I was inspired to create today’s recipe, thanks to a run-in with some especially lackluster pie dough. Actually, several lackluster pies, filled with some of the tastiest, freshest fillings I’ve ever had, but surrounded by under-baked, flavorless, dry crust. The worst, right?! As I indulged in a slice of one of these said pies (we’ll leave the bakery unnamed), I couldn’t help but daydream about how I would improve upon its exterior. More bake time? Butter instead of shortening? Less kneading? The answer was all of the above, which really all boils down to one thing. In my opinion, a great pie crust needs texture.
I’m talking about a deeply golden crust, with a little crunch on the outside and tender, flakey layers that melt when they hit your tongue because, butter.
And it must be sturdy enough to stand up to all the beautiful juices that fruit gives off when baking. Soggy bottoms are a major faux pas.
One thing led to another and before I knew it my pie daydreams had me itching to get into the kitchen and experiment. Since I was hoping to add texture and depth to my go-to buttermilk pie dough recipe, I decided to add cornmeal to the mix. I’m a huge fan of cornbread and its lightly sweet, rustic crumb, so it seemed like the perfect fit.
And let me tell you, my little experiment did not disappoint. The resulting crust was deep, golden brown — almost the color of a soft pretzel’s exterior — with a healthy flake and crunch that provides the perfect vehicle for my bumbleberry filling.
Speaking of bumbleberry filling, in case you’re not familiar, bumbleberry is not an actual fruit, it’s a nickname for combination of several types of berries, often with the addition of rhubarb or apple as well.
In this recipe, I used fresh raspberries, blackberries and strawberries in combination with frozen rhubarb. I couldn’t find any fresh rhubarb at my local grocery, but it’s just coming into season so you should be able to find it stocked in your produce section now, if not soon.
This is hands down my favorite pie filling. The combination of ripe, sweet berries with a touch of tartness from the rhubarb is insanely addicting.
Add a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream and you’ve got yourself the perfect dessert to welcome warmer weather and the arrival of summer fruit. Enjoy!