Fabulous Fourth Fresh Berry Pie (recipe)

The Fabulous Fourth is upon us here in the United States.  I will be visiting my newly widowed mother who for grit and humor is unsurpassed.  She called to tell me that a neighbor admitted that she would be alone on the Fourth, so Mom said, “Well, spend it with me!  My daughters are coming and we’ll cook burgers and hot dogs!” 

She then called to ask me if I minded.  Minded?  Generosity?  Kindness?  Not I!  I’ve been the beneficiary of it quite a lot over the past several years.  How could I object?  

Fresh Raspberry Pie

I immediately offered to bring my favorite berry pie.  Mom said it might be a good idea.  So I made it, and here is the recipe. It is a simple fresh berry pie.  Not too sweet, rather perishable, easy to make (if you know what  you are doing and don’t waffle instructions).  And if you do it right, people think you’re the greatest chef since Brillat-Savarin.  A good thing if you go for such.

It’s easy, delicious – how could I not share the recipe?

So here it is:

Must use fresh berries!


I generally use raspberries (they eat them in Heaven, you know…) but you can use hulled strawberries (cut up slightly) or peaches, cut up (and drain them) or any other berry you like.

If you are one of those who likes to have people believe that

you never, ever, EVER use store-bought anything, you buy a frozen crust, thaw it and crimp the crust with your fingers once the thing is thawed.  Somehow, a crimped crust just looks more homemade to eaters.  Me, I don’t mind buying them (but check ingredients; some crusts do have sugar in them).  I also make a very good crust from scratch.  It’s a nearly-forgotten skill.  Rather like starting a fire using kindling.


Heat oven to 375.  Take a standard dinner fork and prick the crust all over (bottom, sides).  Holes everywhere.  If you have any pie weights, pour them into the crust to keep the thing from wrinkling.  Dried beans or peas work well, but then don’t use them in soup.  Bake the crust for no more than 15 minutes.  It should be golden brown.  Let it cool while you fiddle with the filling:


1 ½ cups cold water
2 Tbs cornstarch
1 small package of gelatin.  If you’re using raspberries, use raspberry gelatin.  Sugar Free is fine.
3 Tbs granulated sugar
2 pints fresh berries, with any bugs or dirt picked out and washed off, well drained


In a large saucepan combine until smooth:
1 ½ cups cold water
2 Tbs cornstarch
Bring to a boil, cook and stir constantly for two minutes, till thickened.  Take from the heat and stir in the gelatin.

The (very strong) temptation, if you have chidren watching as you stir in the gelatin, is to cackle, look slyly at them, and say with your best Wicked Witch of the West voice, “Poison!  It is Poison!”

Now we learn whether one is utilitarian or artistic…
Stir fruit into gelatin, mix well and pour into crust, and let it chill in the refrigerator.

 Pour about ¼ C of gelatin mixture in the bottom of the crust and spread it. 

Add about ½ of the berries and drizzle half of the remaining gelatin over them, making sure most of the berries are held by gelatin.  Add almost all the rest of the berries (hold back a handful) and drizzle the rest of the gelatin over it.  Pretty it up and place the remaining berries on top.  Let it chill.

You can served this with the whipped topping of your choice.  I prefer whipped cream, myself, and I whip it myself, thankyouverymuch.  (But I also enjoy spritzing the pressurized stuff)
Leftovers are delicious stolen from the fridge at midnight…

Happy fourth, you all!

6 comments on “Fabulous Fourth Fresh Berry Pie (recipe)

  1. Lara Lacombe says:

    That looks (and sounds) amazing, and simple enough that I think even I could manage it. Thanks for sharing!Have a great holiday with your mom! 🙂

  2. Hi Diana .. my thoughts for your mother .. and as you say what a generous offer to her neighbour – that's what life's about .. and of course you wouldn't mind sharing the day .. enjoy that berry pie – looks delicious .. cheers and have a happy Fourth and weekend with your dear Mama .. Hilary

  3. Jill Haugh says:

    Fabulous–as always dear.We've been overwhelmed with mulberries in this here parts, so I'm going to give it a go with those.~Just Jill

  4. Diana Wilder says:

    I hope your holiday went well (do let me know if you made the pie!)

  5. Diana Wilder says:

    The neighbor was utterly delightful – wry sense of humor, a lovely, understanding way of dealing with human foibles and a store of wonderful stories. She reminded me about one of my favorite authors, Gladys Taber, who wrote in the 40's and 50's in the US. I must go hunt down her books and reread…

  6. Diana Wilder says:

    That would be wonderful with mulberries. How do you deal with the thick stem through the berries? (It doesn't stop me from eating them…)

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