Picking Raspberries with Mom!
…and Pam’s Peach Pie!
I wanted to tell you this story about picking fruit with my mom and I included my favorite recipe for raspberry pie. I’ve been told by people that it is the best raspberry pie they have ever had!
I also decided to include the recipe for the peach pie that I make for my daughter Pam every year during peach picking season.
But first the story!
Picking fruit with mom was something I did throughout my life! We started in June when the strawberries were ripe. Most years we picked about 24 quarts. We froze most of them so we would have them through the winter and we also made strawberry jam.
Raspberries were the next ripe berries ready to pick so I would go Picking Raspberries with Mom!
We picked apples every year too! Lots of them! We made apple pies and we saved many to eat throughout the winter, spring and summer until we could pick again the next fall. Then there were cherries that she canned for the winter, and peaches, and apricots! She canned a lot of fruit for our family.
But back to berries! One summer, when I was in my early 20s, I went Picking Raspberries with Mom! I have no idea where we went but I imagine that my father told my mother where to find bushes filled with red ripe raspberries! We went to an overgrown field somewhere in the country where only weeds and scrubby looking trees grew; but there were raspberries! We found some really nice bushes filled with delicious looking red raspberries and we were quickly filling up our bowls. I think we ate as many as we put into our bowls; at least I did! Then my mother went in one direction and I went in the other.
A short time later I heard my mother scream! I went running to her afraid she got hurt. When I reached her, she was sitting on the ground and her bowl was empty! She had a distressed look on her face, her forehead all scrunched up, sad eyes. She was on the verge of tears. Then I heard her say, “My berries!” I asked her where they were. She whined, “In the hole!” (Almost 40 years later I still laugh when I think about this!) At this point I am thinking she is nuts! In front of where she was sitting on the ground was a big hole. Somehow she had tripped and fallen when she “found” the hole with one of her feet! Her raspberries were gone!
I think some gophers filled their tummies with beautiful red, ripe raspberries that day!
Many years later when my daughter, Pam, was a little girl, we started picking fruit together just like I did with my mother! Pam went “Picking Berries with Mom,” but I was the the mom now! She got busy with high school and college. Those were the years I picked alone. When she graduated from college and was in her 20s, we both lived in Rochester, NY and we started picking fruit together again; raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries. But every year I made Pam one of her favorite fruit pies; peach!
I made her one in 2014 when she visited me in Florida where I had lived for 4 ½ years! When I pricked it with a fork so the steam could escape, I pricked it with the letters in her name. I will continue to make her one whenever we are together when the peaches are ripe and ready for picking!
Raspberry pie, Peach pie, or Apple pie? You choose which fruit filling you want in your pie.
Follow the ingredients and directions below for the pie crust and how to put the pie together. Ingredients and directions to make the fruit fillings is below. You can use any of the fillings. The pie crust and how to assemble the pie is the same.
RASPBERRY PIE FILLING
4 c. fresh raspberries
2/3 c. water
¾ c. sugar
¼ tsp. salt
6 T. flour
Combine half of the berries and the water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Combine the sugar, salt and flour and stir into the hot berries and water mixture. Cook over low heat until thickened all the time stirring gently. Add the rest of the raspberries and fold in gently so the second addition of the raspberries stay whole. Cool while making the pie crust.
Bake Raspberry Pie at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until the top crust is light golden brown.
PEACH PIE FILLING
1 c. sugar
3 T. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
8 peaches, peeled and sliced
Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
Peel the peaches and cut in slices and place in a large bowl. When all the peaches are sliced, add the dry ingredients to the peaches. Stir together gently.
Bake the Peach Pie at 450 degrees for 15 minutes. Turn oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake an additional 35 minutes or until the top crust is light golden brown.
APPLE PIE FILLING
8 c. sliced apples
3/4 c. sugar
7 T. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 T. butter
***You can use a variety of apples for your pie. I use a combination of Fuji, McIntosh, Gala, Empire, Jazz, Golden Delicious, 20 oz. or whichever kind are ready to pick or whichever kind is on sale at your favorite grocery store or Farmers’ Market. Using a variety of 3 or 4 kinds makes a tasty pie!
Combine the dry ingredients.
Peel the apples and cut into slices. Place in a large bowl. Add the dry ingredients and stir in gently.
***After you put the apples into the pie crust, place thin slices of butter all over the top of the apples. Cover with top crust as directed below.
Bake apple pie at 400 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes.
PIE CRUST FOR ALL PIES
1 c. Crisco
2 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
4 – 6 T. cold water
Measure the Crisco into a large bowl. Next, measure the flour and stir the salt into it. Pour the flour mixture into the bowl with the Crisco in it. With a pastry blender, blend the Crisco and flour until it forms small balls and all is incorporated.
Measure the water and put it in the flour/Crisco mixture one tablespoon at a time. Stir it in with a wooden spoon until it starts to look like a firm dough. Finish mixing it with your hands and form it into a ball.
This recipe is for a 2 crust pie, a bottom and top crust. Divide the dough into 2 balls, one a little smaller than the other for the top crust. Press each into a smooth ball.
Dust with flour the area where you are going to roll out the pie dough. Start with the larger of the two balls of dough. Place it on the dusted flour and then spread a little flour on top so the dough doesn’t stick.
With a rolling pin, roll out the dough, starting from the center going toward the edges. Do this a few times then pick up the pie dough and turn it 90 degrees on your rolling surface. Repeat this, adding a little more flour under the crust and on top of it so it doesn’t stick. Continue rolling the pie dough turning it until you have a circle larger than your pie plate taking into account the sides of the pie plate. The crust should stick out of the sides of the pie plate by about 1 ½ inches.
Pour the filling into the crust.
Roll out the top crust, the same way as the bottom crust, but just round enough to go over the filling and overlap the bottom crust on the edges of the pie plate. Place the top crust over the filling, trim ½ inch beyond edge of plate. Fold top edge under bottom crust and flute to seal the edges. See the edge in the peach pie photo above. Prick the top crust to allow for escape of steam.
Bake the pies following the oven temperatures and times listed at the bottom of each filling’s directions.
If the edges start to bake too dark, form a ring with aluminum foil to cover just the edges of the pie. Do not cover the middle of the pie. You can also use a purchased metal pie edge protector ring found in most specialty kitchen supply stores. I always use one of them.
Enjoy your pies!