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BackstoryThis is one of those special occasion deserts in my family, huckleberries are almost impossible to just go and buy at the store, since they are not commercially cultivated. I remember our Huckleberry picking migrations as a child up to Mt Adams in the Washington State part of the Cascade Mountains. Fighting the yellow jackets (ground hornets) in the heat of August as our family of five spent all day picking these tiny wild relatives of the blueberry just to obtain about 6 pies worth of berries to freeze for the coming year.
Thus the enigma that was huckleberry pie was born. Thanksgiving, Christmas and, I believe, my Uncle Tim’s Birthday were the special occasions where this delicious pie was served. Why so much work for such a little return? Once you have tasted a Pacific Northwest Huckleberry, blueberries pale in comparison.
I am reminded of the scene in “Under the Tuscan Sun” when the main character is writing a post card for a fellow traveler and she pops a grape into her mouth and mentions the “Violet sweetness” and how it even “tastes purple”. Well, Francis may have been a great writer, but her taste buds were easily impressed. If she wanted to “Taste Purple”, she needed to throw away that pathetic grape and eat a couple of Huckleberries.
- 1/2 Recipe Pâte Brisée
- 4 cups of Huckleberries
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup Sugar or 1/4 cup Vetch Honey
- 3 TB Arrowroot Powder
- 1 TB Lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
- 1 TB Butter
- Huckleberry juice
- In a large bowl combine sugar and huckleberries; toss to coat and set aside while preparing the crust.
- Mix 1/2 a recipe of Pâte Brisée and Blind bake at 375 for 10 minutes with weights and about 10 - 15 without weights.
- Cool crust while preparing filling.
- Make slurry with arrowroot powder, Lemon juice and salt.
- Drain the huckleberries, reserving 1 cup of the juice.
- If there is not enough juice, add enough water to equal 1 cup.
- In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, combine 2 cups of the berries with reserved juice and the arrowroot slurry.
- Cook the mixture, stirring frequently, until thickened.
- Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in 1 TB if butter.
- Once the butter is incorporated, fold in the remaining 2 cups of Huckleberries.
- Pour filling into prepared crust and chill until set, about 3 hours.
- Serve with Grand Marnier whipped cream (2 tsp confectioner’s sugar, 2 tsp Grand Marnier, 8 oz Heavy Cream; Beat until medium peaks)