Berry Crumble Pie – My favorite pie crust is filled with four kinds of berries and baked with a brown sugar and cinnamon crumble topping.
November is almost here which means pie season is coming!! I’ve been celebrating a little early by testing out some pie recipes. Last week, I introduced my favorite pie EVER and this week I am introducing my husband’s *new* favorite pie: Berry Crumble Pie!
I call it his *new* favorite pie because apple pie has always, always, always been his favorite. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. But then I made this pie for him and he actually said “I think this pie might be my new favorite.” And without any prompting from me, I swear!!!
When asking him what he loved the most about this pie, he said it was the sweet and tart flavors balancing each other out. Plus, he loved the cinnamon crumble topping. The topping is crispy, but not crunchy and loaded with brown sugar and cinnamon. Who wouldn’t love it???
How to make this pie
This pie uses my perfect pie crust recipe. I used this same crust in the stone fruit tart and chocolate pecan pie recipes that I posted earlier this season. It’s a classic recipe and that is completely versatile.
To make the crust, you simply mix flour, sugar, salt, butter, shortening, and water together in a food processor and then let it do all the work. You have to chill the dough for at least two hours so make sure to give yourself enough time.
The filling starts with making a sauce with the blueberries. This sauce creates a thick base for the filling so that it doesn’t get too watery. It also helps break down the blueberries, which has pretty thick skin, unlike the other berries. To make it, you’ll boil sugar, water, blueberries, and corn starch until thick.
When the blueberry sauce is done and off the heat, you’ll add in cinnamon and lemon juice. You don’t want to add the cinnamon and lemon juice while the blueberry mixture is boiling because you’ll loose their flavor when it boils out.
Finally, the other berries are folded in to the mixture and poured into the pie shell. You’ll want to fold gently to make sure the fruit doesn’t break down.
Berry pie can be a little trickier than apple pie because it’s a softer fruit. Since it’s softer, it turns to a thin syrup after baking for so long. For this reason, I do not like to use a top crust on the pie because the pie will sink and the top crust won’t look so great. Therefore, a crumb or lattice topping is really perfect with berry pies.
I decided to use a crumb topping because the cinnamon in the crumbs pair so well with the berry filling. Let’s talk about how this crumb topping is made.
The crumb topping is the same one I’ve used in this classic crumb cake and this cranberry apple crumble. It’s made with brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon, salt, melted butter, and flour. The mixture turns into a thick mixture so it might be a little confusing how it will turn into a crumble. But stay with me!
The mixture is then chilled to make it solid. Then, you’ll crumble the mixture over the filled pie to create large and small little crumbs. It’s important the you wait until the mixture has turned solid or else you won’t be able to form the crumbs.
Finally, the pie goes into the oven and baked for up to 45 minutes. You’ll know the pie is ready when you start to see the filling bubble up.
Tips & Tricks
- This pie dough recipe makes two crusts. You’ll only need one for this recipe. You can freeze the other disk of dough for up to 3 months to use for another pie or tart recipe.
- The first time I made this pie, the topping got too brown. Therefore, every time after I covered the pie with foil about halfway through to ensure it stays the pretty golden brown.
- Do not even try to cut into this pie until it’s completely cooled. Since the filling is made from soft fruit that turns to syrup, it will fall apart everywhere if it’s warm when you cut into. If you want to serve the slices warm, I suggest microwaving each slice after it’s served on a plate for no more than 15 seconds.
Berry Crumble Pie
For the pie crust*:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1½ sticks unsalted butter cold
- ⅓ cup vegetable shortening cold
- ½ cup cold water
For the filling:
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ cup corn starch
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 cup fresh raspberries
- 1 cup fresh strawberry halves
- ¾ cup fresh blackberries
- 1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
For the crumble topping:
- 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons butter unsalted, melted
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
For the pie crust*:
- Add flour, sugar, and salt to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to combine. Cut the cold butter into cubes. Add to the flour mixture along with the vegetable shortening. Turn processor on and let run for 5 seconds. Then, drizzle in cold water. Keep processing until mixture begins to clump.
- Pour dough mixture onto a clean surface. Using your hands, pull the dough together into one ball. Cut ball in half and form two discs of the same size and shape. Cover each disk in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours. (see * note below for what to do with the second disc of dough).
- Remove one disk of dough from the refrigerator and let it sit on the counter for 10 minutes to soften up. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Once dough is ready, roll it out into a disk using a rolling pin. The dough should be 10½ to 11 inches in diameter. Gently fold rolled dough in half and place onto 9-inch pie pan. Unfold the dough so that it is covering the dish completely. Let the dough lay into the dish so that it is not stretched or pulled. Fold over excess edges and press into a smooth or fluted edge, ensuring that the whole outside edge is the same thickness. Chill while you make the filling and topping.
For the topping:
- Mix sugars, cinnamon, and salt together in a medium bowl with a spoon or spatula. Add melted butter and combine. Add flour, ⅓ cup at a time until all combined. The mixture will resemble a paste. Don't worry, we will make it look like crumbs after it chills. Place in refrigerator to chill until you need it.
Assemble the pie:
- Add sugar, cornstarch, salt, blueberries, and 2 tablespoons of water to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook for 4 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat. Cool for 5 minutes. Add blueberries to a large bowl. Stir in cinnamon. Add the remaining berries and lemon juice. Toss very gently, as to not break up the berries. Add filling to chilled pie crust and spread to create an even layer.
- Grab chilled crumb mixture from the refrigerator. Scoop a handful of the mixture from the bowl. Using your hands, crumble mixture evenly over the berry mixture. Crumbs should be the size of raspberries but don't worry if they are some bigger and smaller than that. The topping actually looks better when the size of the crumbs are uneven. Repeat with the rest of the mixture.
- Place pie into a preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove pie and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for another 20-25 minutes. You'll know it's done when the berries are bubbling through the crumbs and the topping is deep, golden brown.
- Let pie cool for at least 3 hours before cutting. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.