Believe it or not, aside from all the baking, I’m actually a healthy eater. Frozen berries have become my heroes and go to breakfast ingredient. They’re delicious, convenient and affordable.
I got carried away the other week during a food shop and bought a few too many packs of frozen berries. My freezer was suffocating and I was struggling to eat them all to be honest. Enter deep dish mixed berry pie. The saviour of filled freezers, frozen berries and neglected taste buds. I served this at a dinner party and found myself sneakily cutting slithers off the pie despite already having had my portion! I don’t think anyone noticed, apart from my mum... who was also picking at it on the sly. Great minds and all that.
This pie is pretty straight forward to put together so don’t worry if you’ve got a busy schedule and time isn’t your friend. The pastry and filling can be made ahead and once baked, the pie can be frozen (up to 3 months, thaw in the fridge when ready to bake). So it’s up to you how you approach it. The only time consuming thing about this pie is it needs to cool before cutting, refrigerating or freezing.
Of course you can use fresh berries to make this pie but I’ve opted for frozen as its easier, I’ve got tons at home and it hasn’t cost me a fortune. Berries aren’t cheap guys, and you need a staggering 1.2kg of the stuff for this pie!
A little tip regarding the sweet short crust pastry - use a food processor. The less your fingers come into contact with the dough, the better. I’ve made pastry aplenty using a couple of methods and found this way has the best results; for buttery, crumbly, delightful pastry.
This recipe really is a winner. The pie’s filling holds its shape beautifully which most berry pies don’t. Additionally, it’s not overly sweet; it’s the perfect balance of tart and sweet. You’ll want to make this again and again, I promise!
Now let’s get our pie on.
Prep time: 40 minutes
Total time: 7 hours including cooling
For the sweet short crust pastry:
500g plain flour
250g cold butter, cubed
4 egg yolks, whisked
4 tbsp caster sugar
1/2 tsp of salt
2-6 tbsp of milk, if needed
For the pie filling:
1.2kg mixed frozen berries (I used equal parts raspberries, cherries and blueberries)
300g granulated sugar
20ml lemon juice
5 tbsp corn flour mixed with a little water to form a runny paste
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp almond extract
2 tbsp butter
1 egg yolk with a splash of milk, whisked.
Reserved egg white whisked with a small splash of water.
Make the pastry. Combine flour and butter in a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Add the yolks, sugar and salt. Pulse again to combine. If the mixture seems dry start adding the milk a little at a time until the pastry comes together.
Tip out onto a work surface and bring together to form a ball, cover tightly in cling film. Pop into the fridge for a minimum of half an hour and maximum of 3 days (or 3 months in the freezer).
Remove the pastry from the fridge and cut in half. Roll out the pastry to a 12 inch diameter circle and line a 10 inch pie dish (use a little ball of pastry to push the pastry down into the crevices and edges of the dish). Trim any overhang and place back in the fridge, along with the other half of unused dough.
Make the filling. In a large saucepan add berries, sugar and lemon juice. Bring to a gentle simmer and bubble away for around 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Pour in the corn flour paste and stir over a medium heat until thickened, up to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter until melted. Add in the cinnamon and almond extract and stir until well incorporated. Allow to cool slightly.
Remove the prepared pie dish and remaining pastry from the fridge. Brush the prepared pastry base with the egg white (this is a great trick for preventing the dreaded soggy bottom!). Pour the filling into the pie dish and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 200°C or 180°C fan and place a baking tray in the middle shelf of the oven- this is another way to prevent a soggy bottom as it’ll provide a double whammy of heat to the base of the pie.
Start making your pie design. I opted for a couple of plaits and regular lines. Make a lattice if you dare! I didn’t have the time or extra pastry left to be able to afford any mistakes so I didn’t chance it. I used a biscuit cutter to cut out little hearts to outline the pie and then cut out ‘love is bakeable’. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with a little sugar.
Place the pie on the hot baking tray/sheet and bake for 45-50 minutes in the middle shelf of the oven. After 20-25 minutes check on the pie and cover with foil to stop the pastry from browning too much.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 4-5 hours before serving.