Monday, December 27, 2010

First snow!! and Raspberry Pie

The first snow of the season has come!

And it couldn't have come at a more convenient time, I must say.   The day after Christmas.   After a cozy morning in pajamas, and an unhurried breakfast of left-over ham and quiche, we dug through the winter bins to get all bundled up in our snow gear.   Michael found a perfect path through the trees in our back yard for a sledding hill and the kids had a blast trudging up through the path in the woods, and then down the little hill on their sleds.  Rosy cheeks, lots of giggles and frozen snow-covered bottoms!!  Then inside for hot chocolate and lunch.   A great day.  Now the children are resting, and I'm at the computer with my coffee and a slice of what's left of our Christmas pie.

It is a well-established tradition in my family to serve up a slice of black raspberry pie after nearly every holiday meal.  And it is a tradition that has given me a fair bit of trouble since we moved our little family up north away from my Pennsylvania "folks".   Black raspberries, it turns out, are not as abundantly plentiful as I was led to believe.   Not only are they hard to come by in New England, but I have come across a good many people who do not believe they exist.  Or rather, who believe they are one and the same as blackberries.   This has been a sadness to me, as every holiday since our move, I've had to just give up and serve one of the, uh,  lesser pies in my repertoire.  Like pumpkin (yawn) or apple (snore).    
But this year, I just couldn't go without ONE MORE TIME!   I compromised and made a Christmas Berry Pie without black raspberries.  And it worked - pretty successfully.    Red raspberries, blackberries, and 2 apples stood in place of my beloved black raspberries, and they did a respectable job!   I will continue to hunt the elusive black raspberry, but until I track them down, this pie will do quite nicely!    What a relief!

Christmas Berry Pie

1 pie crust ( I make these ahead of time and keep them in my freezer)
8 - 10 oz bag frozen blackberries
8 - 10 oz bag frozen red raspberries
2 golden delicious apples - chopped
3/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp quick cooking tapioca (I just pour a mound in my hand and dump it into the mixing bowl)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Toss all of the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.  I didn't bother to thaw the berries, but if yours are frozen in large clumps you may have to leave them in the fridge for a bit, so that you can break the larger clumps apart.)

Pour into crust and prepare the crumb topping:

Pulse in food processor:  
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1/3 cup butter (5 - 6 tbsp)

Sprinkle crumb topping over berry mixture (set 1/3 cup aside to sprinkle over the pie right before you pull it out of the oven later) and bake for 40 - 45 minutes until bubbly and golden.

Let cool completely.

Best served after a holiday feast with a side of vanilla ice cream.   

** We believe, in my family, that this is an acceptable breakfast food as well.  Enjoy!

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