Huckleberry (wild blueberry) pie

A simple pioneer recipe adapted from The Little House Cookbook, by Barbara M. Walker. Huckleberries, which grow elusively on wooded hillsides, are impossible to find outside of huckleberry country. For those of us without the opportunity, frozen wild blueberries, tiny and flavorful, are still mighty good.

Ingredients

  • Pie crust (top and bottom)
  • 4 cups frozen wild blueberries
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed firmly
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • Pinch nutmeg (about 1/8 teaspoon)

Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • In a small bowl, mix brown sugar, flour and nutmeg.
  • Line a 9″ pie pan with pie crust. Fill with half the berries, then sprinkle half the sugar-flour mixture over. Add the rest of the berries, followed by the rest of the sugar-flour mixture.
  • Cover with top crust and pinch around well to seal.
  • Using a sharp pointed knife, cut a few slashes or a design in the top crust for steam to vent. Cover crust edge with a foil ring – start with a square of foil larger than the pie and cut a circle in the center.
  • Bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees F, then reduce heat to 350 degrees F and bake until you can see the filling bubbling through the vents (another 20-30 minutes for fresh berries; 60-80 minutes for frozen). The pie crust should be lightly golden in the center.
  • Cool completely before serving. I know it’s hard to wait, but the pie filling will be less runny if you give it a chance to cool.

Notes

  • For a fuller pie, use 5 cups of berries and add another 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and 1/2 tablespoon flour. Wild blueberries, smaller and thicker-skinned than cultivated berries, release less liquid when they cook, but make sure you crimp crust well so you don’t have blueberry juice dripping all over your oven. You can also put a rimmed baking sheet on a rack below your baking pie to catch any drips.
  • The pioneers wouldn’t have had fresh lemons, but you can add a squeeze of lemon juice if you like – aside from the citrus note, the acidity activates the natural pectin of the blueberries to help the filling hold together.

Here’s a link back to the post and pictures.

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