• 4 cups fresh or frozen garden huckleberries
    [The garden huckleberry, Solanum scabrum, is an edible relative of black nightshade, not to be confused with the true huckleberry which is related to the blueberry. It’s easy to grow and bears abundant sweet, purplish-black, ¼-inch fruits all summer long. My particular favorite variety is “Chichiquelite” but others should do just fine, as will Luther Burbank’s “Wonderberry” (Solanum retroflexum). Once the summer heats up the plants will get big and start bearing. Unless you have many plants, you likely won’t get a pie’s worth (a quart) of fruit in one pass. I keep a quart container in the freezer and keep adding berries until it’s full, then pop them in a plastic bag and start again. They’re not great—even a bit insipid—eaten fresh, but when cooked that changes dramatically.]

  • 1 cup sugar

  • ½ teaspoon cardamom

  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • zest and juice of 1 lemon

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

  • 2 pie crusts
    [Crust: Use your favorite or a ready-made crust, but consider trying Stephanie Jaworski’s amazing pâte brisée (at http://www.joyofbaking.com/PieCrust.html, complete with a video). You can whip it up in the food processor in minutes and it tastes wonderful. This pie also works with a single bottom crust and a crunchy streusel topping, but be careful not to overdo the sweetness.]

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

  2. Place berries in a saucepan, add water if needed
    [Water: If you’re starting with frozen berries, you’ll have plenty of water; if in doubt, thaw them a bit in the microwave oven.]
    and bring to a slow boil.

  3. Cook until soft.

  4. In a separate container, like a cup, dissolve the cornstarch in a little bit of the liquid.

  5. Add sugar, spices, salt, butter, lemon juice and cornstarch solution.

  6. Cook for about five minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens.

  7. Line the pie pan with the bottom crust.

  8. Pour in the berry mixture.

  9. Cover with top crust, crimping crust edges to seal and making some slits in the top crust with a sharp knife to allow steam to escape.

  10. Bake for 45 minutes or until the crust is a light brown.

  11. Cool, then chill
    [Chill: Using frozen berries there will necessarily be a lot of liquid, so the pie won’t have set properly while it’s still warm from the oven (tastes fine but will be a bit messy).]


I’ve adapted this from a recipe by “Molly53” at https://www.food.com/recipe/garden-huckleberry-pie-395744. The first time I made it, it seemed way too sweet—perhaps because I replaced the top crust with a streusel topping that was also quite sweet. I’ve adjusted the sugar a bit and changed the directions to accommodate frozen berries.