Childhood Boysenberry Pie

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I grew up a latchkey kid.  And while it might sound sad and lonely it was actually the beginning of my career as a culinary voyeur and tinkerer.  Often my compatriot in youthful food experiementation was my friend Paula who was as different from me as anyone could be.  The joke was that I would sit on the curb in front of her house leaning against the fire hydrant that we regularly painted riotus colors, reading while she ran wild, biking, running and playing in the middle of the street.  This was in the hills of east Silverlake.  During summer vacation we would walk down to the market on Glendale Blvd (which is now a bank) a million times a day.  One of our treats was Mrs. Smith’s Blackberry Pie.  I remember it as Boysenberry Pie.  It was double crusted with a jammy sweet tart berry filling.  The pie’s were frozen so it filled an afternoon to take the walk down the hill to the store, find the pie, pay and walk back up to Paula’s house where we read the instructions way more times than we needed to before we popped the pop in the oven.  We ate it boiling hot with big scoops of vanilla ice cream melting alongside the pie in a bowl.

This pie is my homage to the comfort and flavors of those days.

There weren’t enough berries to make a huge pie, which is sometimes a good thing. I decided to use a small metal pie pan to remind me of pies past and as you see I made a lattice crust so I could see the beautiful farmers market berries that GF producer Harriet Ells gifted me.



Your favorite double crust recipe

3 small baskets Boysenberries
¼ cup sugar or to taste
Juice of half a lemon or to taste
3 Tablespoons cornstarch

Preheat oven to 425²

To make the filling take half a basket of berries and crush them in a small bowl with a potato masher.  Add a tablespoon of the sugar and the cornstarch to the berry pulp and mix well.  Let sit while you use the remaining sugar and the lemon juice to season the rest of the berries in another bowl.  Be very gentle when tossing the berries with the sugar so they don’t disintegrate.  Add the cornstarch mixture and toss gently.  Set aside while you roll out the dough.

Tuck the seasoned berries into your prefered dough and top either with lattice or full top crust cut with slits for steam.

Place in oven loosely covered with aluminum foil for 20 minutes.  Turn oven down to 375² and remove foil.  Bake until berry juices thicken and crust is deep golden brown.  Remove from heat, try to wait until the pie cools and eat with vanilla ice cream.