Look up “huckleberry” on the web and you’ll see what know-everything Wikipedia has to say….”The name ‘huckleberry’ is a North American variation of the English dialectal name variously called ‘hurtleberry’ or ‘whortleberry’.”
Whatever. All I know is that these little dark purple orbs can be converted into the most delectable pie this side of the Pearly Gates.
It all started with me growing up out on the rural route when my mom would hand my brother and me a coffee can each with orders to go find some huckleberries. When we returned, hopefully with enough to meet her satisfaction, she would magically transform these little wild berries into the most delicious cobbler I ever ate, hands down. If there was a bumper crop of berries, she’d simmer a batch of huckleberry jam. Slather that on one of her hot buttered biscuits and you’d choke back tears it was so good.
Wikipedia provided additional information on these wonderful little berries…”Huckleberries can be processed into numerous food products including juice, tea, soup, syrup, jam, pudding, candy, pie, muffin, pancakes and salad dressing.
“Traditional medical applications include treating pain, heart ailments and infections.” Sounds like huckleberries are nature’s wonder food and drug.
As the years melted away, I had forgotten all about huckleberries and failed to notice that there were half a dozen huckleberry bushes around the perimeter of my yard. It all started coming back to me and I picked some, explaining to my wife what they were. Using the same recipe she uses when making any fruit cobbler, she sent me hurtling back to my growing-up years with a beautiful and delicious pie just like the ones my mom used to make.
Here’s the recipe Kay uses for huckleberry cobbler.
2-3 cups huckleberries
¼ cup water
1 ½ cups sugar
3 tbs flour
1/8 tsp. salt
½ to 1 stick butter
(Use your own pastry recipe or buy crust already prepared.)
Roll pastry large enough to cover the bottom of a 9x13x3 inch baking dish. Put a solid piece of pastry over the bottom of the dish and bake at 375 degrees until slightly brown and dry.
Roll out another 1/3 of the pastry and cut into strips and bake strips on a pastry sheet until brown and crisp. Roll out the last1/3 of pastry, cut into strips and set aside.
Mix berries with 1 cup sugar, water and butter in saucepan and cook until tender.
Mix flour and the remaining ½ cup sugar and add to fruit mixture. Stir over medium heat until thickened.
Pour half of fruit mixture over the bottom crust. Layer the browned strips over the fruit. Pour the remaining half of the fruit over the strips and lattice the unbaked strips on top of the pie. Dot with additional butter.
Bake at 375 degrees until brown and bubbly.
There’s one little deviation on Kay’s recipe and serving suggestions that needs a bit of correction. Her original recipe called for the pie to be served with a dollop of vanilla ice cream….not just any vanilla ice cream; she specified Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla.
Dang it, here come the tears again. Sorry.