I always thought Bumbleberry was a made up fairy tale word, like jabberwock* or chortle** from Alice in Wonderland. If a pie was made in Wonderland it would likely be some sort of Bumbleberry-Mome Rath-Jub Jub Bird flavour with LSD-like effects. (***Am I making sense right now?) To my surprise, I discovered that Bumbleberry is a real-world type of pie that is defined as having “at least 3 kinds of berries". What a fabulous name! I will admit I was a bit let down from my previous parallel universe pie idea, but I will settle for a delicious mixed berry pie any day if that's my other option. Sigh.
Tip: If you drink champagne during the making and eating of the pie, it becomes a little more magical. Drop a few extra berries in your glass and it's almost as if you're toasting the Queen of Hearts herself. But no one liked that bish anyways. The Cheshire Cat is the dude I would hang with.
* Jabberwock: a large beast with the body and wings of a dragon, fish-like head, antennae and talons for hands. It also wears a vest. <3 ** Chortle: to chuckle gleefully. A blend of chuckle and snort. *** Here is the poem Jabberwocky to understand but also become more confused at the same time. You're welcome.
Forests are my own version of Wonderland where you can find hidden wildflowers and berries that risk being either delicious or deadly. Get your thrills on.
The art of pie making from scratch is not the easiest task. I've been working on my crusts lately which resulted in a rollercoaster of emotions. I often end up with rough dough that breaks easily and won't roll out. People say, “Don’t use too much liquid” and “Barely work the dough or you will make it tough”. In turn, I end up with dough that doesn't come together because I'm so scared to over handle it.
Directions from most recipes tend to be something like:
1. Mix dry ingredients together.
2. Add COLD butter. It must be COLD. Did I mention COLD?! Cold. The word has lost all meaning.
3. Break butter into small pieces using that food processor you don't own.
4. Add liquid. But not too much. But not too little. But a little more than that. Nope, you added too much. You fail at pies.
5. Now bring dough together in a perfectly uniform disk by barely touching it. No hands at all in fact. Like, with your mind would be best.
7. Roll out your perfectly smooth pie dough to a impossibly thin diameter.
8. Now cut some things, twirl upside down, criss cross the lattice then send it down an elevator shaft and expecto patronum! You’ve made a beautiful and SUPER EASY pie!
My steps usually goes something like:
1. Mix dry ingredients together. NAILED IT. I'M DOING GREAT! *stop and dance to Grown Woman by Beyoncé*
2. Break apart the COLD butter with my fingers that don't work like anything like food processor blades. But would be cool if they did... Edward FoodProcessorHands?
3. Attempt to form it into a disc, but more closely resembles a pile of beige garbage. Swear a bunch.
4. Put in the the fridge, say a prayer and hope for a miracle.
5. Take the dough out. The prayer didn't work. I'm not religious so what did I expect. Debate going to church. Decide no, because all the church I've ever been to in life was really boring. Not like in Sister Act at all, which was disappointing as a young girl (wait for the beat to drop at 1:10!).
6. Cry. Accept I will never be a good pie maker. Curse more. Look up to the sky and loudly declare that “I didn't want to be a pie maker anyways!".
7. Construct a very grim lattice which leaves the pie looking far too exposed. Wonder if the pie feels vulnerable right now... Bake the pie. Take a nap from the stress.
8. Eat the sad looking pie because any pie is acceptable when you're in need of comfort.
I started going around to everyone I know saying, “What's with the expression, Easy As Pie?! It was clearly made up by someone who never made a pie in their life! Or they were a professional pie maker and never did anything else but make pies! Either way, it's bullshit.” I was so frustrated I googled the expression to see where it came from. Apparently the idiom is actually referring to the act of EATING pie because it is a “simple and pleasurable experience". Uhhhh Yeah! Obviously eating pie is easy! Eating any type of delicious food is easy! You could just insert any food into that expression and it would work. Some things would make even more sense like, “easy as wine". You can accidentally drink a bottle of wine to yourself, but you can't accidentally eat a whole pie in one sitting. It's not that easy.
Some other weird expressions that make no real sense to me…
“And Bob’s your uncle!" – WHO IS BOB!? Apparently he’s everyone’s uncle. Probably everyone’s weird creepy uncle who is estranged because no one trusts him since the expression referring to him suggests that Bob being your uncle makes something really easy, but it's probably not. Bob is complicated. Like pie making. And reading that run-on sentence. I'm sorry.
