Picking berries is oddly meditative. The sound of round ripeness dropping into the pail. Thunk, thunk, thunk. Looking to find next bunch, gently separating the canes to see better inside: pluck, pluck. You become connected to the bush, somehow. There is a rhythm to berry picking unlike anything else I've ever done.
Tonight, I kid you not, I picked two quarts of raspberries from the bushes in our back yard tonight. This in addition to the quart I picked yesterday, and the quart I picked the day before. We've been giving them away and eating them like mad, but with a long weekend trip coming up, I had to think fast.
Fresh raspberry pie, I decided. Uses the most raspberries, preserves them in their most pristine form, probably uses the least amount of sugar. If I were really doing this right, I would have found a sugar substitute, but sometimes you just have to go for the jugular.
For the crust, a shortbread.
1/2 c. softened butter
1/2 t. salt
3 T. confectioner's sugar
1/2 c. whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 c. regular flour (one could probably use all whole wheat pastry, but I'm bringing this somewhere else, so I decided best to go half and half)
Mix with a fork softened butter, salt, confectioners sugar, and flour. When it has the consistency of cornmeal, press it into a pie plate (I used 9.5 inch), prick with fork, and bake empty at 425 degrees 10-12 mins. Check at minimum time as this crust burns easily.
Then, a glaze:
1 c. berries
1/3 c. water
3/4 c. sugar
7 1/2 t. cornstarch
In a saucepan, crush berries. Add water; simmer for 3 minutes. Strain, reserving juice; discard pulp and seeds. Add enough water to juice to measure 1 cup liquid. In a saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch and salt. Slowly stir in raspberry liquid. bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; cool slightly.
Then, fresh raspberries. As many as you can fit into the shell. I think I mounded just about 1.5 quarts in there. Pour the glaze over, and chill 2-3 hours or until set. Lick fingers, pots, and bowls. Ponder with amazement the universe that made berry bushes.