Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Mulberry Pie.

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Mulberry Nectarine Pie

6 1/2 cups mulberries, nectarines, plums
1 1/2 cup sucanat
2/3 cup tapioca
3 tbsp orange juice
2 tsp grated lemon peel
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp almond extract

1 deep dish pie crust

 I've got a weeping mulberry tree in my backyard, and every year around the 4th of July, its berries turn purple and stain the sidewalk and the bottom of my shoes. It's a mess, but it's a delicious mess if I get myself out there with a bucket and a ladder. It took me about an hour to pick enough mulberries for  1 1/2 pies, and about two more hours to make the pie itself.
The real killer is getting the mulberries ready to use, which means removing the little green stems from the fruit. I have purple cuticles for about 2 days afterward, but I'd say it's worth it. After the berries are stemmed, rinse them and dump them in a large saucepan with the rest of the ingredients. I use a ratio of approximately 5 cups mulberries to 1 nectarine/peach, and 1 or 2 plums/pluots. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook for about a minute, then reduce to a simmer until it thickens and the tapioca becomes translucent.
Shamefully, I used a store-bought pie crust for this little fella, due to a time crunch before the holiday celebrations. So after having popped the crust in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes, I dumped in the fruit mixture and baked the whole thing for about 18-20 minutes, or until the crust turned golden. I brought this pie and a smaller pie with a gluten-free crust to a family gathering this Sunday, and they were a hit, store-bought crusts and all. They're delicious topped with a scoop of Breyer's vanilla ice cream.

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