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Mixed Berry & Lemon Verbena Pie

Mixed Berry Pie

One of the great redeeming qualities of the Spring and Summer heat in South Carolina is the abundance of berries and stone fruits. Every Saturday at the farmers market, I load up on local peaches, plums, and berries. I know berry season only has a few more weeks so I am baking, cooking, freezing blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and raspberries by the pound. Many pounds actually.

My favorite way to eat them is simply not to mess up with them too much…Cut up with with a little lemon juice and creme fraiche. Sometimes vanilla bean ice cream. Lately it’s been with lots of lemon-lavender ice cream though. A whisper and a soft cloud with every bite. Sometimes, it’s simple compote with some honey and lemon-thyme or lemon verbena and we have that with a few shortbread cookies for dessert or a snack.

Mixed Berry Pie

And then there are pies. Many days. Many pie days. Indeed. You know, with a nickname such as Tartelette that there are going to be quite many pies made around our house. I don’t know. It’s a never ending world of never ending possibilities. I always love seeing other people pie creations. They inspire. They make me hungry and then they make me head back into the kitchen to bake more pie…!

When I caught a glimpse of the Twitter conversation that Shauna, Garrett, Irvin, Justin and Ashley were engaged in one evening, I knew good things would ensue. Within a few short minutes, lots of people started telling them about their favorite pies, tarts, crust and fillings. I got hungry. Again. And decided to head to bed before being tempted to make a pie at two in the morning! I woke up to a delightful and spontaneous virtual Pie event taking place July 5th. I told you these guys were up to plenty of good.

Mixed Berries

So if you see an avalanche of pies on food blogs, Facebook and Twitter today, do not turn away. Do not worry about the state of the world. If anything it just became sweeter. Just give in. Read for a while and then run to make a pie!

I made one of my favorite pies. A simple mixed berries pies served with whipped cream and a bit of powdered sugar. I added some lemon verbena to the fruits and that pretty much sealed the deal for us. Different. Intoxicating and perfectly soft on the first bite. Evocative on the last.

Pies. People. Make pies…

Mixed Berry Pie

I am heading out to Salt Lake City today where I will be teaching a workshop organized by Heidi of Foodie Crush, then heading out to Park City, to take part in Evo 11 conference. The line up of panels, workshops and speakers is pretty amazing and inspiring. You can follow along on Twitter with the hashtag #evoconf.

I have to take work with me (proposals and assignments are never truly on hold) but I do plan on taking plenty of notes and pictures to share as much information as possible when I head back. Have a great week!

Mixed Berry Pie:

Makes one 9-inch pie

For the crust (pate brisee)
2/3 cup millet flour
1/3 cup superfine white rice flour
1/4 cup sorghum flour
(or you can use 1&1/4 cup all purpose flour instead of the 3 flours mentioned above)
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
8 tablespoons butter, very cold and cut in 1/2 inch dice
2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup ice water
1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water (to brush on the top crust)

In a large bowl, mix together the millet, rice and sorghum flour. Add the powdered sugar and mix. Add the cold butter and mix with a pastry cutter or your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the water, one tablespoon at a time and mix until the dough comes together in a ball. Flatten into a disk in between your hands and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 30 minutes (you can make it the day before too)

For the filling:
1/2 cup blueberries
1 cup strawberries (cut in half or quarters – depending on size)
1/2 cup blackberries
1 cup raspberries
zest and juice of one lemon
1 tablespoon fresh chopped lemon verbena (optional)
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot

Directions: Place all these ingredients into one large bowl and mix together well. Let set for 20 to 30 minutes.

When ready to bake the pie, preheat the oven to 350F and position a rack in the middle.
Divide the pie into two balls, one slightly larger than the other. Roll the larger ball to 1/8-inch thickness on a floured work surface. Place in your pie plate and trim the excess all around the pan. Add the fruit mixture and spread out evenly on the bottom and pressing them down slighly. Roll the second ball of dough to also 1/8-inch thick and cut 1/4-inch strips from it. Layer them on top of the pie. Brush with the egg wash and bake for 30-40 minutes.

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Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga July 5, 2011 um 5:46 am

Your pie has me wanting…PIE!

It looks so good, but more than the pie, I am looking at the pictures. I am knee deep in your book, I havent been reading it in order (tsk, tsk, on me…haha) but I was just reading composition, off center and center, rule of thirds, all that jazz and I am dissecting your photos in this post and applying it to what I just read.

I wish I was going to be at your workshops but am going to Mexico City with Penny in 3 days! Please hold more, okay!

