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Red, white and blue desserts

Celebrate deliciousness this Fourth of July.

Patriotic pastries: Celebrate the Fourth of July with Bumbleberry pie.

By Donna Zitter Bordelon

Ready for a culinary fireworks show this Fourth of July? Bumbleberry pie tastes like one. With a scoop of vanilla ice cream, it’s a tantalizing red, white and blue berry blast. If you’ve never made a Bumbleberry pie, you are in for a surprise — a really good one.

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Unlike blueberries or strawberries, you will not find bumbleberries at any farmer’s market or produce store. They don’t exist. Apparently, the pie still is a favorite recipe made at the Bumbleberry Inn in Utah. However, the origin of the pie is questionable, as western Massachusetts also has a claim on the pie. The story goes that a waitress was unable to identify exactly what kind of pie she was serving, and called it “bumbleberry pie.”

This pie is a multi-berry pie that uses at least three kinds of berries, which may include blueberries, raspberries, strawberries or blackberries. Sometimes, the pie also contains apples and/or rhubarb, additions that I favor. With Jersey blueberries making their way onto produce shelves, a summer pie will be a good use of them. As an expression of pie-making freedom on Independence Day, bake a pie exploding with berries grown in America. As long as six cups of fruit are used (mix and match), this pie is very forgiving, making it very difficult to bungle a bumbleberry pie.


2 unbaked pie crusts (see recipe below)

Pie Filling:

1 and 1/3 cups sugar

1 Tbsp. tapioca

2/3 cup flour

2 cups apples, peeled, cored and chopped

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

1 cup strawberries, cut in half

1 cup rhubarb, chopped

1 cup blueberries

1 cup raspberries

1 egg white plus 2 Tbsp. water — beaten together

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Roll dough out to fit the bottom of a 9- to 10-inch pie pan.

In a large bowl, stir together the sugar, tapioca and flour.

Combine the apples (sprinkled with the lemon juice), the strawberries, rhubarb, blueberries and raspberries, and toss with the sugar-flour mixture gently.

Turn fruit mixture into pie shell, and cover with top pie crust dough.

Pinch and crimp the edges of the dough, cut vents in top to vent steam, and brush lightly with the egg wash.

Bake approximately 1 hour until crust is golden brown.

Homemade pie crusts benefit when made and refrigerated for a few hours or overnight before being used. This crust recipe also freezes well. Divide into two discs and roll out between two pieces of wax paper. Refrigerate or store for later use in a freezer bag in the freezer.

This is the pie crust recipe I like to use for this pie.


2 and 2/3 cups flour

1 cup (2 sticks) very cold butter, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 tsp. salt

1 Tbsp. sugar

1/2 cup ice water

1/2 tsp. vinegar

Processor Method:

Put the flour, butter, salt and sugar into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse several times to mix into coarse crumbs.

Mix together the water and vinegar and with the processor running, add the ice water through the feed tube. Stop the processor when the dough starts to form into a ball.

Divide into two discs and refrigerate.

Hand Method:

In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt and sugar.

Cut the butter into the flour/sugar using a pastry cutter or forks until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Mix together the water and vinegar and add to flour mixture, forming into a dough.

Divide into two discs and refrigerate.

The bumbleberry pie is also delicious with the following crumb topping.


1 cup sifted flour

¼ cup plus 2 Tbsp. sugar

5 Tbsp. butter

1½ tsp. cinnamon

pinch of salt

drop of vanilla

In a mixing bowl, put the flour, sugar, butter, cinnamon, salt and vanilla and mix at low speed until small crumbs are formed.

Eat well, live long, enjoy!

(Ques­tions or tips can be sent to Donna Zit­ter Bor­de­lon at WhatscookinNEPhilly@gmail.com or in care of the Times, 2 Executive Campus, Suite 400, Cherry Hill, NJ 08002)

Don’t forget:

Send in your favorite recipe for a chance to win a $100 ShopRite gift card. Mail your recipe to Readers’ Recipes, 2 Executive Campus, Suite 400, Cherry Hill, NJ 08002. Or email your recipe to WhatscookinNEPhilly@gmail.com. Please include name, address and telephone number.

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