Just before Christmas I went berry picking at Montrose Farm, Sutton Forest, with a couple of 5 year olds, two 2 year olds and their parents. It really was a beautiful morning. The only berries available for picking that day were boysenberries, but the farm has blueberry, blackberry, raspberry and logan berry bushes to pick from as well.
The berry farm is in the beautiful Southern Highlands, and is set on a heritage listed homestead. It is even complete with a collie dog. Montrose Berry Farm sells amazing jams, vinegars (the raspberry vinegar is phenomenal, and can be used for so many things besides salad), homemade pies and shortbread. The owner of the farm was selling freshly picked carrots, which we bought and were used for Santa’s reindeer on Christmas Eve.
At first the 5 year olds were naturally apprehensive about the spiders who were weaving their webs through the vines, but eventually the temptation of picking the berries straight off and eating them got the better of the girls. Needless to say, we picked a plethora of berries, enough to make a boysenberry pie and to snack on for the rest of the week. This pie is super easy and delicious.
adapted from http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/boysenberry_pie/
2 sheets of shortcrust pastry
5 cups of boysenberries (frozen will be fine, just make sure you drain the juice after they have been defrosted)
3/4 of a cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of lemon juice
4 tablespoons of corn flour
1 egg/milk for the wash over the pastry
1. Put berries, sugar, lemon juice and corn flour into a bowl. Gently fold. Let the mixture set for 30 minutes for the berries to soak up more sugary goodness. Note: If your mixture is looking too watery like mine was, drain some of the liquid. Too much liquid can cause a very soggy pie, and will not be fun to get out of the pan : )
2. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 200°C and line one sheet of pastry onto the bottom of the pan. Refrigerate until the 30 minutes is over.
3. Pour the berry mixture into the pan.
4. Weave strips of the shortcrust pastry under and over each other to create a lattice covering over the pie. Trim the edges and seal. If you prefer the solid crust for the top, ensure that you score the top crust, so the pie can breathe.
5. Brush the eggwash or milk over the pastry of the pie, to prevent burning. I then sprinkled some more sugar on top.
6. Cover the pie with foil to prevent the edges from getting burnt and bake for 30 minutes in the oven. Reduce the heat to 180°C and bake for another 30 minutes. Note: Because my oven isn’t overly powerful, I had to cook it for a further 10 minutes with the foil off, which then finally cooked the pastry nicely.
7. Allow the pie to cool and then serve with icecream. I had a little bit of berries and syrup left over so I poured it over the pie and icecream. AMAZING!