How to Make Elderberry Pie
If you happen to find enough elderberries to make an elderberry pie, consider yourself lucky. Elderberry pie is a delicious treat that is really only possible to make fresh once a year!
As you may know, elderberries hold a very close place in my heart. After Greg decided to name one of the goats Elderberry (which at the time, I thought was a very stupid name), I have fallen in love with all things elderberry. All things goat too, but that's besides the point.
Come to find out (via a lot of instagram comments), elderberries are great for your immune system. I thought they just made great cocktail syrup, but turns out, the berries are healthy. Two birds. One stone.
When I first made elderberry syrup, it was with the measly 3/4 cup of berries that my cousin hustled off of a lone tree on the side of the road. I was disappointed that I couldn't make a pie, because apparently elderberry pie is the best pie in. the. world.
About a week after the disappointing elderberry hunt, I came home from a football game to find a bag full of elderberries. Coincidently, I was covered in goat hair because I had just been out snuggling Elderberry the goat. I could have cried with happiness, Greg had carried a massive amount of berries home in his saddle bags after he came across a ripe bush on a ride in the mountains. All of the guys at the ranch make fun of his saddle bags (the equivalent of a fanny pack for a cowboy), but this treasure trove of berries was proof that those saddle bags were good for something other than carrying snacks and other cowboy stuff.
I immediately got to stripping the branches of their berries, placing the little golden nuggets in a colander to be rinsed. I had 4 cups of berries when all was said and done. FOUR CUPS! Which is a lot of elderberries. Enough to make a pie, surely.
PS: If you have a goat named Elderberry, I think it's mandatory to add a goat & hearts to the pie. ;)
- For the pie crust:
- 2 cups flour
- 2 sticks butter (1 cup)
- 1/2 cup ice cold water
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- For the pie:
- 3-4 cups elderberries
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
- 1 tablespoon coarse sugar
- 1 egg white
- 1 tablespoon butter
Use a sharp knife to cut butter into small cubes. In a food processor, combine flour, butter, salt, and sugar. Pulse until the butter breaks down into pea size bits.
Prepare the pie crust:
Slowly add 1/4 cup of ice cold water. Pulse the ingredients. Add more water only as needed until the mixture becomes dough-like.
Remove the dough from the food processor. Divide the dough into two equal parts, and wrap each part in plastic wrap. Chill for at least 30 minutes.
Note: If you don't have a food processor (or are being lazy - me), you can use your hands. But work quickly! Flaky crust comes from cold butter melting in the oven, not in your hands.
Prepare the pie:
Take one of the crusts out of the refrigerator. Working quickly, roll the dough slightly larger than the size of the pie pan (about 1/8" thick), use flour as needed. Gently place the dough into the base of the pie pan, letting the dough exceed the rim of the pan by 1/2", careful not to tear.If you do see a tear, get your finger wet with water and use your finger to rub the hole closed.
Fill the pie pan with the berry mixture. Add a few pea-size pieces of butter on top (optional). Place the whole thing back into the refrigerator while you roll out the second crust.
Remove the other crust from the refrigerator. Roll the crust 1/8" thick, slightly larger than the size of the pie pan, use flour as needed.
Take the pie pan out of the refrigerator. You can opt to lattice your crust, simply cut the top crust into strips and place on the pie - I like an organic look. Or, place the second crust over the top of the pie pan.
For either method, fold the 1/2" excess dough from the bottom crust over the top crust to form a seal. Use your fingers or a fork to pinch it together. If you did not lattice the crust, use a knife to cut a few vent holes in the top of the pie.
Brush the top crust with the egg white, and sprinkle with a little coarse sugar.
Place the pie directly on a cookie sheet that has been in the oven as it was pre-heating - this tip will give you extra flakey crust, and prevent the bottom crust from being mushy.
Allow to cook for about 30 minutes - keep a close eye after 20 minutes to prevent burning. Check to see if the fruit is bubbling - if it is, your pie is done. If it is not, reduce the heat to 375, cover the pie with aluminum foil, and let it cook for an additional 15 minutes.
If the crust is cooking too quickly, you can cover it with aluminum foil to prevent it from burning while the filling comes to a "bubble".