I have many fond memories of wandering along the Huckleberry Trail in the regional park where I grew up, munching on freshly picked huckleberries straight from the bushes. That’s one of the things I miss about living in the Bay Area, is the wild bursts of sweetness during the summer months from the berry brambles and bushes ripening with their fruits. Now that I live in LA, my access to wild berries is a bit more limited, but that doesn’t stop me from making huckleberry pie!
This huckleberry pie is a celebration of summer that’s ready to be enjoyed year round. The recipe uses frozen huckleberries, which are just as delicious, and a bit more accessible than fresh ones. Stash some in your freezer, and you’re one step closer to delicious pie, no matter the season!
Berry pie for no matter the season
This recipe for huckleberry pie takes advantage of frozen berries, to make it feasible to make regardless of the season. I love huckleberries for their complex flavor: they sit somewhere between a blueberry and a blackberry, with just the right amount of sweetness and acidity. I like to also add some mountain blackberries to this pie, but you could add any type of berry you like.
If you have access to fresh huckleberries, this pie would be a great way to use them! The filling is all pre-cooked, so you can swap fresh for frozen according to the original recipe measurements.
How to make the perfect pie crust
You can find my full write up and recipe for my favorite all-butter pie dough here. The most important things to remember when making all-butter dough is not to let it get too warm, and not over handle it. Over handling results in too much gluten development. This will make the crust too chewy and tough.
The addition of apple cider vinegar gives the dough a lovely flakey texture when baked. Don’t be alarmed by the vinegary smell of the raw dough: the vinegar bakes out of it in the oven. Trust me, you don’t want to skip this step!
Equipment for this pie
I wrote and tested this recipe using a loose bottomed 9″ tart pan for a slightly thinner pie, but you can use whatever pie dish you have on hand. If you choose to make a deep dish pie, you will likely need a cup or two more berries to make enough filling.
Tips for the perfect huckleberry pie
This recipe calls for a pre-cooked filling, which helps to prevent a soggy bottom, and also creates a beautifully textured jam-like filling for the pie. Cornstarch helps the filling set up properly, and will keep it from being too wet. Make sure the filling is completely cool before you add it to the pie shell, so you don’t accidentally start melting the butter in the dough before it hits the oven.
Make sure to keep your pie dough nice and cold while you’re working on it. I like to roll out the pie shell and pop it in the freezer while I work on the lattice. To make the perfect lattice, measure out a circle that is the same size as your pie dish on a piece of parchment paper (I like to just trace the base of mine), and flip it over so the pencil or ink side is facing down. Place the parchment on a pan large enough to accommodate it fully, then lightly dust the surface with flour. Working quickly so that the butter does not melt, make your lattice on the pan and parchment according to your preferred design. Trim off the excess dough with a sharp knife or cutter. Chill, until ready to transfer to your pie, in the freezer or fridge.
When it is time to top your pie with the lattice, all you have to do is gently slide it off the parchment. Viola! No more messy lattices!
Baking temperatures and times
Whenever I make pies or tarts, I like to bake at a higher temperature of 425 degrees F for the first 15-20 minutes of baking, before lowering the temperature for the rest of the bake. This ensures that the base of the pie cooks quickly, which helps the bottom stay nice and crisp.
After the first 15-20 minutes, lower the oven to 375 degrees F and continue baking for about 35-40 minutes, or until the filling is bubbly, and the crust is golden brown. If the crust browns too quickly, cover it with a piece of foil or crust shield to help keep it from burning.
Serving and storing
Allow the pie to cool completely before serving. It keeps well in the fridge, wrapped in foil or plastic wrap for about a week.
I hope you give this huckleberry pie a try! Be sure to tag me on instagram so I can see your bakes, and leave me a comment below! Your feedback helps other bakers who are giving this recipe a try, and I love hearing about your bakes!