WILD ELDERBERRY MINI PIES

How AMAZING does this pie look?!

I was listening to one of my favorite KCRW cooking programs GOOD FOOD with Evan Kleiman and she was talking to Hunter Angler of Hunter, Angler, Gardener, Cook about THIS pie. My mouth was watering in the car during the whole segment. They discussed going out and picking fresh wild berries…, but I don’t see THAT part happening. The great part is you can use this recipe with any berry that isn’t too seedy…blueberries, huckleberries, blackberries, raspberries, thimbleberries, elderberries, etc. 

Wild Elderberry Mini Pies
These pies are best the day after they’re made, as the filling sets up better then. Also, always taste the berries before you add lemon juice to them. If they elderberries are tart you may not need it.
 
Makes 4 pies, each serving 1-2 people
 
4 cups berries
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup minute tapioca
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
A pinch of salt
Zest of a lemon
4-6 tablespoons lemon juice, depending on how tart your berries are.
2 tablespoons butter
1 beaten egg
 
Make the pie dough. It can be made up to a full day in advance, or it can be frozen.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
 
Mix the berries, tapioca, sugar, lemon zest, cinnamon, salt and lemon juice together in a bowl. Crush the berries a little to bring out some more juice. Let this stand for 15 minutes.
 
Butter or otherwise grease four 4-inch ramekins, and fill them with the berries. Mound them a little in the center, as they will cook down a bit.
 
Cut the butter into little pieces and dot the top of the berries with them.
 
Roll out your pie dough to less than 1/4 inch; 1/8 inch is better. Put a ramekin down on a corner of the dough and cut a circle of dough that is a little larger than the ramekin.
 
Slice an “X” in the middle of the circle and place the dough on top of the ramekin. Crimp the edges around the rim. Repeat for the other ramekins.
 
Paint the tops of the pies with the beaten egg.
 
Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Check the pies and turn the heat down to 350 degrees. Ovens tend to have hot spots, so you might need to rearrange your mini pies so they bake evenly.
 
Remove the pies when the tops are golden brown, about 10-15 more minutes. Let them rest on a rack to cool, then let them set overnight in the fridge to set up properly.