It’s hard to believe it’s already July! We’ve been busy swimming at the lake, working on the garden and having sleepovers. If the house isn’t constantly full of giggling herds of little girls, it just isn’t summer. Aside from the fact that I need to invest in a grocery store to keep the grazing horde satisfied, it makes me happy that my house is where all their friends prefer to hang out. For one thing it’s fun being the “cool” aunt, but mostly it keeps me from worrying. My little dolls are here, they’re safe, and they’re also occupied so I can work and get things done.
This time of year means huge patches of sour, delicious raspberries are ripening in the sun. They grow everywhere, from a few determined bushes in roadside ditches to entire hillsides covered with brambles weighed heavy with fruit. These are nothing like the sad, flavorless store-bought berries you may have encountered. These sparkle inside your mouth, like biting into pure sunshine
Of course I couldn’t resist this bounty of temptation, so we went berry picking yesterday. It was sweltering hot, but kind of nice to be sweating after the long winter and cold spring. Plus the berries are worth every scratch and minor sunburn. We stumbled out of the briar patch hours later, exhausted but with smiling berry-stained lips (scientific testing is a very important aspect of berry-picking!) and clutching huge buckets of berries in our equally red hands.
Many of the raspberries will be eaten fresh or frozen to use later in frosty cold smoothies, but I used the very first ones to make a pie.
For the crust:
This makes one crust, you will need two for each pie!
1 cup flour (plus a bit extra for rolling out the dough)
1 tsp. salt
1/3 cup shortening (I used half shortening and half butter)
2-3 TBSP. ice water
For the filling:
5 cups fresh raspberries
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
If you’ve just picked the berries, make sure to thoroughly clean them, removing any bugs and stems. I do not recommend soaking them in water for very long, this removes so much of their flavor.
Make one crust by whisking flour and salt together in a medium-sized bowl.
Use a fork or pastry blender to cut in shortening/butter. Mixture should have a crumbly texture. Do not overmix. Add in ice water one tablespoon at a time until your mixture is moist enough to form a dough.
Lightly flour your work surface and roll out dough into an 8 inch circle. Place this circle of dough into the bottom of your pie plate, trimming any excess.
Repeat the above process to make a second circle of dough and set it aside.
For your filling, combine raspberries, flour and sugar in a large bowl, mixing thoroughly.
Pour berry mixture into your dough-lined pie pan.
At this point you could just cover your pie with the top crust, pinch edges closed and trim any excess. I chose to cut out heart shapes for my top crust. I used a medium heart-shaped cookie cutter for the outer edges and a smaller cutter for the inside hearts. Cut out the hearts from your second round of dough. Cut them out as close together as possible. You don’t want to re-roll your dough, which can lead to a tough crust. Place the hearts in a circular pattern around the edges of your pie and place the smaller hearts in the center.
Bake for 30 minutes at 425 degrees or until crust is golden brown.