Oh, and I made a mixed berry clafoutis a couple days ago and blogged about it and thought of you 🙂

Helene July 5, 2011 um 5:49 am

Averie: remember also what I wrote about "know the guidelines/rules and forget about them"…grow into the aesthetics. It's a lot easier than trying to juxtapose them to your vision. Let the rule help you out if you're stuck but don't let it overcome your creative spontaneity 🙂

Holly B @ Recipes from a Normal Mum July 5, 2011 um 11:15 am

You get me everytime…. x

Emma @ my darling lemon thyme July 5, 2011 um 11:17 am

That's a mighty fine looking pie Helene 🙂 I've been inspired to use more millet flour in my gf baking since reading your blog over the past year or so. It's such a wonderful flour. Happy pie day!

The InTolerant Chef ™ July 5, 2011 um 11:34 am

What lovely summery goodness. I'll have to make mine with frozen berries this time of year, but I can pretend that I just picked them warm from the bushes!

Carol L. Evans July 5, 2011 um 11:52 am

I am on my way to Asheville SC this morning to visit friend, I will make this pie for them as they love anything berry. They have a nice farmers market but only on Sat. The photos are beautiful and I know the pie will even be better..

zoom yummy July 5, 2011 um 12:04 pm

Wonderful, wonderful photographs. 🙂 Petra

Kucina di Kiara July 5, 2011 um 12:05 pm

Uno spettacolo di torta! E che foto! Sei molto brava! Complimenti!

pips July 5, 2011 um 12:19 pm

I'd love to try this pie with fresh rhubarb. It must be delicious! thanks for sharing your beautiful images and recipes 🙂

Val July 5, 2011 um 2:13 pm

What a gorgeous pie. I love the addition of lemon verbena.

RecipeGirl July 5, 2011 um 2:18 pm

Looks gorgeous! And I'm jotting down your gf pie crust recipe too!

Yummyfood July 5, 2011 um 2:21 pm


Aimee @ Simple Bites July 5, 2011 um 2:22 pm

Stunning! And I love the melange of berries.

Happy Pie Day! I celebrated with a Rhubarb-Raspberry Cream Pie.

Sanjeeta kk July 5, 2011 um 2:23 pm the millet and sorgum flour in the crust! How cute and rustic that plate look in the first picture..lovely clicks.

Heather July 5, 2011 um 2:47 pm

Pie holds hostage a little corner of my heart — the place that triggers nostalgia and comfort and pure joy! My friends and family blow off pie — oh, sure, they'll eat 1 or 12 if I come armed, but many feel that pie's prep work is just too hard. Sad, and so untrue! I recently read an article on food trends and was informed through it that cupcakes will soon be "out" and pies will be "in"… and I could not be happier! I'm expecting a pie popularity explosion — yayyy, pie! 🙂

Unknown July 5, 2011 um 2:50 pm

gorgeous as always helene 🙂 love the berries in the pie dish.

Marnely Rodriguez-Murray July 5, 2011 um 3:01 pm

Love your pie, it's gorgeous!!!

Marnely Rodriguez-Murray July 5, 2011 um 3:01 pm

Love your pie, it's gorgeous!!!

Marnely Rodriguez-Murray July 5, 2011 um 3:01 pm

Love your pie, it's gorgeous!!!

Heidi @ Food Doodles July 5, 2011 um 3:02 pm

Beautiful! I love your blue background with the blueberries 😀 And your pie crust looks amazing! I'm so impressed when I see gorgeous gluten free baking!

Tara Barker July 5, 2011 um 3:14 pm

Just beautiful, Helene. Love the addition of lemon verbena! Have a great week!

la domestique July 5, 2011 um 4:17 pm

Your pies look fantastic! There's something about berry pie that just makes my mouth water, more so than any other pie.

Lynn July 5, 2011 um 4:25 pm

Yummy! I can't wait to try my hand at a lattice topped pie!

Anonymous July 5, 2011 um 5:43 pm

Delicious! I love berries and stone fruits – pies are always a good idea! As usual, your pictures are incredible!

Mandy @ Withmilkandflour July 5, 2011 um 5:56 pm

The pies look delicious, can imagine having a slice now with some vanilla ice cream!

Gen July 5, 2011 um 7:05 pm

De toute beauté! J'aimes beaucoup les tartes simple, rustiques mais pleines de fruits comme ça!

Cindy July 5, 2011 um 7:25 pm

gorgeous! i cannot resist a lattice-topped pie.

Anna July 6, 2011 um 1:17 am

Beautiful post! I love your reminder that the world is sweeter because of this pie party. I've got blueberry pie over at my blog.

TKTC July 6, 2011 um 3:13 am

So beautiful and I just love your pie tins…they look like they've been loved plenty and that's the best kind of sign.

