Dewberry Pie

Dear Boys,

You may have heard it said that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and such is the case with the dewberry.

To many, a dewberry plant is a bothersome weed to be removed.  It has thorns and is a running vine that will take over an area.

I know this, because it has happened in our own backyard.  Thankfully, our kind neighbors are  gracious about  the weedy patches in the piney woods behind our house.

John, I was delighted one day recently when you came in from your backyard wanderings and told me you had found berries.

We checked them out and learned that we had dewberries.

Dewberries grow earlier than blackberries and are on thorny, low-growing vines as opposed to self-supporting, upright canes.  It is my understanding they are found mainly here in the South.

I told you, John, that if you could pick four cups of berries, I’d make a pie.

That’s pretty tricky, because dewberries don’t grow in clusters like blackberries.  It took a bit of patience and hard work on your part.

Life can be like that.

Things sometimes become a mess (like the weedy woods behind our house), and working through the mess can be very hard (like John braving the thorns as he picked the berries).

The rewards for your perseverance can be great, though, so I encourage you to be strong and courageous when the way looks hard.

Don’t shy away from difficult tasks.

It is rarely easy or fun to walk demanding paths, but I have found them to be worthwhile.

A little like

DSC_0377the way the fruits of prickly, tangled branches

DSC_0291can turn into this.

It happens in life by way of prayer, grace, and the support of family and friends.

It happens in the kitchen by doing the following:

2013-03-06 15.40.12

Prepare a double batch of the pie crust recipe.  I think you know what doubling a recipe means, but just to be clear, it means you do twice the amount of every ingredient.  In the end, you’ll have enough dough for two pies instead of one.  This is so you’ll have one for the bottom and one for the lattice work on top of the pie.

Please forgive me if I have just offended your mathematic sensibilities.  I have been confused over lesser things, so I just wanted to be clear what it means to double a recipe.  Any multiple will work, of course, depending on your needs.

After you make the dough, wrap it in plastic wrap and set in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it.

DSC_0231 Pick 4 cups of dewberries.

DSC_0565Mix in a small bowl 2/3 cup sugar (You can use up to 1 cup if the berries are sour.)

DSC_0253

and 1/4 cup all-purpose flour.

DSC_0254Pour this over the berries and gently stir until the berries are coated.  Let stand for 15 minutes.

2013-03-06 15.39.17

Remove the dough from the refrigerator.  Divide the dough in half and roll out one half of it and place in a pie dish, crimping the edges.

DSC_0268Between two pieces of wax paper, roll the other half into a rectangle.  It should be a little longer than your pie dish is wide.

DSC_0269Remove the top piece of wax paper.  Then use a knife to cut the rectangle into strips that are about 1/2 – 3/4 inch wide.

Your berries have likely waited their 15 minutes now.  (It won’t hurt if it’s been longer.)  Sorry I forgot to take a photo, but now you gently spoon the berries into the uncooked pie crust.

DSC_0264  Then cut 2 Tbsp. butter into thin pats.

DSC_0267Place them all over the pie.  They will melt during the baking and mix with the flour and sugar to make a gooey filling.

Now the fun part!

DSC_0271Take two of the dough strips you cut and place them on the pie across one another.

DSC_0272Pick up a second strip and lay it vertically over the horizontal piece.

Notice that the left strip is on top of the cross piece, and the right strip is under.  You’re going to weave more and more pieces in this over/under fashion until you’ve covered the entire pie.

You just do it a step at a time, though, so it’s doable.

DSC_0273Get a fourth strip and add to the design.

Keep doing this until you have worked all the way across the pie.  That will leave you with six or so vertical strips and one horizontal strip.

DSC_0275You’ll have some ends hanging off.  Sometimes if I need more dough, I cut them off and piece them together to make longer strips.

DSC_0279Once you have woven pieces left to right and top to bottom over the whole pie, make sure all the overhanging edges are cut.  Then press the ends very gently onto the edge of the crust.

Bake your pie in the oven at 450 degrees for 10 minutes.  Then reduce the heat to 350 and bake 35-40 minutes more or until the crust is golden brown.  Remove from the oven.

Let the pie set at least 15 minutes before slicing.

DSC_0292I pray the difficult paths in life bring you good things indeed.

I love you,

Mom

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4 responses to “Dewberry Pie

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