Summer Berry Pie

If you are still looking for the perfect dessert to serve at your Memorial Day get-together, look no further.  This pie is simple to make and really embodies summer with all the fabulous fresh berries, hence the name!  The newest addition to my cookbook collection is Baking Illustrated, and let me tell you, I am in love.  I’ve baked four things from it in the past week (including my beloved cheesecake) and have no intention of slowing down anytime soon!  This pie was one of the first things that caught my eye when I browsed through the book and I decided to wait until berries were on sale so that it wouldn’t cost me a fortune to make.  Well, a few days later I walked in to the grocery store and saw that literally every variety of berry was on sale.  That was all the encouragement I needed!  I stocked up on the berries, came home and got busy in the kitchen.  

This pie is actually incredibly low-maintenance as pies go.  With a simple graham cracker crust, there is no fussing with cutting butter into flour, chilling, rolling, making a lattice top, etc.  Additionally, only the crust needs to be baked.  The actual filling consists of a mixed berry puree that is cooked briefly with cornstarch to thicken for the bottom layer, and the remainder of the mixed berries are tossed with a bit of jam for the top layer.  The whole thing is refrigerated to set up, and that is all there is to it!  I was nervous about the pie being messy when sliced, since it is somewhat of a free-form filling, but the people at Cook’s Illustrated know what they’re doing.  The berry puree layer firms up nicely and keeps the loose berries on top in place so the slices are gorgeous.  I served this at a family get-together and when served alongside some homemade vanilla ice cream, it was just perfect!

Summer Berry Pie
For the crust:
5 oz. graham crackers (approx. 9 crackers), broken into rough pieces
2 tbsp. sugar
5 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and warm

For the filling:
2 cups raspberries (about 9 oz.)
2 cups blackberries (about 11 oz.)
2 cups blueberries (about 10 oz.)
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbsp. cornstarch
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp. red currant jelly (I used strawberry jam) 

To make the crust, adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 325 degrees.  In a food processor, process the graham crackers into fine, even crumbs (you should have about 1 cup of crumbs).  Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter in a small mixing bowl and toss with a fork until all the crumbs are moistened.   Transfer the crumbs to a 9-inch glass pie plate.  Use the bottom of a ramekin or measuring cup to press the crumbs evenly into the bottom and up the sides, forming a crust.  Bake in the preheated oven until it is fragrant and beginning to brown, 15-18 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely while making the filling.

For the filling, combine the berries in a large colander and gently rinse (taking care not to bruise them).  Spread the berries on a paper towel-lined rimmed baking sheet and gently pat dry with additional paper towels.

In a food processor, puree 2 1/2 cups of the mixed berries until smooth and fully pureed, about 1 minute.  Strain the puree through a fine mesh sieve into a small nonreactive saucepan, scraping and pressing on the seeds to extract as much puree as possible (you should have 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups).  Whisk the sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a small bowl to combine, then whisk the mixture into the puree.  Bring the puree to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon; when the mixture reaches a boil and is thickened to the consistency of pudding, remove from the heat, stir in the lemon juice, and set aside to cool slightly.

While the puree is cooling, place the remaining berries in a medium bowl.  Warm the jelly (or jam) briefly in the microwave to melt it slightly.  Add the warmed jelly to the bowl of mixed berries and toss very gently so that all the berries are coated.  Pour the berry puree into the cooled crust and smooth with a rubber spatula. Evenly distribute the glazed berries over the puree and gently press into the surface.  Loosely cover the pie with plastic wrap; refrigerate until chilled and the puree has set, about 3 hours (or up to 1 day).  Slice with a hot, dry knife and serve.

Source: adapted from Baking Illustrated

19 Responses

  1. That looks delicious and makes a gorgeous presentation. I am so happy to see your comments on Baking Illustrated because I have been wanting to pick a copy up myself. This just made that 40% off coupon to Borders that is sitting in my email a lot more tempting!

  2. I love this pie too. It’s probably my husband’s favorite dessert.

  3. What a gorgeous pie! I have Baking Illustrated too and love it but haven’t gotten around to making this pie yet. I think I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for berries on sale!

  4. The colors of those berries are gorgeous!

    Thanks for the info on the cookbook I’ll have to check it out!

  5. It’s gorgeous Annie! I love berry pies. If only I could find them all on sale here 🙂

  6. Ooooh, this is going on the must make list! I’ve been on a huge berry kick lately. I love that they’re so cheap right now 🙂

  7. It reminds me of summer. Looks great.

  8. This looks fabulous. Berries are never on sale here, so I’ll have to bite the bullet and just make it one weekend. That with some homemade lemon frozen yogurt will be perfect!

  9. Looks absolutely delicious .. Laila ..

  10. I remember seeing or reading about that pie and the techniques for it. You’re right, they know what they’re doing. I just bookmarked your page to try it when local berries are in season. perfect for summer.

  11. It’s gorgeous! Berries are in full swing in my part of the world right now. I’ve been trying to think of things to make with them. Berry pies or tarts… I’m all over that!

  12. love me some berries and yours look deep and delicious!

  13. Made this pie a few days ago. It is delicious! Every bit as good as it looks. Thanks for the recipe!

  14. […] did have a lovely surprise post call 🙂 Flowers and Pie!! The pie recipe is here. […]

  15. This pie looks amazing. I have one question though, do you think it would travel well? I have to make an hour-long (maybe even hour-and-a-half) trip and am slightly worried about the kind of dessert to bring. This sounds like a crowd pleaser but am worried about the berries in the car for so long. What do you think?

    • Hi Madeline,
      I think as long as you chill the pie well before you travel, and possibly attempt to keep it cool while you drive it should be fine. Actually, the time I made this we took it to visit our families who live about an hour away. I don’t even think I used a cooler, I just refrigerated it when we got there. It was great! Hope that helps.
      🙂 Annie

  16. Hi Annie- I am writing a cookbook of family recipes. The cover is a collage of recipes of different foods. It is kind of a tea party theme as I have dedicated it to my grandmother. My daughter has been on Tastespotting lookng at photos. I liked 3 of yours. I was wondering if you would allow me to use them on the cover. they would each be about 2 inches square and I would be very happy to give you credit. I will be getting maybe 100 books to start but may end up selling more. Will see how it goes. My first edition you can see the cover on It is under custom covers and is pink and green. I am redoing the photos from that. Please let me know if it is ok and then I will let you know which ones if it is. Thanks so much- Lisa Ebbert

    • Hi Lisa,
      Sounds like a fun project! I am happy to let you use my photos as long as you credit me for them, and I appreciate you asking. I would love to know which ones you are using, just out of curiosity. Have fun!
      🙂 Annie

  17. I found your blog from foodie blogroll. Your blog shows you love to bake! Love the photos. My website blog for foodie blogroll is dessert exotics.

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