This Blue Ribbon Triple Berry Pie features a flaky butter crust and first-rate filling of blueberries, raspberries and cranberries. The combination makes for a delicious taste that’s perfectly sweet, but not overly so. Cinnamon and nutmeg give the pie tasty nuances as well.
This award-winning recipe comes from Tim Scott, a long-time lover of pies and baking-at-home. He entered his first Minnesota State Fair baking competition in 2016. His pie won best multi-berry pie out of 60 pies. He also placed 2nd and 5th with two other pies, making 2021 his best year yet. His first ribbon was in 2017, a 3rd place for a peach pie.
Cranberries for the Win?!
Given many multi-berry pies have blueberries, raspberries and blackberries, the cranberries are what helped Tim’s pie stand out. The proportions he used translated to a fantastic flavor. The tartness from the cranberries paired perfectly with the sweetness of the blueberries and raspberries. Tim shared that using the very best seasonal fruit from local growers is key. Ripeness plays a factor as well.
Tim shared that another secret to winning is being organized, enough so that the timing of baking multiple pies works out and every aspect get the attention and time it deserves. Tim’s strategy is to always make 2 pies per competition entry. He picks the more perfect one to enter. The other often goes to (very happy) neighbors.
Attention to Detail
Fun fact: Tim uses butter for all his Minnesota State Fair Pie entries, but lard for something like the Braham Pie Day Contest.
His advice to aspiring pie bakers trying his recipe: “Cranberries have a lot of pectin, so how much thickening agent you use is tricky,” Tim shared. “Pay close attention to how much liquid is in the berries after simmering to get the right consistency.”
As far as advice to first time baking contestants: practice by entering other baking contests for experience. Also, have tasters who know what good pie is (or great cake or cookie, etc.) and will give you honest feedback.
Great tips! Now give Tim’s Blue Ribbon Triple Berry Pie recipe a try! If you don’t bake, find a friend who does and request they make this! Pie lover alert: be sure to also check out our other award-winning pies on our site, like this other 2021 apple pie winner.
Blue Ribbon Triple Berry Pie
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (315 grams), cold
1 teaspoon salt, cold
3/4 cup shortening (145 grams), cold, cut into tablespoon-sized pieces
3 tablespoons unsalted butter (45 grams) cold, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
5-6 tablespoons ice water, mixed with 2 teaspoons vinegar, cold
3/4 to 1 cup sugar, divided
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon cornstarch
4 cups blueberries, divided
1 cup raspberries
1/2 cup cranberries
1 – 2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon cream or whole milk
Crust: All ingredients and bowl should be very cold. Mix flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add shortening and cut in with a pastry knife until blended and only small pieces remain. Add butter and turn onto a cold work surface and flatten all the butter into the flour with the heal of your hand to create butter-coated flakes. Spread the mixture out and sprinkle 4 tablespoons of water/vinegar mixture onto dough. Mix using a bench/dough scraper. If still looks dry, add water (teaspoon at a time) until the dough comes together when pressed together. Knead just a few turns, then divide in half, evenly, and flatten into two discs. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight.
Berry Filling: Mix 3/4 cup sugar, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cornstarch in medium bowl; set aside. Put half the blueberries (2 cups) and the cranberries in a saucepan. Heat until all berries have softened, about 10 minutes. Pour into mixing bowl. Add raspberries and enough remaining blueberries to make a scant 4 cups. Add dry ingredient mixture and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Taste and add more sugar and lemon juice as desired.
Assembling the Pie: Remove dough from refrigerator. Let it rest on counter for 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 425°F. Roll dough to 12 inch circle that is 1/8-inch thick. Fit into 9-inch pie pan and trim crust to edge of pan. Add filling. Roll top crust to 1/8-inch thick. Wet edge of the bottom crust. Add top crust. Trim edge to 1/2 half inch larger than bottom crust. Fold top crust under bottom crust and crimp carefully to seal. Chill at least 1 hour. When ready to bake, cut several slits into top crust. Lightly brush top crust with cream or whole milk. Sprinkle with sugar.
Bake at 425° F for 15 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 375° F. Bake 20 to 30 minutes more or until done. Internal temperature should reach 190 to 200°. Let cool before slicing. Makes 8 servings.