This gorgeous Bumbleberry Pie gets its sweet tart flavor from four kinds of berries plus a hint of rhubarb. Decorated with simple pie crust stars, this is the perfect dessert for summer holidays!
When the Mr. and I got married almost nine (9?!?!) years ago, I had a newly minted college degree in a field I loved and exactly zero job prospects. My degree, which was in Urban Ministry, fit my skill sets and passions well but wasn’t exactly the type of career you find listed on Monster.com on the regular.
My husband found his first “real” job in IT at a local school district, so we rented a small duplex close by, and while he went off to work every morning, I committed myself to the job hunt. After a few weeks with no leads, my goals went from “find a job I adore where I can use all my gifts and make the world a better place!” to “find a job I won’t absolutely despise.” #aimhigh
During those early days when time was a lot more abundant than money, I had picked up a small, budding interest in baking. That, plus a hopelessly romantic vision of bakery life, inspired me to apply to local bakeries, and soon enough I found myself standing behind glass countertops lined with muffins, cookies, cupcakes, and pies.
Bakery life turned out to be less like the idyllic vision I had in mind, and more like any other job. It could be absolutely wonderful–days when the pepperoni bread came out lopsided, and the staff ate it warm from the oven certainly fall into this category–, but it could also be tedious–frosting cookies sounds super fun until you’ve iced your 100th smiley face of the day.
Still, I owe much of my love for baking and my interest in blogging to my brief tenure at the bakery. It was there that I really began to appreciate the power of food and the connections it creates between us. I loved learning customer’s names and favorite orders. I loved boxing up a special birthday cake and wondering what joy it might bring to the party or workplace where it was headed.
In a strange way, the bakery was an urban ministry, a place where I learned to serve people in one of the most basic ways–with good food made with lots of love. It was there I discovered the wonders of the Morning Glory Muffin, how to make a killer panini, and perhaps best of all, the absolute bliss of a Bumbleberry Pie.
The bakery I worked for was known for their Bumbleberry Pie, and it remains one of my most favorite things on their menu. Bumbleberries aren’t actually a thing (though you wouldn’t be the first person to think so…ahem). Instead, bumbleberries represent a mixture of berries, often tossed with either apples or rhubarb.
If raspberry pie is good, and blackberry pie is great, and strawberry rhubarb pie is wonderful, it stands to reason a bumbleberry pie would be pretty darn fantastic. And indeed, it is. I am absolutely smitten with this bright, jewel toned pie bursting with the flavors of spring. It’s sweet, it’s just a tad tart, and it’s begging you to make it and serve it warm with a big ol’ scoop of vanilla ice cream.
You can get away with nearly any combination of berries in this, but my recipe includes blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, AND rhubarb, because I can’t bear to leave anyone out. However, if you’ve only got a couple kinds of berries on hand, don’t let that stop you from making this pie! It’ll be fantastic with whatever combination you scrounge up.
A few notes on the pie crust.
- I finally got a food processor (<affiliate link), and now I actually might make pie more than three times a year. It made cutting the butter into the flour an absolute breeze. Never fear though–I’ve still included instructions for making the crust by hand, and this pie is undoubtedly worth the work.
- I branched out from my usual All Butter Pie Crust and tried Joy the Baker’s Buttermilk Pie Crust for this recipe, and I have to say, I LOVE IT. Flaky, flavorful, easy to prepare–this will likely be my go-to from here on out.
- Give yourself some time to make the pie crust in advance. Butter pie crusts have to chill before rolling (if you want to avoid tears and cursing, that is).
- Instead of making a top crust or dealing with a lattice crust, I cut my second crust into star shapes. This makes the top crust REALLY simple, and I also love the way it looks! The stars are perfect for Memorial Day and Fourth of July, but you could easily swap out the shape for other occasions as well!
- If you decide to go the cookie cutter route, you’ll have leftover pie crust. THIS IS NOT A BAD THING. It just means you get to make pie crust cookies! My super easy recipe for the scraps will be coming next week.
Now, friends, go forth and make pie! And share it with your friends! It’s one of life’s simplest joys.
For the group:
- 1 cup rhubarb, chopped
- 1 1/2 cup strawberries, halved
- 3/4 cup sugar *see note
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- Milk and coarse sanding sugar, for finishing
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1 1/2 cup raspberries
- 1 1/2 cups blackberries
- 1 1/2 cup blueberries
For the crust:
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup cold buttermilk, plus a few Tablespoons more if needed
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
For the crust:
- Place the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse until combined. Cut each stick of butter into about 6 large chunks and add it to the blender. Pulse until the butter is broken up and the mixture resembles coarse sand. Scrape the bowl if needed, then pour the buttermilk over top of the flour mixture. Pulse again until the buttermilk is evenly distributed and you have a shaggy, crumbly dough begins to form. Alternatively, you can do this by hand, using a pastry cutter to work the butter into the dough, then making a well in the center, adding the buttermilk, and using a fork to moisten all the flour bits.
- Turn the dough out onto a clean, lightly floured countertop. It's okay if it's still crumbly at this point. Divide the dough in half then gently use your hands to knead each half into a ball. If the dough remains dry and crumbly, add just a teaspoon or two of liquid at a time until it comes together. Gently press down each ball into a disk. Wrap in saran wrap and chill for at least 40 minutes or overnight.
To make the pie:
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Remove the crusts from the fridge and place them on a lightly floured surface or in between two pieces of waxed paper (my preferred method). Roll out each pie crust to about a 12 inch round circle. Place one of the rounds in a 9 inch pie dish and prick the bottom with a fork. Here you can either trim the edges so they're smooth, use a fork to make a pinprick design on the edges, or use a thumb pressed between two fingers to scallop the edges. Place the crust in the fridge while you continue with the other steps.
- Use a cookie cutter to cut out your desired shapes from the other pie crust. Place them on a baking sheet and put in the fridge to chill while you prepare the filling. You won't need the entire second crust to top the pie. Roll up and cut out any scraps and use them to make pie crust cookies.
- To make the filling, combine all the fruits, sugar, lemon juice, and flour in a bowl.
- Pour the filling into the chilled pie crust. Top the fruit with the cut outs, overlapping them slightly but leaving plenty of pockets for steam to escape. Brush the top and edges with milk then sprinkle with coarse sanding sugar.
- Place the pie on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for easy clean up (there WILL likely be leakage!). Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes then lower the heat to 375 and bake another 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. If you notice any spots getting too browned (this is common for shapes like stars with pointy edges), cover them with a little aluminum foil.
- If you want perfect slices, you'll need to let the pie cool completely before slicing and serving it, but I absolutely love warm pie, so I'm inclined to deal with messy, sloppy slices and serve it while it's still warm (but not piping hot).
The sugar you add is really up to your judgment. I made this before peak berry season, so my berries weren't as sweet as they can be. Test out the mixture yourself and feel free to reduce the sugar to 1/2 cup or increase up to 1 cup as needed.