Apple Huckleberry ‘Three Generations’ Pie

An inviting apple and huckleberry pie recipe. Passed down through family generations, this wholesome shortcrust-topped pie also works well with blueberries.

Introduction

I wanted to include a true American apple pie recipe in this book so I contacted avid pie-maker Jessica Appelgren in San Francisco, because she knows her pie stuff. This is her family recipe. The pastry is so good that I’m tempted to only ever use this ‘crust’ recipe in future! Jessica explains: ‘My Grandma Hope has been making apple pie for many of her ninety years. My crust includes Grandma’s two “secret ingredients”: apple cider vinegar mixed with an egg for flavour and firmness in the crust. My own mom has always made the best apple pie around. Her classic filling is spot on with just the right thickness and traditional cinnamon and tart apple flavours. My addition, and what makes the pie unique, is frozen huckleberries from my dad’s ranch in Oregon (but other frozen berries will also work). I love the slight tang the berries offer and huckleberries’ deep purple color makes the whole pie rosy pink.’

Serves 8

Ingredients

For the crust:
75g vegetable shortening (e.g. Crisco, Trex, Cookeen)
450g plain flour
75g butter
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 large egg
5-6 tbsp ice-cold water
1 egg, whisked with 1 tsp cold water, for glazing
3 tbsp sugar, for sprinkling
For the filling:
7 medium-sized organic Granny Smith apples, peeled and finely sliced
60g frozen huckleberries or blueberries
4 level tbsp cornflour
150g light brown sugar
1 heaped tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp butter

Essential kit

You will need a 25cm round pie dish.

Instructions

Make the dough. Cube the cold vegetable shortening and butter and loosely rub together with the flour using your fingertips, leaving pea-sized lumps. Next whisk the vinegar and egg together and add it to the flour mixture, then add the ice-cold water, and lightly bind together until you have a soft dough. Flatten the dough and wrap it in cling film. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before rolling out and using it to line your pie dish. Leave the pastry to chill (in the dish) in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Once your pastry has chilled, preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6 and place a baking tray inside to heat up.

Now get on with the filling. Mix together all the filling ingredients, apart from the butter, and tip it into the prepared crust. Dot the butter all over the filling. Weave pastry strips in a lattice effect across the top and add a decorative border by cutting out leaf shapes from your pastry.

Bake in the oven on the hot tray for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4 and bake for a further 50-60 minutes, until the filling is thick and bubbling up. Check the pie after about 45 minutes and if the pastry is browning too quickly, place some foil around the crust edge leaving the middle to bake and bubble through.

Huckleberries are only grown in northwest United States and Canada, and not commercially farmed. They look and taste similar to blueberries.

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