Once upon a time Sara Lee made a frozen Fruit of the Forest Pie...and it was very, very good. And then it went away, and everyone was very sad. But fortunately the story does not end there!
The combination of apple slices, rhubarb and summer berries is one of the best fruit combinations ever, and it needed to live on!
Some call this "Fruit of the Forest Pie", but I also call it "Fruit of the Garden Pie", because I always save a secret stash of the best rhubarb, raspberries, strawberries and blueberries from our garden for this traditional Thanksgiving Pie. I know that makes it extra special for us, but it is the most colorful and delicious pie - always a special family favorite at Thanksgiving, or any other time I bake one!
This is truly a deep dish pie - so get your favorite deep dish pie plates out and let the fun begin!
Over the years I've learned that you can either slice the apples up REALLY thin, but my preferred method is to pre-cook the apple slices on the stove until they just begin to get tender. There's nothing harder than waiting for apple slices to bake up tender in a pie, and this little trick will save you that angst. It also will keep your top pie crust or lattice from baking high above the fruit filling and collapsing when the pie cools.
While your apple slices are cooling down, combine the rhubarb, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries in a large bowl. You can mix and match the fruit to your liking, but this is our favorite fruit combination. And very traditional!
You may as well save yourself a lot of fighting and make two of these at a time, because everyone will be fighting over the last piece or two!
And now you can be happy that you have the secret to one of the best Thanksgiving pies around! I'm always amazed that it is more popular that pumpkin, pecan or apple pie...but you'll have to let me know how much you love this pie!
2 prepared pie crusts OR
1-1/4 cups (6-1/4 oz.) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
½ tsp salt
6 tablespoons COLD unsalted butter (cut into ¼ inch pieces and chilled)
4 tablespoons Crisco vegetable shortening (cut in half and chilled)
2 tablespoons vodka (chilled)
2 tablespoons ice water
2 large apples (sugar crisp or granny smith) (peeled, cored and thinly sliced)
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup sugar
½ cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups rhubarb (sliced)
1 cup strawberries (quartered or sliced)
1 cup raspberries
1 cup blueberries
1 cup blackberries
3 tablespoons cold butter, sliced
1 large egg (room temperature) beaten
Sprinkling or coarse sugar for topping
HOW I MAKE THIS:
1. IF USING A READY-MADE PIE CRUST, SKIP TO STEP 6.
2. MAKE PIE CRUST: Process ¾ cup flour, sugar and salt in food processor until combined, about 5 seconds. Sprinkle butter and shortening on top and continue processing until mixture begins to form uneven clumps with no remaining floury bits (about 10 seconds).
3. Scrape down sides of bowl and redistribute dough around blade. Sprinkle remaining ½ cup flour over dough and pulse until mixture is evenly distributed into pieces around bowl (4 to 6 pulses).
4. Transfer mixture to medium bowl. Sprinkle vodka and ice water over mixture. Using stiff silicone spatula, stir and press down until it sticks together.
5. Turn pie dough onto sheet of plastic wrap and shape into round 4-inch shape. Wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.
6. Remove dough from refrigerator and allow to soften slightly (about 10 minutes) before rolling.
7. Roll dough into a 12-inch circle on floured counter.
8. Sprinkle flour into bottom of glass or ceramic deep dish pie plate that is 2-inches deep (the flour will keep your crust from sticking to the bottom of the pie plate).
9. Roll dough loosely around your rolling pin and unroll into the pie plate, leaving at least a 1-inch overhand on each side. Working in a circular motion, ease dough into place by gently lifting edge of dough with one hand while pressing into plate bottom with the other hand. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to fill pie.
10. MAKE PIE FILLING: Toss sliced apples and lemon juice together in a large non-stick fry pan. Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring gently and often, until apples are tender when poked with fork but still hold their shape (about 15 minutes). Remove from heat and sprinkle with cornstarch, sugar and cinnamon, stir gently.
11. Transfer apples and the juices to a rimmed baking sheet and let cool completely (about 30 minutes).
12. Combine cooled apple mixture and remaining fruit in a large bowl; stir gently until combined and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
13. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 425 degrees.
14. Spoon fruit mixture into dough-lined pie plate, mounding slightly in middle. Spread your chunks of sliced butter evenly over the top of the fruit.
15. MAKE LATTICE CRUST: Remove the remaining chilled pie dough from the refrigerator. Roll the dough out, 12 inches diameter. Using a pastry wheel, cut 16 strips 1/2 inch wide. Carefully weave the strips into a lattice over top of pie. Using a small knife, trim the extra overhang. Crimp edges of the dough with your fingers.
16. Beat egg with 1 tablespoon of milk or water, and brush the lattice top with the egg wash. Sprinkle with coarse sugar.
17. Place the pie in oven and bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, place pie-edger around top of pie crust to keep it from browning too much. Keeping the pie in the oven, turn the temperature down to 375°F and bake for an additional 40-50 minutes. If the top of your pie is getting too brown, cover loosely with aluminum foil. The pie will be done when the fruit juices begin to bubble up through the lattice top and the fruit is tender (insert a small knife into the center to check).
18. Allow the pie to cool for at least 4 hours before serving. This fruit pie is best served within a day, but it can be covered tightly and stored in the refrigerator.
YIELD: One 9-inch pie
Originally posted November 2010, revised and reposted November 2018.
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