My boys and I have been foraging huckleberries for years. Normally we just devour them by the handful as we're hiking. Though one year I did get enough to make a Huckleberry Pound Cake. Last weekend we were up there and there were so many berries...and they were just about ready.
So, on our way home from a sausage-making class yesterday, the Enthusiastic Kitchen Elf and I scaled the almost 200 steps to the top of Huckleberry Hill with containers in hand and determination to get enough to make a pie. Almost everyone we encountered up there had the same idea we did! Well, maybe not about the pie, but about picking all those ripe huckleberries.
When I signed on to join the fifth annual Pieathalon this year, I was on the hunt for pie recipes from old cookbooks. I came across this one from The Times Cook Book, copyright 1905: NO. 11. HUCKLEBERRY PIE. Okay, what I made isn't even close to Mary's, but as I was inspired to try my hand at a huckleberry pie because of her, I thought I'd share it.
Mary Stone Welch from San Diego submitted: "For two pies, one cup flour, half teaspoon baking powder, two tablespoons shortening; rub together lightly; add water to roll easily (not too soft.) Roll quarter inch thick. Cover two pie tins. Bake in hot oven. In five minutes fill with generous amount of hot huckleberries (canned or fresh) with juice, rather sweet. (Bake until well done. Eat cold with cream.)"
Crust makes one 8" pie (I doubled it)
- 1 C flour
- 1/4 C blue cornmeal
- 1-1/2 t organic granulated sugar
- 1/2 t vanilla salt
- 1/2 C butter (1 stick), cubed
- 1 t pure lemon extract
- 2 T gin (or water)
Filling makes one 8" pie
- 5 C huckleberries (or blueberries if you can't get huckleberries)
- 1/2 C organic granulated sugar
- 3 T flour
- 2 T softened butter
In a food processor, pulse the flour and cornmeal with the sugar and salt. Add the butter cubes and pulse until chunks the size of small peas form. Pour in lemon extract and gin and pulse, again, till the dough comes together in a ball. Add more liquid, if needed. Turn out the dough onto a piece of parchment paper and knead 2 to 3 times. Form into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm, approximately 1 hour.
Roll crust out between two pieces of parchment paper. Transfer to your pie pan.
In a large mixing bowl, toss together the huckleberries, sugar, and flour. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Spoon the mixture into your crust and dot with butter pats. Bake for 15 minutes.
Reduce the heat to 350 degrees F and bake for another 45 minutes - until the crust is firm and lightly golden.
Let cool completely before slicing.