Huckleberry Pie The Old Fashioned Way
We picked almost 24 lbs of huckleberries on the weekend.
I suited up with rain gear pants because the shrubbery was wet. We wore food-handling gloves to protect our hands.
Picking went quickly, taking about an hour and a half.
Once these are cleaned and sorted they are frozen in quart bags.
First project: Pumpkin-huckleberry muffins for us; then a pie for my daughter. She requested something without sugar, butter or Crisco, or wheat flour - but wanted a huckleberry pie for her birthday.
She is remembering the wonderful pies I've made in the past, with the lattice crust on top, the thick sweet syrup, the plump berries. She is remembering a butter crust, a sweet filling, and ice cream on the top.
But, she wants a healthier option. She's also avoiding dairy, wheat and sugar. So, I'll grind up walnuts, oat bran, apple skins and a little dehydrated orange peel for the crust, mixed with organic coconut oil. A little agave syrup to sweeten the berries, then baked. I wouldn't call it pie, its more like a round granola bar that spills berries.
Last year I experimented with 'healthy options' - an apple-huckleberry pie with a crust made with crushed pecans, almonds, flaxmeal and minced apple peelings. I added vanilla, rum flavoring, oil, and salt.
These 'healthy options' give the impression of pie, if someone was desperate enough to suffer through a substitution. But me? I don't drive for two hours, pick berries for another two, sort and clean for another four hours and settle for a substitution. I want real huckleberry pie the old fashioned way.