Saturday, June 27, 2015

Service berry season & pie recipe

The service berries are ready!  Service berries (aka. June berries, or Saskatoon berries) are small trees or large shrubs, with delicious edible sweet berries that almost have a taste similar to wild blueberries.  It's looking like an amazing year for these berries so far, as all the trees that line boulevards in our neighbourhood are loaded with berries.  We have been so pleased for discover the service berry over the past years, as we wild forage around the city.  It seems to be a common tree to be planted by the city as part of their landscaping design, and we counted 30 service berry trees lining the sidewalk of one street not far from our house.  These trees eventually get too big to fully harvest without using ladders, and the birds do love the berries too (so they take the higher ones which works out just fine).  However, on our daily walks around town (now always with extra bags and containers along, just in case we need to harvest something) my daughter and I have been able to gather small handfuls from various trees we pass - enough to make a batch of mini pies, a few dozen muffins, and put away some berries in the freezer for winter.

Service Berry Pie with Butter Crust

Best Butter Crust
1 1/2 cups spelt or kamut flour (or wheat, or combination)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup chilled organic butter (or coconut oil)
3-4 Tbsp ice water

Mix flour, salt and butter with hands to form small pea-sized bits.
Add water one Tbsp at a time, mixing just until dough comes together.  Do not overmix.
Chill for at least 30 min, then roll out dough using extra flour on table top.
Makes 1 large pie.

Service Berry Filling
4-6 cups service berries (or mix of berries)
2 Tbsp arrowroot
a few Tbsp water
maple syrup

Mix filling, add to unbaked pie shell.  Bake at 350F oven for about 30 min.

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