“That’s scary!” Isla declared, her wide eyes shifting from the cooking pot to the finished product. I knew Halloween had been on her mind, now only a couple of weeks away.
“How so?” I asked.
“Do I have to say?” she countered. “Look at it. So red. It’s seeping. Oozing…” She made a face. “What’s in it?”
“What’s scary about berries?” I ask with a laugh. “You like raspberries. I also threw in some blueberries and blackberries. Their bright red and dark blue colors signal that they’re loaded with good things for your body.”
She pointed at the juice leaking through the pretty lattice crust. “That doesn’t look like berries,” she said with conviction.
“Sweetie!” I say. “A little credit here. When we cook the berries, the juice leaks out and the berries lose their shape. I add cornstarch to thicken up the sauce. And a little sweetener takes the tart edge off. It makes a great filling for a Halloween pie. Have a piece and see for yourself.”
Berry scary pie
- two frozen pie shells, defrosted
- 150 grams (1 cup) blackberries (fresh or frozen)
- 150 grams (1 cup) blueberries (fresh or frozen)
- 150 grams (1 cups) raspberries (fresh or frozen)
- juice of half a lemon
- stevia to equal 50 grams (1/4 cup) sugar (I used 4 teaspoons Stevia Sugar by New Root)
- 2 tablespoons corn starch stirred into 2 tablespoons cold water
- 1 egg, beaten
- Put raspberries, blueberries and blackberries in a pot. If you are using sugar, add it now, along with the lemon juice.
- Bring to a boil.
- When it boils, mix corn starch with the cold water to make a slurry, and stir in the stevia (if using) until it dissolves. You may have to press the lumps into the side of the glass to get a smooth paste. Add it to the berries.
- Cook, stirring, until the berries have thickened, about a minute. Then turn off the heat and allow to cool. Don’t worry if it looks too runny for a pie filling. It thickens up nicely in the oven.
- To use your own dish, take one of the crusts out of its aluminum plate and put it into your 9-inch pie plate. Scallop the edges with thumb and fingers.
- Flatten the second crust onto the counter. Mend any cracks with a buttery finger. Use a knife to cut it into strips of about 1/2-inch wide.
- Arrange the strips in a lattice pattern on the tart. Start in the center and alternate between ‘horizontal’ and ‘vertical’ strips, until the tart is covered with a regular lattice.
- Brush the pastry with a beaten egg. Save the left-overs for breakfast.
- Bake the pie for 45 minutes at 350F (180C) (not fan forced).
The only scary part about this easy recipe is making your own pastry. If you want to take on this task, go see Stefan’s post, where I got the idea for this colorful dessert. He shows you how to make pastry with clear instructions and plenty of great pictures. And his pie doesn’t look scary at all :).
I prefer to buy my pie crusts in the freezer section of the grocery store. With these on hand, kids can whip up a pie for dessert as easy as 1, 2, 3!
Maybe one day I’ll try making my own…
Just so you know, the stevia sweetener works beautifully with tart juicy desserts, like this one. The whole family ate up this pie without a single comment to indicate that it tasted “Different” or “Bitter.” Because it didn’t. They all said: M-M-Good :).
Any time you can lower the sugar content for a special dessert, you are doing your family a favor. With stevia as a sweetener, you avoid sugar spikes, empty calories, inflammation, and the many other problems associated with adding refined sugar to your menu.
The berries have their own natural sugar, which they deliver along with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and polyphenols. These molecules boost your immunity, fight chronic diseases including heart disease and cancer, and contribute in many other ways to better health.
You can’t avoid the sugar that comes with the goodness of fruit. But you can avoid adding more in the form of refined sugar (including syrups and honey).
Enjoy your berry scary pie this Halloween, boys and girls!