A trio of berries in the filling and cinnamon and lemon zest in the crust make for a practically perfect Mixed Berry Pie. Bake one and freeze an extra for another time.
If you’re a pie lover, chances are you have a favorite pie. Or three. That’s how we roll, we lovers of pie. It’s so hard to choose.
I know this because I poll my family every Thanksgiving so that everyone can have his or her favorite. One year I ended up making SEVEN different kinds of pie. For 11 people.
What can I say, but only a pie lover would do that.
You can bet your booty that this Mixed Berry Pie made the cut.
Why Make This
It’s super tasty! Delicious berries (raspberries! blueberries! blackberries!) cook up with sugar, encased in a flaky butter crust scented with lemon and cinnamon. What’s not to love?
It’s a little bit unique. In developing this recipe, I used my Gramma John’s basic pie crust, but I added cinnamon and lemon zest. The verdict: spiced pie crust rocks! It’s just a little different than your standard mixed berry pie.
It’s easy to make with frozen berries. The filling is a fairly standard one of mixed berries, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, and butter. I save time by not worrying about thawing the berries, but just toss them with the other ingredients and spooned them into the crust. This means you can make two and place one unbaked right back in the freezer for another time.
Here’s what you’ll need to make this pie:
flour – For best results in a pastry, you’ll want unbleached, all-purpose flour or a pastry flour.
butter – I like butter best in pastry, but you can also use margarine or lard or a combination.
salt – a little bit of salt gives the pastry just the right flavor.
ground cinnamon and lemon zest – While not a traditional addition to pie crust, the cinnamon and zest in the crust take the pie to another layer of flavor.
iced water – Using very cold water in the pasty provides for great flaky layers in the crust.
mixed berries – I use frozen mixed berries but you can use fresh berries. You can also use fresh berries, such as blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. Berries can be more expensive than other fruit, so remember you can freeze berries so if you find a great sale, stash some away for later.
lemon juice – Lemon juice helps offset the sweetness of the filling.
cornstarch – I like to use cornstarch as the thickener in my pie filling.
sugar – Use granulated sugar for best results.
Making a mixed berry pie is a pretty simple process, though there are more than a few steps.
1. Make the pastry.
In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse together the flour, butter, salt, cinnamon, and lemon zest until coarse crumbs are formed. You can also make the pie crust in a mixing bowl with a pastry blender.
Add enough water for the dough to hold together.
Divide the mixture into two portions. Wrap each portion in plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour.
2. Prepare the filling.
In a mixing bowl, combine the sugar and cornstarch. Add the berries and lemon juice. Stir to combine.
3. Assemble the pie.
Once chilled, roll out the pie crust into two large rounds. Fit one round into the pie plate and trim.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Spoon the mixture into the pie shell.
Place the second pie crust round over the top and pinch the edges together, folding the top crust under the bottom.
Crimp the edges. See these tips for pie crust crimping.
4. Bake the pie.
Cut an X in the middle of the pie to allow steam to escape.
Brush the crust with cream and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake for 45 to 60 minutes or until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbly. If it browns too early, cover the edges with aluminum foil to protect the edges.
Be sure to bake until the filling is hot, thick, and bubbly. You’ll see it bubble up through the crust.
Cool the pie completely before serving. Warm pie is delicious, but it won’t have a thick filling.
Mixed berry pie is great for freezing. With a frozen pie on hand, you can bake it up at your convenience. Enjoy homemade pie on the spot!
To freeze: do not bake the pie. Once it’s assembled, wrap it well with heavy-duty aluminum foil, label, and freeze, taking care to lay it flat in the freezer so no juices seep out.
To bake: do not thaw. Preheat the oven and place the pie on a tray. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes or until the filling is hot and bubbly.
Yes! You can make a pie with frozen fruit. It makes it such an easy process. There’s no need to thaw.
Berry pie can be stored at room temperature for up to two days, covered. If you prefer cold pie, by all means store it in the fridge.
Prepared food is good for up to four days. Berry pie, however, will start to get soggy after awhile. Gobble it up in the first two days.
Knowing how much it costs you to prepare a recipe can help you decide if it’s the type of recipe to make regularly or one you might want to save for special occasions. Let’s crunch some numbers and see how this recipe pencils out.
- flour – $0.30
- butter – $1.50
- lemon – $0.50
- cinnamon and salt – $0.15
- frozen mixed berries – $4.00
- sugar – $0.22
- cornstarch – $0.20
Shopping at a mid-range grocery store at non-sale prices, you can expect to pay about $6.87 or 86 cents/serving for this gourmet, homemade mixed berry pie.
How to save even more
Here are some of the strategies you can use to make this recipe more economical:
- Stock up on ingredients when they are on sale. Butter and frozen berries are your big ticket items here. Stock up when you see a good sale.
- Shop at Costco. When I did my big grocery store showdown, I learned that Costco has the best price for a lot of the things I buy, plus they sell all the ingredients needed for this recipe. I love their cheapest-price-in-town for butter.
The Best Pie Recipes
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Mixed Berry Pie
For pie crust
- 2 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 1 cup butter , cut into cubes (2 sticks)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 lemon, zested
- 1/4 cup water , chilled
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 4 cup frozen mixed berries raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries, do not thaw
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp butter cut into cubes
- 1 tbsp whipping cream or milk
- 1 tsp demerara sugar
- Preheat the oven to 425°.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, 1 cup butter, salt, cinnamon, and lemon zest with a pastry blender, or two knives held together. Kids can do this with a fork if that is easier. You can also use a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Work these ingredients together until they form pea-sized crumbs. Quickly stir in the cold water and combine until a dough forms.
- Form the dough into two round disks. You can chill for 30 minutes or just be lazy and roll it out.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll each disk into a large circle. Place one in the bottom of a 9-inch pie plate.
- In a large mixing bowl, wisk together the sugar and cornstarch. Add the berries and toss to combine. Sprinkle in the lemon juice and combine well.
- Spoon the berry mixture into the pie crust and sprinkle any remaining sugar mixture over the top. Dot with the remaining butter cubes.
- Place the top crust and cut a vent for steam to escape. You can also create a lattice crust by slicing the top crust into strips before laying the strips across the top of the pie, weaving them one over the other.
- Brush the top crust with cream and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
- Bake for 45 to 60 minutes or until the crust is golden and the filling bubbles. If the crust begins to brown overly so, cover the edges with aluminum foil.
- Cool completely on a rack before serving.
This post was originally published on March 13, 2012. It has been updated for content and clarity.