Raspberry crumb pie

Our lab manager, Lisa, is a big fan of raspberry pie, and so for her birthday, I couldn’t imagine bringing anything else. Since I’d made a straight raspberry pie relatively recently for the lab, I wanted to find a variation. Enter: raspberry crumble.


adapted from Pie

4 cups fresh raspberries
½ cup plus 3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp quick-cooking tapioca pearls
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
2-3 tbsp seedless raspberry jam (optional)

Crumb topping
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp salt
¼ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into ¼” pieces

pie dough

Preheat oven to 400 F. Roll out pie dough into a 12″ circle and place in 9″ standard pie plate. Sculpt the edge into an upstanding ridge. Place in freezer for 15 minutes.

Combine the raspberries, ½ cup sugar, and lemon juice in a large bowl. Toss gently to mix and set aside for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the remaining 3 tbsp sugar, cornstarch, tapioca and nutmeg in a small bowl. Stir the mixture into the fruit. Spread the raspberry jam inside the chilled pie shell. Scrape the filling into the shell, smoothing fruit with a spoon. Place pie on the center oven rack and bake for 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, make crumb topping. Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt in food and scatter the butter over dry mixture. Pulse until mixture resembles fine crumbs (or use pastry blender). Dump crumbs into a large bowl and gently rub between your fingers to make large buttery crumbs. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Remove pie from oven and reduce oven temperature to 375 F. Carefully dump crumbs in the center of the pie and spread evenly over the top with your hands. Return the pie to the oven, and continue baking until juices bubble thickly around the edge of the pie, about 25 minutes. Transfer pie to a wire rack and let cool. Serve barely warm or room temperature.


A few notes on preparation: I did notice that it was looking rather juicy, so I scattered a few table tablespoons of steel-cut oats before putting on the crumble and let it bake for 5 minutes, in an attempt to soak up the juices a bit (though quick-cooking oats would’ve worked better).

Raspberry is quickly becoming one of my favourite pies. The crumble was the new element to this particular rendition. After I scattered the crumble, it did look like it sort of dissolved, but it eventually hardened into a buttery, crunchy layer on top, which I thought was quite tasty. I could also see adding other things to the crumble–almonds perhaps. The joy of bringing pie to be tried by the lab is it goes quickly (which is also a bit sad), though I did manage to swipe a piece to take home with me. Pie for breakfast is always delicious.

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