Mély du Chaudron Pastel July 6, 2011 um 12:56 pm

They look really yummy 🙂
La dernière fois que j'en ai mangé, c'était au Canada, il y a 5 ans !
En France, ce n'est pas trop la mode des "pies"… A tort, c'est trop bon.
La tienne a l'air délicieuse 🙂

Susan Lindquist July 6, 2011 um 1:57 pm

Lovely! One question … I've had such trouble rolling out GF pie crust … any good hints? It always breaks up on me.

Helene July 6, 2011 um 2:22 pm

Mely: tarte et pie sont a 99% la meme chose. Les Americains disent pie car "tart" veut dire "acide" ou "pouffiasse" c'est pour ca qu'ils employent le mot pie plus souvent!!

Elly July 6, 2011 um 5:31 pm

This looks so beautiful. I've never been able to get my hands on lemon verbena, but I've seen a few recipes using it recently and am really intrigued.

Kennedy July 6, 2011 um 6:12 pm

Oh my! That looks so good.

Carpet Cleaning July 6, 2011 um 8:52 pm

Wow. This really move me back in time of childhood, fantastic pies, though it looks amazing I will try one in the weekend.

Unknown July 7, 2011 um 2:41 am

The pie looks so so lovely.

Nicole July 7, 2011 um 4:09 am

Looks so yummy!

Epicurea July 7, 2011 um 5:24 pm

pies remind me of all that is good in the world. thanks for sharing!

Sashquatch July 7, 2011 um 9:34 pm

Stunningly beautiful and i am sure it tastes just as wonderful 🙂
Still blown away by your absolutely perfect photography and probably always will be!

Marla July 8, 2011 um 3:40 am

This is eye popping & fabulous. Such a fun idea for a party. pie. pretty pie. Ahhh, if only life could always be this sweet. Good thing we can make it that way.

Maureen July 8, 2011 um 5:09 am

My French grandmother used to make a pie like this and I loved it. I want to try it soon. Looks delicious!

bergeou July 8, 2011 um 10:59 am

Ces tartes sont superbes et l’atmosphère de tes photos est très réussie. Je dévore ton livre en ce moment, bravo pour ton travail.

Feast on the Cheap July 8, 2011 um 2:09 pm

What a stunning tart!

Paleo diet July 8, 2011 um 2:38 pm

I am going to try this one out with almond flour. Should be a good one! Keep up the good work.

Lucia July 8, 2011 um 2:48 pm

Making the world sweeter. If only we could really do it, with our pies…

happymama July 10, 2011 um 2:07 pm

This pie is delicous!! Thanks for the recipe and your blog is very nice with beautiful pictures! Cheers from switzerland

kyleen July 10, 2011 um 7:51 pm

Those pies look really delicious. I love the pie plates; where did you get those?

Dmarie July 11, 2011 um 12:48 am

looks delish and what GORGEOUS pics!! can't wait to see more of this site!!

Shumaila July 11, 2011 um 5:43 am

Ok you have inspired me to make this pie. Bookmarking the recipe!

Life Images by Jill July 11, 2011 um 2:17 pm

Helene – your posts, your photos, and your food are all so delicious. And you book has become my new best friend. When I look at your photos I can now see you in your room with the glorious light streaming in through the satin bed-sheet! I follow your blog, then I found you on FLickr, and now I have your book! Thankyou for your constant inspiration, your advice, and your wonderful wonderful food photography! Oh to be anywhere near as half as good as you!
Thank you!
have a wonderful day. Cheers! Jill

Bev Weidner July 11, 2011 um 2:30 pm

Oh my HEART. Look at THAT. I cry. And then I sing praises.

And then I cry again.

Helene July 12, 2011 um 6:09 am

Life images by Jill: the bed sheet has been replaced with proper diffusing curtains since then 🙂

Anonymous July 14, 2011 um 4:09 am

Beautiful. Have been learning from your book! First photo ever on Tastespotting!! Thanks!

Linda July 21, 2011 um 1:21 pm

Judge? Are you kidding–I'd eat the galette for breakfast the rest of my life! I can't wait to try making it. White nectarines are a good price at the market, so it's all systems go. Thank you for sharing this.

Linda July 21, 2011 um 1:23 pm

Judge? Are you kidding? 🙂 I'd eat the galette for breakfast for the rest of my life! White nectarines are a good price at the market so it's all systems go. Can't wait to try this. Thanks so much for sharing! Lin

gluten May 5, 2012 um 7:57 pm

I just wanted to say I have been a long time follower and I appreciate all of your writing. A lot of work must go into putting out quality content like this. Thanks again.

Goldenboots June 28, 2012 um 3:37 pm

Fabulous! I'll be making tartelettes (lovely word, splendid name!) for a family reunion coming up in July. Thanks for this! 🙂

Anonymous November 5, 2012 um 10:42 am

I love this recipe! It looks like such a summery staple! Love it!

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