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bumbleberry pie

July 18, 2008

When I was fifteen, my then boyfriend (now husband) and I visited my family in Utah. During that trip we visited many of southern Utah’s most picturesque destinations, including Zion National Park. Just outside the park we stopped at The Bumbleberry Inn to try some of their famous Bumbleberry pie. That day began my love affair with pie and my quest to recreate that pie. It has been so many years since we visited the quaint little Inn, and I have made so many attempts at a multi-berry pie, that I don’t even remember what exactly the original was like. So the following recipe is my version of Bumbleberry pie, probably nothing like the original that I fell in love with, but I think it is pretty tasty nonetheless.

  • pie crust for double-crust pie
  • 5 cups mixed berries (I like to use 3 cups blackberries, 1 cup blueberries, 1 cup raspberries)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp. orange juice
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp. butter

If using frozen berries, thaw and drain them until they are mostly thawed, but still a little frozen. Save the liquid that drains out. It should be about 2 tbsp. If there is much more than that, keep 2 tbsp. and discard the rest. If you have less than 2 tbsp, make up the difference by adding a little extra orange juice. Basically, your goal is to have 4 tbsp. of total liquid. If using fresh berries, use 4 tbsp. orange juice.

Line 9-inch pie plate with bottom crust. Preheat oven to 425. Set oven rack near the bottom.

Put one cup of berries into a saucepan with the sugar. Mash and stir and bring to a boil over medium heat. Mix together the cornstarch and 4 tbsp. liquid until smooth. When the berries are boiling nicely, whisk in the cornstarch. Cook until mixture is thick and clear, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in lemon zest, cinnamon, and butter. Set aside.

Coat the remaining berries with the flour and mix very gently. Stir the berries into the thickened sauce, then transfer the whole mixture to the pastry-lined pie plate. Add the top crust, cut a few slits into the top, seal the edges and finish any way you like. Brush the crust with milk and sprinkle with sugar, if desired.

Bake pie for 15 minutes at 425, then reduce heat to 350 and continue baking for 25-30 minutes, or until the crust is browned nicely and the filling is beginning to bubble. (You’ll be able to see the top crust lifting and falling like it is breathing). Remove from oven and cool on a rack for at least 2 hours before cutting.

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