This Huckleberry Pie recipe features the sweet-tart flavor of fresh or frozen huckleberries in a flaky pie crust. You can even substitute huckleberry jam if you can't find fresh or frozen huckleberries. This is an easy homemade dessert with a bright, complex berry flavor that is perfect for summer.
Why You Will Love This Recipe
Unique Flavor: The distinctive taste of huckleberries is a blend of sweet and tart flavors. It's a delightful fruit with a taste that is unique to other fruit pie recipes.
Easy to Make: The filling is as simple as mixing a few ingredients together. There are no tricky steps or cooking on the stove. You can even use a store-bought pie crust to save time.
Versatile: Whether you have access to fresh huckleberries or opt for frozen ones, the pie retains its exceptional taste and texture. It can also be made using blueberries paired with huckleberry jam, so you can enjoy this pie even if you do not have access to huckleberries!
See the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the full list of ingredients, including measurements.
- Pie Crust: The pie requires a double-pie crust, which will serve as both the bottom and top layers of the pie, creating a delicious flaky texture. I use a flaky homemade vodka pie crust, but storebought pie crust can be used if you do not want to make your own.
- Fresh or frozen huckleberries: The star ingredient, huckleberries, can be used fresh when in season or frozen year-round. If you are using frozen berries you'll want to let them thaw on the counter for about 30 minutes, just enough for them to start to soften.
- Granulated sugar: The sweetener that balances the tartness of the huckleberries and enhances the overall flavor of the pie. If your berries are really sweet then you can adjust this amount, but typically less sugar would make the pie too tart. For a more complex flavor, replace half of the white sugar with brown sugar.
- Quick-cooking tapioca: Tapioca serves as a thickening agent for the pie filling, ensuring a perfect consistency and avoiding a runny filling. If you do not have tapioca, substitute an equal amount of cornstarch.
- Orange: This recipe uses both orange juice as well as the zest of the orange to add a citrusy brightness to the filling. Fresh lemon juice can be used instead of an orange.
- Egg: The egg is mixed with water to make an egg wash, giving the pie a beautiful golden-brown and shiny crust.
Where to Find Huckleberries
Wild huckleberries grow in the high mountain forests and meadows of the Pacific Northwest, including Montana, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. The bushes produce tiny, tart berries in July and August at elevations from 3000-10000 feet.
The experience of picking these wild berries is a labor of love, as each tiny berry must be carefully handpicked from the plants. If you are not able to go huckleberry picking yourself, look for these berries at farm stands and markets in the Northwest while in season.
Otherwise, look for frozen huckleberries online or at specialty stores to enjoy their sweet-tart flavor year-round. I purchased my frozen berries from Northwest Wild Foods and used them to make this pie as well as an amazing wildberry cheesecake!
Huckleberries are the state fruit of Idaho, so we enjoyed this pie as a part of our Idaho state dinner!
Huckleberry Jam Substitution
If you can't find fresh or frozen huckleberries, you can make this pie with blueberries and huckleberry jam.
Simply use 5 cups of fresh or frozen blueberries in place of the huckleberries. Then stir in 1 cup of huckleberry jam along with the other filling ingredients.
The blueberries will provide texture and structure while the jam infuses each bite with authentic huckleberry flavor. While not exactly the same as pure huckleberries, this substitution still yields a tasty homemade pie with a delicious berry flavor.
Just be sure to use a high-quality, spreadable jam, not a stiff preserve. Make this simple swap and you can enjoy old-fashioned huckleberry pie even when the fresh berries are not in season.
How to Make a Huckleberry Pie
1) Prepare Fruit Filling
- Mix the huckleberries, sugar, tapioca, orange juice, and orange zest in a large bowl.
- Let the mixture rest for 15-20 minutes. This softens the fruit, drawing out its juices.
- This resting time also activates the tapioca, which thickens the filling.
2) Prepare Pie Crust
- Roll one pie crust on a lightly floured surface into a 12-inch circle.
- Press the dough into a 9-inch pie plate, with the excess dough hanging over the sides of the plate.
- Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
- Roll out the second piece of dough ⅛-inch thick.
- If you are doing a lattice crust then cut this second crust into 1-inch strips.
3) Fill the Pie
- Once the berry mixture has adequately rested, pour it into the pie shell.
- If you are doing a lattice crust, weave the dough strips following the instructions outlined below.
- If you are doing a full crust, place it on top of the filling and fold the excess dough from the bottom crust over to seal the two crusts together.
- Crimp the edges, then cut 3 slits into the top crust.
- Beat the egg and cold water together in a small bowl to make an egg wash.
- Brush the wash onto the top of the pie dough.
- Bake on the middle rack until the crust is a deep golden brown and the filling is bubbly.
How to Make a Lattice Crust
- Roll out your prepared pie dough on a floured surface, aiming for a 12-inch circle. Using a sharp knife or a pizza cutter, cut the dough into 8-12 strips, each approximately 1 inch in width.
