Huckleberries are the “official state fruit” of Idaho and believe it or not, are actually pretty hard to come by. I have lived here almost 13 years and have never tasted one. (I think I bought huckleberry jam once as a gift for someone, but that is as close as I have gotten.) Come to think of it, I have never seen huckleberries sold in the grocery store and it is only on a rare occasion you can find them at a street-side produce stand. Here’s what the plant and fruit look like in its natural surroundings just in case you get the urge to go raking some yourself. Huckleberries grow best at elevations between 4,000 and 6,000 feet. They also tend to be a favorite food of bears….maybe that is why they are so scarce.
So how did I end up with four cups of wild huckleberries? That was due to my friend Theresa. Thank you! She watched her neighbor’s cat for a week and was paid in-kind with a ziplock bag full of huckleberries. She gifted me the huckleberries and in return, I am to give her a piece of pie. Neither of us know what to expect, so I guess we will find out if her huckleberry payment was worth another week of future cat-sitting…..
On side note- Travis and I went to a wedding last night where two of his work colleagues, Tim and Sara, were tying the knot. It was an incredibly beautiful wedding and reception with great food, drink and all the right touches. Many guests of the couple were from Travis’ office, so I was able to visit with some of his co-workers and meet a few new ones. I met Candace’s husband, Craig for the first time. In the midst of conversation, the talk of wedding cake happened to come up. Craig mentioned how he thought wedding cake was totally overrated and instead, his preference would be for wedding pie. Ha! A fellow pie lover in my midst! So, here’s to you Craig. I hope you enjoy your coveted piece of huckleberry pie and if you and Candace ever want to renew your wedding vows and celebrate with an anniversary pie, it would be my pleasure to make you one.
Here’s the link to the recipe I found for the pie.
- The huckleberry has a texture similar to a mini blueberry and a tartness that reminds me of a blackberry on steroids.
- I used my Mom’s pie pastry recipe for the crust. The only alteration I made was the addition of the milk wash on the crust prior to baking. I like to do it because it browns the crust so nicely and actually makes it a bit flakier.
- When I saw the cider vinegar ingredient listed I had flashbacks of Pie #2- Raisin Pie. I hated that pie. So I had doubts as I poured the required tablespoon into the filling. Thankfully, the taste of vinegar didn’t overwhelm the pie when I bit into my piece. It must help neutralize the berries somehow.
- Eat this pie with vanilla ice cream on the side to tone down the tartness of the berries.
- Make sure you put a pan under your pie plate when you bake it in the oven. My pie did not seem full prior to baking, so I was taken by surprise when I saw what kind of mess I had to clean up afterward.
- My rating for this pie is an 7.5. I liked it well enough to finish the piece, but not well enough to want to make it again tomorrow.