It will come as no surprise to anyone who knows me that I like to use a sweet dough for fruit pies. There’s something homey and comforting about that tender dough wrapped around a juicy fruit filling that a flaky dough just can’t match. And it’s especially good when complemented with the slightly spicy flavor of fresh blueberries. I’ve used the following method for blueberry, cherry, and rhubarb pies for about 20 years now, and I think it results in a nicely thickened filling that doesn’t go to either extreme—it’s neither so juicy that it’s impossible to cut a wedge of pie without it falling apart nor so firm that the filling doesn’t budge when you cut into it. I achieve this by cooking some of the berries with the sugar until they release their juices, then thickening those juices with a little cornstarch. I fold those thickened juices into the rest of the berries along with the seasonings. While the pie is baking, the raw berries release more juices that mingle with those already thickened and result in a perfectly textured filling, and the cornstarch gets a second cooking in the oven so there is no starchy taste in the finished pie.
Make sure the pie has cooled completely or it will be impossible to serve intact wedges. Cut the pie at the table and use a triangular pie spatula to lift out the wedges. If you have some vanilla ice cream lying around, this is the time to use it.
Keep the pie at room temperature on the day it is baked. Cover it with foil to keep beyond the first day.
Sour Cherry Crumber Pie: Substitute
© 2008 Nick Malgieri. All rights reserved.