We didn’t want just a juneberry pie, we wanted a thick, rustic berry explosion that would allow the grapey-blueberry flavor to shine. Although we picked these berries under the cloak of darkness, we didn’t want to mask them with excess ingredients or a high crust-to-berry ratio.
I developed this recipe after looking at recipes for both berry pie filling and berry jams, combining the best of the two. The result was a filling that held its shape without being too firm, and that featured whole berries as well as a smooth berry base to hold the filling together.
The pie dough recipe is courtesy of the cookbook Tartine, one of my go-to resources, written by the chefs of the amazing San Francisco bakery of the same name. Here, I have used their flaky tart dough recipe and modified the method slightly so that the crust is a mealy dough; these hold up better for fruit pies whose crusts are not baked prior to filling.
Yield one pie
1 teaspoon salt (5 ml)
2/3 cup icewater (5 1/2 oz/150 ml)
3 cups plus 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour (1 pound/455 g)
1 cup plus 5 Tablespoons unsalted butter, very cold (10 1/2 oz/300 g)
9 cups juneberries, washed, stemmed, and patted dry
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
2 Tablespoons juneberry syrup
zest of one lemon
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 Tablespoons butter
To make the crust, dissolve the salt in the water and set aside to keep cold.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour and butter, cut into 1-inch pieces. Pulse until the mixture is mealy–slighty chunkier than wet sand but with butter pieces smaller than pea-size. Slowly add the water mixture, and pulse just until the mixture comes together but is not completely smooth. Divide the dough into two pieces, shape into disks 1-inch thick, and refrigerate until well chilled (at least 2 hours or overnight).
On a lightly floured surface, roll out each disk into a 1/8-inch thick round. The rolled dough should be 2 inches larger than the pie pan. Line the pan with one sheet of the dough, leaving an overhang. Place the lined pie pan and the second sheet of dough (wrapped and kept flat) in the refrigerator to chill until firm, 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Meanwhile, prepare the filling. In a bowl, gently mix together the berries with 1 cup of the sugar. Cover bowl and set aside for at least 1 hour or up to 3 hours.
Drain the resultant juneberry syrup from the berries, reserving 2 Tablespoons. Place 3 cups of the drained berries in a medium saucepan with the remaining 1/2 cup sugar. Cook over medium-low heat, smashing the berries with a potato masher or fork until smooth but not pureed. In a small bowl, whisk the juneberry syrup and cornstarch until lump-free. Add the cornstarch mixture to the saucepan and carefully bring the berry base to a bowl boil. Cook until thick and the consistency of a loose jam, about 8 minutes.
Combine the remaining 6 cups of drained berries with the lemon zest and lemon juice. Stir in the cooked berry base. Set aside to cool.
Position oven rack so that it is in the lowest position of the oven. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Pour the chilled berry filling into the pie pan. Dot the filling with the butter, cut into 5 pieces. Cover the filling with the second dough disk. Trim the edges of the pie dough evenly with the pan, and crimp the two layers of dough together so that the edges are well sealed. Use any remaining dough scraps to shape decorations for the pie, and adhere decorations to the top crust with egg wash. Brush the entire top of the pie with egg wash and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. With a sharp paring knife, cut a few small ventilation holes in the top of the crust. Chill the pie in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Bake the pie on the low rack for 30 minutes. Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue baking pie for another 30 to 40 minutes, until crust is golden brown. Cool pie for at least 4 hours before cutting and serving.