mixed berry pie / by Nate Everett

Pie, or "bread and fruit" if you're having it for breakfast, is the dessert I could eat every day for the rest of my life. I love the harmony of pastry dough and fruit and sugar and the powerful fragrance it radiates while baking. 

Pie conjures up fond memories of summertime in Colorado where my mother still churns out her near-mythical pies using fresh ingredients from the garden, like gooseberries and strawberries and rhubarb. If you're wondering which kind of pie is my favorite, well, that's like asking me to name my favorite Black Mirror episode - each one is so unique and delightful in it's own way that it's hard to pick a favorite. But mixed berry is definitely at the top of the list!

The pie crust comes from my great grandmother Thor's recipe box, and the filling includes a medley of strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and red raspberries. Recipe makes two double pie crusts. Serves 4 (yeah, right). Enjoy!


for the pie crust:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup chilled vegetable shortening
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 5 tbsp ice cold water

for the pie filling:

  • 5 cups mixed berries 
  • 2 3/4 tbsp quick-cooking tapioca
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 to 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  1. Mix together the flour, salt and sugar.
  2. Cut in the vegetable shortening and continue mixing until the dough forms pea-sized clumps.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the egg and then add the ice water and vinegar. Mix to combine. Add to the dry ingredients.
  4. Mix the dough lightly with a fork to combine the dry and wet ingredients.
  5. Turn out onto a lightly-floured work surface and knead the dough a couple of times. Divide into four equal parts.
  6. Smush down each of the four portions into a 1-inch thick disk. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and put in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to firm up the butter. You can refrigerate the dough for up to two days. Proceed with step 7 when ready to make the pie.
  7. Preheat the oven to 450°.
  8. To make the pie filling, mix together the tapioca and sugar and blend until smooth. Stir the mixture into the berries and allow to sit for 15 minutes.
  9. Roll out one disk of pie dough into a circle about 1 1/2 inches larger than the diameter of the pie tin. Drape the dough over the pie tin, pushing the dough against the sides and bottom of the tin.
  10. Pour in the berry mixture. Dot with the butter. 
  11. Roll out the second disk and drape it over the pie. Remove excess dough and use a fork or your fingers to create a decorative trim. Use a knife to carve a decorative pattern or shape on top of the pie. This method is my usual go-to because it's easier than the fancy-ass pie lattice I did for this photoshoot.
  12. Bake the pie in a 450° oven for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350° and bake for about 40 to 45 minutes, or until the top has achieved a golden brown and the berry mixture is bubbling gently.

If you make this recipe, hashtag a pic to #spiceandhutch and post to Instagram, Facebook and/or Twitter. I'd love to see your culinary creations!