Val Kilmer played the INFAMOUS Doc Holiday in one of my husband’s favorite movies, TOMBSTONE. Doc was irreverent, ATTRACTED trouble, suffered from tuberculosis, was a notorious gunslinger and was an unlikely supporter of his LAWMAN friend, Wyatt Earp. My husband, an old west buff, has NO tattoos….. but IF he were EVER to get one, I would NOT be surprised to see Doc’s famous line in the movie, “I’m Your Huckleberry” stamped SOMEPLACE on his body.
Summers visiting northern Idaho not only brought me face-to-face with several MINING towns of the West, but I also fell in love with that tiny little purple berry, the HUCKLEBERRY. We kids poked holes in two sides of a tin coffee can, attached STRINGS to hang them over our necks and traipsed through the HILLS surrounding the little town of Mullan in SEARCH of that elusive little berry. It took a LONG time to FILL a coffee can with HUCKLEBERRIES. Once filled, we headed back to my Grandpa’s HOUSE and waited as my AUNT Bev turned them into pies. At the end of the day GRAMPS brought a brick of VANILLA ice cream home from the soda fountain in his Mullan Rexall Drug Store and we had a FEAST. To this day, there is no better tasting berry pie to me…..than HUCKLEBERRY.
Many people think huckleberries are related to blueberries, but they are not. They are small, deep purple, more tart in flavor and require more sugar to sweeten the pie than blueberries.
Huckleberry Pie Recipe
4 cups huckleberries
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
Juice of 1 lemon
Pinch of nutmeg
1 Tbsp. of butter
Pie Pastry (bottom layer and upper layer, recipe below)
Preheat oven 425ºF.
In a large bowl, stir together the huckleberries and enough sugar to make the berries taste sweet with a tart edge. Taste as you add sugar to see how much sugar is required. Add the flour, lemon juice & nutmeg. Spoon the fruit into the uncooked pie shell and dot with butter. Add the top pie crust. Slit the top crust to allow for bubbling of the filling, or use a lattice-style crust.
Bake the pie for 15 min., then reduce the heat to 375ºF. and continue baking for an additional 18 to 20 mins.
- 4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 cups Crisco shortening, chilled
- 9 tablespoons ice-cold water
- Sift flour and salt into bowl. Cut shortening into 4 or 5 pieces and drop into stand mixer bowl.
- Using the flat beater, turn to stir speed and cut shortening into flour until particles are size of small peas, about 30 seconds.
- Add ice-cold water one tablespoon at a time until all particles are moistened. Use only enough water to make the pastry form a ball — depending on a variety of factors, you may not need to use the full amount. Watch dough closely as over mixing will result in a tough crust.
- Form dough into two equal size disks and chill in refrigerator 15 minutes.
- Roll to 1/8″ thickness between pieces of waxed paper until you have a circle slightly larger than the circumference of your pie plate.
- Fold pastry into quarters; ease into pie plate and unfold, pressing firmly against bottom and side. Trim and crimp edges.
- Fill and bake as desired. For a pastry shell, prick sides and bottom thoroughly with a fork and bake at 450 degrees for 8-10 minutes until light brown. Cool completely before filling.
Delicious recipe from Sauver….
8 tbsp. unsalted butter,
softened, plus more for pan
6 tbsp. plus 1 3/4 cups flour,
plus more for pan
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
1 lb. huckleberries or blueberries
1. Heat oven to 350˚. Butter and flour a 9″ springform cake pan; set aside. Make the topping: In a medium bowl, stir together 4 tbsp. butter, 6 tbsp. flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 tsp. salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg; set topping aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining flour and salt, along with baking powder; set flour mixture aside. In a large bowl, beat the remaining butter and sugar with a handheld mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add vanilla and egg and beat until smooth. Add the flour mixture and milk and mix for 1 minute. Add the huckleberries and, using a rubber spatula, fold them into the batter. Pour batter into prepared pan and sprinkle with reserved topping. Bake until a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 1 1/2 hours. Let cool before serving.
SERVES 8 – 10
These two recipes have the SWEETEST ingredients and capture the yummy essence of this
delicious PURPLE berry.
It makes sense that SOMETHING about this little berry catapulted it into a MOVIE script.
Uh huh,…. I’m your HUCKLEBERRY!
*Huckleberries are native to the Northwest. Though efforts have been made to grow them on farms, as of yet, the success rate is not great. They grow naturally in wild patches on northwest mountainsides….so apropos.
*You are invited to follow My Big Red Shoe….. sharing northwest flavors, places, and more.