When I saw this free-form berry pie on the cover of the August 2013 issue of Chatelaine, I knew I had to make it, even if pastry was involved. I am no baker, but this is very easy to make and received rave reviews. Fresh mixed berries are tossed with brown sugar, cornstarch and salt and then tumbled into rolled-out pastry. You just fold the edges up over the fruit and pop it in the oven. I’ve made this a few times, and each time some liquid from the filling escaped from the pastry, but it does not affect the flavour. Be sure to have some parchment paper on hand for this recipe. Special thanks to Eileen for taking the photos of the finished product!

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Make sure your butter contains only cream, with no colour or preservatives, and use fresh lemon juice.

Toss mixed berries with brown sugar, corn starch and lemon juice

Roll out the pastry on parchment paper

Tumble the fruit onto the pastry

Carefully fold edges up, leaving top open

Bake until pastry is golden

It's delicious with vanilla ice cream


1 ¼ cups (312 ml) all-purpose flour

1 tbsp (15 ml) granulated sugar

¼ tsp (1 ml) salt

½ cup (125 ml) cold unsalted butter, cubed

4 tsp (20 ml) ice water

1 tbsp (15 ml) lemon juice

½ cup (125 ml) brown sugar

3 tbsp (45 ml) cornstarch

1/8 tsp (0.5 ml) salt

4 cups (1 L) mixed blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries (strawberries sliced if large)

1 tsp (5 ml) coarse sugar

Icing sugar (optional)


Whirl flour with granulated sugar and ¼ tsp (1 ml) salt in a food processor. Add butter. Pulse until crumbs form. With motor running, add ice water and lemon juice through spout. Continue whirling just until dough comes together. It should not be sticky.

Position rack in bottom of oven. Preheat to 375F (190C). Lay a large piece of parchment on counter. Sprinkle lightly with flour. Pat pastry dough into a ball. Dust rolling pin with flour. Roll pastry on parchment into a circle, about 12 inches (30.5 cm) wide. Pastry will be very thin and edges will be uneven. Transfer parchment and pastry to baking sheet.

Combine brown sugar and cornstarch and 1/8 tsp (0.5 ml) salt in a large bowl. Stir in berries until coated. Tumble fruit mixed onto centre of pastry, forming a 10-inch (25.4 cm) circle. Fold pastry over, just to cover edge of fruit. Centre of pie should not be covered with pastry, and edge will be uneven. Lightly brush pastry with water, then sprinkle with coarse sugar.

Bake until pastry is golden and mixture is bubbly, 35 to 40 min. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream, or cool and dust with icing sugar. Serves 6-8.

From the August 2013 issue of Chatelaine