the pie shell, leaving the extra dough hanging over the edge of the pie plate.
To make the blind-baked shell, working around the entire edge of the shell, snugly tuck the dough under itself, forming a thick rim around the edge of the plate. Using the thumb of one hand, press the dough between the thumb and forefinger of the other hand, forming a crimped peak. Continue around the entire edge. Freeze the shell for at least 15 minutes. Remove the shell from the freezer and brush the edges generously with egg wash. Cut a large circle out of parchment paper — large enough to cover the bottom and sides of the shell — and line the shell with it. Fill the lined shell to about one-third full with dried beans, rice, or pie weights. This will help the shell hold its shape while it bakes. Bake the shell at 375°F for 30 to 35 minutes, until the edges are a light golden brown. Take it out of the oven and remove the parchment and weights. Using a fork, gently poke the bottom of the shell in a few places to make sure no air bubbles form. Put it back in the oven for another 5 minutes to finish baking.
To make the crumb topping, in a bowl, combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Add the butter and, using your hands, work it into the dry ingredients until large clumps form. Set aside.
To make the filling, in a saucepan, combine the saskatoon berries, water, lemon juice, and sugar. Cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves and the mixture begins to simmer. Stir in the remaining ingredients and continue to cook until the mixture thickens.
Fill the shell to the rim with the saskatoon filling and generously top with crumb topping.
Bake the pie at 375°F for 45 to 50 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling. Serve the pie slightly warm or let it cool completely.
This pie will keep at room temperature for up to three days.
Saskatoon Raspberry variation:
Halve the recipe for saskatoon filling. Spread a layer for fresh raspberries over the bottom of the pie shell. Top with the saskatoon filling and the crumb and bake as instructed.
Excerpted from Duchess Bake Shop: French-Inspired Recipes from our Bakery to Your Home by Giselle Courteau. Copyright © 2014 Duchess Bake Shop. Appetite by Random House® edition published 2017.Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.
Servings: Makes one 9-inch pie
approx. Per Serving