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Jul 16, 2006 02:16 AM

Help please with stove-top berry pie

I am getting the urge to make my one pie of the year. I need the help of all you cooking experts.

I have this wonderful recipe for blueberry pie (scroll to the bottom)

The basic idea is combine fresh blueberries, butter and lemon juice and cook over medium heat until the berries start to release juice.

Add brown and granulated sugar, salt and flour to thicken and cook until thick. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Now here's the GENIUS part of this recipe. After the mixture has cooled add three cups of fresh blueberries. Pour into a piecrust and let set.

This is SO good. The combination of cooked and uncooked blueberries packs a burst of blueberry in every bite.

I can do this. I do this one thing very well.

Now I want to get creatinve and this is where I need your help.

If this works for blueberries ... why not all berries ... raspberries, blackberries, strawberries ... etc. In fact it is sounding pretty good to give a try with cherries.

BUT ... I don't know. Some of these berries might not work with butter or brown sugar or lemon juice. Maybe some won't work at all.

Do you think this would work with other berries? If so, how would you change the recipe?

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  1. What a simple and delicious sounding recipe. I like that you don't have to turn the oven on except to blind-bake the crust. I think that it might not work as well with raspberries, blackberries, and berries like it because of the little seeds that would make the cooked part have a funny texture, and that because the berries themselves have more releasable liquid they would become "runny" if they were not served immediately. Perhaps you could make the cooked part, then push it through a tami (fine screen) to get the seeds out, then mix in berries and fill pie shell immediately before serving.

    Strawberries might be very nice to try. I would substitue the lemon juice for lime juice, and definately cut the berries, too.

    Cherries would be interesting to try, especially Rainier cherries or other cherries with delicate skins. I think the brown sugar is fine to keep in the recipe--it will add more depth of flavor than white sugar. Plums would be interesting to try, too. I would quarter the plums for the ones to cook, and cut the uncooked ones into 6 or 8 slices depending on size.

    For a variation on the blueberry, perhaps a no-bake cheesecake base in the bottom of the pie with the blueberry mixture on top? Cream 8 oz cream cheese with 3 oz sugar (a little more than 1/3 cup) and the zest of 1 lemon (optional). Whip 1 cup of heavy cream to medium peaks and fold into the cream cheese mixture. Pour into the pie shell and gently tap the pie pan to get the mixture to settle, smoothing with a spatuala if necessary.

    Be sure to report back how it turns out!

    1. The recipe looks very good. One reason it works so well is that the blueberries have a lot of pectin in them naturally which is why only 3 Tbs. flour were needed to help it set up. Some of the other berries or cherries may need extra flour or Minute Tapioca to get the filling to "set".

      1. I can't speak from experience with a similar recipe, but blueberries are a relatively dry fruit. If you try to use something much juicier like cherries, it may not set or if does, it may not hold up very long. Might be OK if it'll all be eaten shortly after preparation, but not so good if it needs to keep overnight when it may fall apart on you.

        On the other hand, it should be OK with similarly textured fruits like the strawberries and raspberries you mention if (a) you don't mind seeds and (b) you keep an eye out for the thickening factor that Candy mentioned.

        1. Love the idea of a cheese cake layer- could one then make the pie in a graham cracker crust? I miss using them