Homemade Raspberry Pie with Fresh Raspberries.
Nothing says spring like fresh raspberry pie. It’s the kind of dessert that begs to be eaten outside, on a picnic or a patio, with new leaves on the trees and flowers just starting to wake up from their winter rest. However… that is not the kind of spring I am currently experiencing.
We are having an unusually cold and rainy spring here in Colorado. It’s rained or snowed nearly every day for weeks. Every. Day.
The moisture is great. Everything is green and lush and crisp. But, it also kind of sucks because after a long winter, all my husband and I want to do is spend our days out riding our motorcycle. Instead, we moan at the forecast, taking the weather as a personal assault.
I mean, come on Colorado. We weathered your cold, snowy winter. We didn’t complain. (Ok, we did.) We didn’t whine. (Ok, we did that too.) Spring is supposed to be our reward. It’s that blissful time of year, in-between the snow and cold of winter and the heat of July, when being out on a bike is heaven on earth.
Instead of sunny, 70 degree days, we’ve had rain and snow and cold. So, what’s a girl to do? Make raspberry pie anyway, that’s what. Take that mother nature.
Even though the weather wasn’t exactly patio or picnic worthy, we ate our raspberry pie with the curtains open and fresh cut flowers on the table. And it was still delicious. A poor substitute for an afternoon out on the bike, but sometimes you just have to work with what you’re given.
So, here’s my opinion about raspberry pie.
It should be tart and not overly sweet. It should also be bursting with juicy raspberries, but the juice should be contained. I want the flavor of fresh, juicy raspberries. I do not want all that juice to make my crust soggy. I want my crust to be flaky and buttery, not soggy. No one likes soggy pie crust.
To achieve those very important objectives, this pie calls for a limited amount of sugar, the addition of lemon zest and lemon juice, and both cornstarch and tapioca to thicken the raspberry juice into something that can be eaten with a fork rather than a spoon. You’ll notice that the recipe calls for 3/4 cup of sugar, but much of the time, I reduce that to 1/2, or even 1/4 of a cup if the raspberries are already pretty sweet. So, taste your raspberries before you mix in the sugar. If they are very tart, use the full amount. If they are sweet, reduce the sugar accordingly. And if you like a very tart raspberry pie, use two lemons instead of one. It’s your raspberry pie. Do what you like.
I also like to add a bit of honey to my raspberry pie. Sugar sweetens the flavors that are already there, but honey adds an additional layer of flavor without overwhelming the tartness of the raspberries.
Finally, this recipe calls for my go-to pie crust recipe: Fool Proof Pie Crust. This easy pie crust has been my standard pie crust for 20 years. It’s flaky, flavorful and truly fool proof. Seriously. You can’t mess this pie crust up. Well… I suppose you can… The first time my son made this pie crust he forgot to add the shortening. That’ll do it. But, if you follow the recipe and don’t leaven out any main ingredients, this pie crust is easy to make, sublime to work with, and bakes up perfectly every time.
So, come on rain! Give me your best shot. I will still make raspberry pie.
Actually, just kidding. Give me at least one day this week of motorcycle weather. Please, and thank you.
- 1 recipe Fool Proof Pie Crust, chilled in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes
- ¾ cup sugar, plus 2 tbsp for sprinkling
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tbsp quick cooking tapioca
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- Zest and juice from 1 large lemon
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 6 cups fresh raspberries (frozen raspberries also work well)
- 2 tbsp butter, cut into ¼ inch pieces
- 1 large egg
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- In a large bowl, stir the ¾ cup sugar, cornstarch, tapioca, nutmeg and lemon zest to mix.
- Add the lemon juice, honey and vanilla and stir to combine. Add the raspberries and toss gently just until coated in the raspberry pie filling. Let stand for 15 minutes.
- In a small bowl, whisk the egg with 1 tbsp of cold water and set aside.
- Remove the pie dough from the refrigerator. On a floured surface, roll out a portion of the dough to a 12-inch circle that’s about ⅛-inch thick. Using a large spatula, gently loosen the dough from the work top, fold it in half and then fold it in half again. It will form a triangle shape. Lift the crust and place it in a pie plate with the point of the triangle in the center of the plate. Gently unfold the dough in the pan and press into the corners gently. Leave any dough that overlaps the edges of the plate in place.
- Pour the raspberry pie filling into the bottom crust and dot the surface with the butter.
- Re-flour your work surface and roll out another portion of the dough into another 12 inch circle. With a pizza wheel, fluted pizza wheel or paring knife, cut the disk into 12 ½ inch wide strips.
- Starting in the center of the pie, lay half the strips across the top of the filling in one direction, than lay the other half of the strips across the pie perpendicular to the first.
- Trim the edges of the crust so that you have about a half of an inch hanging over the pie plate. Fold the edges under, forming a rim around the pie that is higher than the pie plate. With one hand on the inside of the edge and one hand on the outside, use the index finger of your inside hand to push the dough between the thumb and index finger of your other hand to form a U or a V shape. Continue this crimping motion around the entire edge.
- Gently brush the egg wash over the top crust with a pastry brush and sprinkle evenly with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar.
- Put the pie on a baking sheet (to catch any drips) and place in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes. Rotate the pie in the oven and bake for an additional 30-40 minutes. The pie is done when the crust is golden brown and the filling in the center of the pie is bubbling.
- Remove from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack, about 4-6 hours. This allows the filling to set-up.