Saskatoon berry pie is the quintessential Prairie pie, and it’s a mainstay on the Gallery Café’s dessert menu. Sarah sources Saskatoons from Prairie Berries in Keeler for this recipe, which has been adapted over time by café staff and generations of women in the Moore family. Yvette even has a painting titled Saskatoon Pie – Just Like Mom’s, which depicts her daughters preparing a pie at the kitchen table. With a jammy berry filling and a flaky, golden brown crust, Saskatoon berry pie is best served topped with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream, alongside coffee or tea. –Naomi Hansen
Saskatoon Berry Pie
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- ½ cup shortening
- 1 egg divided
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- ice-cold water
Saskatoon Berry Filling
- 4 cups fresh or frozen Saskatoon berries see note #1
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 3 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp instant or minute tapioca
- ⅓ cup berry-flavoured juice mixed berry or grape juice works well
- 4 tsp unsalted butter or margarine divided into ½ tsp portions
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- vanilla ice cream or whipped cream optional
- icing sugar optional
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
- Place the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder in a large bowl. Stir together to combine.
- Using a pastry cutter, cut the shortening into the flour mixture until it forms crumbs, about the size of peas.
- Place the egg in a small bowl, whisk it lightly, and divide it into two portions.
- Place one half of the whisked egg and the vinegar in a liquid measuring cup, and whisk them together until well combined. Then add ice-cold water to the measuring cup, so that the total volume of the half egg, vinegar and water equals ⅓ cup of liquid. The total amount of water will vary slightly depending on the size of your half egg.
- Make a well in the flour and pour the liquid mixture into it. Use a pastry cutter to mix it all together gently, just until a solid dough is formed. Be careful not to overmix.
- Form the dough into a ball and place it on a clean, lightly floured surface. Separate the dough into two portions and set half aside for the top crust. Use a rolling pin to roll out the other half of the dough to about 10 inches in diameter.
- Fit the crust loosely into a 9-inch pie pan by gently pressing it down. There’s no need to grease the pan. Set it aside while you prepare the filling.
Saskatoon Berry Filling
- Place the berries, sugar, cornstarch and tapioca in a medium bowl, and stir together to combine. Pour the mixture into the pie crust and spread it around evenly.
- Pour over the berry juice. Dot the butter portions evenly overtop of the berries, then sprinkle evenly with the lemon juice.
- Use your fingers to wet the edges of the bottom crust by dabbing a little bit of water on your hands and then pressing it into the dough.
- On a clean, lightly floured surface, roll out the top crust using a rolling pin until it is about 10 inches in diameter. Fold the crust in fourths (in half and then over again to form a triangle) and then cut a small tip from the point of the triangle. Make narrow ½ inch-long slits along the straight edges of the folded crust, so that the pie can vent while baking. Gently lay the crust over the berries (with the tip in the centre) and unfold it into place. Seal the wet edges of the top and bottom crusts by pressing them together, firmly but gently, with your fingers. You can either flute the edges, fold them over or leave them as a straight edge and trim the excess.
- Take the remaining half of the whisked egg and, using a pastry brush, lightly brush it on top of the entire pie.
- Place the completed pie on a rimmed baking sheet (this ensures there are no leaks and makes it easier to remove from the oven) and bake on the centre rack of the oven until the crust is golden brown, 1 hour.
- Remove the pie from the oven and let it cool and set at room temperature for at least 1 hour prior to cutting. Serve the pie with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream and a sprinkle of icing sugar on top (if using).