There's been a sever lack of pie recipes posted on this site. Expect that to change. Sometime. In the meantime, here's a re-posting of one of my favorite's off of the old site. Originally published in April, '09.
About this time last year, we were in the midst of packing up all of our worldly possessions and facing the reality of moving 4000 miles across the ocean. It’s a stressful time in one’s life trying to determine which kitchen utensils to hold onto and ship and which ones to give the old heave-ho and donate to Goodwill or the dumpster out back.
In order to relax a bit and take in the last little bit of fresh Minnesota air before moving, the husband and I took a drive up Interstate 35N for the North Shore of Lake Superior. With dirty snow still on the ground and most of the restaurants and stores still closed during the off-season, we found ourselves with little to do other than enjoy our motel room complete with cheesy wildlife paintings on the wall and furniture made of knotty pine and birch. If there’s one thing Minnesotans love, it’s a “Northwoods” themed room- there can never be enough flannel and plaid, never too many “Gone Fishin’” or “Moose Crossing” signage. Of course, one person’s over-the-top tacky, is another person’s kitschy delight. While the husband was a bit taken aback by a faux outhouse sign complete with crescent moon, I chose to marvel in the hominess of it all and enjoy our last few days of true Minnesotan surroundings.
Our trip itinerary was non-existent, with the exception of a stop at the holiest of all North Shore traditions- Betty’s Pies. Betty’s is located in Two Harbors, 25 miles past the port city of Duluth. Originally just a little shack that sold smoked fish, Betty’s expanded five times over the years to become the landmark that it is today- a mandatory stop on any trip up the North Shore. Lucky for us, Betty, herself made an appearance at the cafe while we were there enjoying a slice of her Butterscotch cream pie. And lucky for me, they still had a few copies of her Favorite Recipes cookbook for sale. Naturally, I got my copy of the cookbook signed and made sure it was one of the first things to be packed in one of our four gigantic suitcases bound for Norway.
It’s always a very considerate and welcomed gift to bring a whole pie from Betty’s to your family back at home in the cities. I chose the Bumble Berry from the list of two- dozen or so fresh fruit, meringue, berry, 5-layer, cream, chiffon, and fluff pies available that day. With four cups of mixed blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and raspberries baked with a hint of cinnamon in Betty’s signature crust, it was everything that a pie should be.
It’s a year later now. I find myself pulling out my pie-making ingredients and the lucky kitchen utensils that stayed with me through the big move- my pastry blender, my favorite wooden spoon, and my trust butter-yellow mixing bowls. On a cold Sunday night in April, Bumble Berry Pie made it’s very first appearance in my kitchen, and more likely than not, in the whole country of Norway. All I’m going to say is that it’s a damn good pie- one that is going to be placed on my permanent pie rotation and one that will always make me think of our last trip up the North Shore and that last stop at Betty’s.
Seeing how it’s April, I opted for using frozen berries in the pie. The classic Betty’s Bumble Berry blend includes blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and raspberries, but I replaced the strawberries with red and black currants and that worked just fine too. I think the key is to use an assortment of at least four different berries with contrasting colors, flavors, and textures. I’m not going to print Betty’s pastry crust recipe, but I will say that it uses lard as its’ fat and milk mixed with egg as its’ liquid, yielding a really tasty crust with nice texture.
Betty’s Bumbleberry Pie
4-Bær pai frå Betty’s
(Recipe from Betty’s Pies Favorite Recipes)
*Fills one-10” pie crust
4 cups (500g) mixed berries (preferably blue-,black-,straw-, and raspberries)
1 cup (225g) sugar + more for sprinkling
5 Tablespoons flour
2 Tablespoons corn starch
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 Tablespoons butter
Have your 10” pie crust ready (you will be making a 2-crust pie). Preheat oven to 375F/190C. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, flour, corn starch, and cinnamon and mix well. Lightly fold in the fresh fruit and pour into the pie shell. Dot the top with butter and cover with the top crust. Prick the crust with a fork and sprinkle with sugar. Bake your pie for 45-50 minutes, or until the top is a nice golden-brown. Serve with whipped cream, ice cream, or a tall glass of milk.