Texans, including the Gruenebergs, always have pie at Thanksgiving. While most have the traditional pecan pie, my family always makes a dewberry pie as well, typically from dewberries that grow on my grandparents’ ranch that they collect and freeze for Thanksgiving.
Technique tip: Berry pies are often watery. To help this, mix the berries with tapioca and leave in the fridge overnight. This helps absorb the water and keeps the pie from being too wet.
Also, you can top with leftover/scrap dough from the pie crust. Just sprinkle/crumble the dough on top of pie along with some cinnamon and sugar in the raw. This will be a lovely topping without having to make a whole dough top/lattice top.
Swap option: If dewberries are not available, swap with its cousin the blackberry.
- 3 cups fresh dewberries
- 1 cup Honeycrisp apples, peeled and thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 heaping tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
Pie shell (makes 3)
- 1¼ cups shortening
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for sprinkling on work surface
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 5 tablespoons water
1. Wash berries in cold water. Lift out and drain. In large bowl, combine berries, apples, tapioca, sugar, cinnamon and flour and mix well. Store in refrigerator overnight.
2. To make the pie shell, melt shortening and combine with flour, sugar, egg, vinegar and water. Place in refrigerator to chill before chill before rolling out, until firm, at least 30 minutes to an hour.
3. Pre-heat oven to 400°F.
4. Take about 1/3 of the dough mixture to make a ball of dough and place on a lightly floured work surface to create a 12-inch circle, about 1/8-inch thick. As you roll out your dough, check the bottom to make sure it’s not sticking to the surface. If needed, add a few sprinkles of flour under the dough.
5. Place the dough onto a 9- or 10-inch pie plate and gently press the pie dough so that it lines the bottom and sides. Trim the dough to within 1/2 inch of the edge of the pie dish. Fill pie with berry filling and dot with butter.
6. Following the same steps for pie bottom, roll out second ball of dough to gently place on top of the pie. Trim excess dough, leaving a 3/4-inch overhang and then fold top piece over and under the edge of the bottom dough piece and press together. Flute edges using thumb and forefinger or press with a fork. Make vents on top of pie with an "X" in the center and small cuts, around 2 inches four times around the pie, for steaming.
7. Place pie in oven and bake until crust is golden brown and juices start to bubble up in vents, about 40 to 50 minutes. Remove and let sit for an hour. Serve with your favorite ice cream, fresh whipped cream or other pies.
Chef's note: You may keep the pie-shell dough in the refrigerator for several days, so that extra shell can make for a leftover fruit pie for another day.