It’s Saskatoon berry picking season in our neck of the prairies and that means I’ll keep making Saskatoon pies for as long as my family is willing to pick the fruit. Saskatoons resemble blueberries in size, colour and taste but they are a bit drier and have a slightly earthy flavour. If you want to get technical, they are actually not a berry but a pome, like an apple or pear.
My mom and I whipped up a few pies last weekend at the cabin. We used her tried and true Tenderflake pastry recipe which is right on the Tenderflake box. I’ve always used butter for my pastry but I have to admit this recipe makes incredibly flaky and melt in your mouth pie crust.
Serve with a scoop of your favourite vanilla ice cream or with whipped cream flavoured with vanilla extract and a spoonful of icing sugar to slightly sweeten.
Tenderflake Pie Crust
5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 lb tenderflake lard
1 egg, stirred slightly
1 tablespoon vinegar
7/8 cup cold water
Stir the flour and salt together.
Cut in the lard with a pastry blender or 2 knives until the shortening is in pea size pieces.
In a measuring cup, combine the egg and vinegar.
Add enough cold water to make one cup.
Stir the liquid into the flour mixture, adding just enough to make the dough cling together.
Stir the water in with a wooden spoon until mixed thoroughly, then gather the dough into a ball, and separate into 6 portions.
Cover and refrigerate for one hour, you can chill overnite, covered, providing you leave it at room temp for 15 mins before rolling.
Lightly flour surface and roll into circles, then pat the dough into pie pans, following pie recipes. Be careful not to stretch the dough.
Cooks note: This pastry recipe will make enough for 3 double crust pies. However, we portioned the dough by 7, leaving us with an extra disc for a single crust pie (think apple pie with crumbly topping). We find portioning the dough by six produces a pie crust which is a bit too thick for our liking, but it’s up to you!
Also if you find making pie a bit overwhelming, make a batch of dough beforehand. Portion, wrap in plastic and freeze. On your pie making day, simply pull out 1 or 2 portions (depending on type of pie you’re making) first thing in the morning allowing time to thaw.
Saskatoon Berry Pie
4 cups fresh Saskatoon berries
¼ cup water
2 Tbsp lemon juice
¾ cups white sugar
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 recipe pastry for a 9” double crust pie
1 Tbsp butter (cut into small pieces)
1 Tbsp cream
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In a large saucepan, simmer berries with water for 10 minutes.
Stir in lemon juice.
In a medium bowl, combine sugar and flour together.
Mix sugar/flour mixture into berry mixture. Pour mixture into a pastry lined 9” pie pan.Dot with 1 Tbsp of butter. Roll out a second disc of dough. Gently place on top of the filling.
Cut the excess dough from the top piece leaving enough so that you can fold the edge of the top piece of dough over and under the edge of the bottom piece of dough pressing firmly together.
Press the edges of the pie with your fingertips or with a fork. This will prevent the juices from overflowing.
For a shiny pie crust, brush the unbaked top crust with an egg wash by mixing one egg and one tablespoon of cream. Sprinkle with sugar. Cut decorative vents to allow the steam to escape and to also prevent the juices from overflowing.
Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for an additional 35 minutes or until golden brown.