They’ve got “skeletons in the closet" – Newsflash: Dead bodies stink guys! They stink real bad. If anyone has a skeleton in their closet you’d be able to smell it from a mile away, there would be a million flies hanging around their home and it wouldn’t be a f@#king secret at all. People wouldn’t be coming over to their place for a cup a tea thinking “you know, that Susan is acting strange lately. And when did she get all those pet maggots? I think our Sue might be up to something...”. No. They would barf from the smell the minute Susan opened the door and be like, “SUSAN WTF?!". I don’t know Susan, but she just seems like the type to store a dead body in her closet.
Straight From The Horse’s Mouth – Uhhhhhh HORSES DON'T SPEAK!!! And when did they become such truth tellers anyways!? But if they did speak, they are probably the ones who made up all these nonsense expressions like Easy As Pie because they can't make pies, they just eat all the ones cooling on the window sills which is super easy and fun.
Anyways, I figured out how to make better pie thanks to an amazing blog. Kristin from Pastry Affair is my fairy-pie-godmother. She explains here the method that makes me a delicious flaky crust which comes together easily. She gives details and photos of why it works and what it should look like every step along the way. Thank you Kristin! xx
*note: the ingredients for this buttermilk crust recipe are from Joy The Baker (who is the OG of bake blogs in my opinion), but using Pastry Affair's method is what made this pie come together for me. They are both amazing and you can check them out to make your life a better more buttery place.
Fyi– this pie is more tart than sweet because that's how I like my pies, but feel free to add more sugar if you prefer the sweeter side of things. xx
t h e m a g i c
i n s p i r a t i o n : berry season + desire to improve my crust-making skills
f e e l s : tart, sweet, flaky, lush
e a t w i t h : iced mint tea, iced coffee, allonge, whipped cream, vanilla or almond ice cream, mascarpone, champagne for elegance and magic
m i g h t l i k e i f y o u ' r e i n t o : rivers and woodlands, deep rich hues, talking purple cats, cottages in the forest, window sills, wildflowers, stained fingers, foraging, 3.14159265...
t h e s c i e n c e
makes one double crust or two single 9 inch crusts
i n g r e d i e n t s :
- 315 grams all purpose flour (2.5 cups) *I always weigh flour because it tends to weigh out far less than the cup value which affects the final product.
- 2 sticks of unsalted butter (1 cup or 226 g)
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp pink or sea salt
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 2 1/2 cups blueberries
- 1 1/4 cup blackberries
- 1 1/4 cup raspberries
- 1/2 cup raw cane sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- juice from 1/2 lemon
- zest from 1/2 lemon
- 1 tsp real vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp pink or sea salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 egg, beaten with a tsp of water into it, (for brushing onto the crust before baking)
- turbinado sugar, (for sprinkling onto the pie before baking)
m e t h o d :
With the ingredients above, use Pastry Affair's step by step directions because they are incredibly thorough. Click here to learn this method! She ends with the dough pressed into the pie plate.
1. Place plastic wrap on top of the pressed pie bottom and place into fridge to re-cool.
2. If making a lattice, create whatever width you desire for the strips. I made 6 strips, 1.5" wide and keep them on parchment paper while cutting to prevent any sticking. Click here for a video to help you make a pie lattice. Move parchment paper with strips onto a baking sheet, place plastic wrap on top to cover the pie strips and place into fridge to re-cool.
3. Preheat oven to 375°F and make pie filling while it heats up. In a large bowl add all the berries, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon and mix together gently. Let macerate in the fridge for 15 minutes.
5. Remove pie bottom from fridge and take off plastic wrap. Pour berry mixture into the pie bottom. Remove pie strips from the fridge and create your lattice on the top of the pie. Crimp sides with fingers or press with a fork to complete.
6. Using a pastry brush, glaze the top of the pie with the egg wash and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Place pie into the oven on the middle rack and bake for 1 hour.
7. Let pie cool for at least 45 minutes before eating. It feels terribly long but worth the wait so it doesn't spill out. Top with ice cream, whipped cream or pouring cream if desired.