- Begin the lattice arrangement by laying half of the strips vertically and evenly spaced on top of your filled pie. To create a visually pleasing design, place the longer strips in the center and the shorter ones at the edges.
- Gently fold back every other vertical strip until they are nearly hanging off the edge of the pie. This will create space for the weaving process.
- Carefully place one of the shorter of the remaining unused strips horizontally over the unfolded strips, close to the edge of the pie.
- Next, fold the vertical strips back over the horizontal strip, so they now rest atop it.
- Repeat the weaving process with the other vertical strips. Fold them back and place another unused strip horizontally, then unfold the vertical strips to complete the first part of the lattice design.
- Continuing the pattern: Repeat the weaving process with the remaining strips, ensuring each strip is carefully woven over and under the others.
- Once the lattice is complete, gently fold back the excess dough that extends beyond the edges of the pie. Pinch these folds together with the bottom pie crust, ensuring a secure seal.
- If you are using frozen huckleberries, let them sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before adding them to the filling. Drain off any excess liquid and just add the fruit.
- Huckleberries can vary in sweetness, so taste the filling before assembling the pie. If they are particularly tart, consider adding a touch more sugar to balance the flavors.
- Refrigerate the filled pie for at least 30 minutes. This step is crucial, as the cold dough solidifies the lattice structure, ensuring it holds its shape beautifully during baking
- Place a small baking sheet in the oven under the pie to catch any juices that might bubble over.
- Dust the top crust lightly with sugar before baking for a sparkling crisp crust.
- Use a pie shield so that the edges of the pie do not burn.
- The filling will be runny when it is warm. Allow the pie to cool for several hours before slicing.
- Serve with vanilla ice cream or freshly whipped cream to balance the tartness.
How to Prevent a Runny Pie
A runny pie filling can ruin the beautiful sliceable texture of homemade huckleberry pie. Follow these tips for a nicely thickened filling every time.
- Be sure to use the full amount of tapioca.
- Choose huckleberries that are fully ripe but still slightly firm, rather than overly soft and juicy.
- If you are using frozen berries, drain off any excess liquids before adding the berries to the filling.
- Bake the pie fully until the crust is golden brown and the center is bubbling, about 50-55 minutes total.
- Let the pie cool on a wire rack for several hours before slicing. This crucial chilling time lets the filling set up.
Huckleberry Pie Variations
- Spice Additions: Enhance the flavor profile by adding a hint of warmth with spice by adding ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon and ½ teaspoon of ground nutmeg. Or if you love cardamom, ¼ teaspoon of ground cardamom is a unique twist.
- Crumb Topping: Mix ½ cup of all-purpose flour, ¼ cup of granulated sugar, a pinch of salt, and 4 tablespoons of cold unsalted butter until you have coarse crumbs. Sprinkle the crumb mixture generously over the huckleberry filling before baking for an irresistible crunchy finish.
- Cream Cheese Layer: Combine the flavors of huckleberry cheesecake with pie! In a separate bowl, beat together 8 ounces of softened cream cheese, ¼ cup of granulated sugar, 1 egg, and a splash of vanilla extract until smooth. Spread this over the bottom crust before adding the huckleberry filling.
- Different Fruit: This recipe works with a variety of fruits, and is very similar to this popular homemade Marionberry Pie.
Cover the leftover pie with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and store at room temperature for 2 days, or in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Yes, you can freeze the huckleberry pie for later. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then foil, or use an airtight container. It can be frozen for up to 3 months. To serve, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat in the oven.
Huckleberries and blueberries are part of the same plant family but have some differences. Huckleberries are smaller with hard, edible seeds. They share a similar taste though huckleberries tend to be more tart.
The tartness of huckleberries can vary so taste the filling before baking and add a little additional sugar, if needed.
More Pie Recipes
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Huckleberry PieRecipe by:
- 5 cups (1.5 pounds) fresh or frozen huckleberries
- 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
- ¼ cup (48 grams) quick-cooking tapioca
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) orange zest
- 1 double-pie crust recipe
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) water
- Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C).
- Place the huckleberries, sugar, tapioca, orange juice, and orange zest in a large bowl. Stir until huckleberries are well coated with the other ingredients, then let it rest while preparing the crust. This time allows the fruit to soften and activates the tapioca.5 cups (1.5 pounds) fresh or frozen huckleberries, 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar, ¼ cup (48 grams) quick-cooking tapioca, 2 tablespoons (30 ml) freshly squeezed orange juice, 1 teaspoon (5 ml) orange zest
- Roll your pie crusts to ⅛-inch thickness (about 12 inches in diameter). Place one of the pie crust circles into a 9-inch pie plate. Cut the remaining pie crust into 12 strips.1 double-pie crust recipe
- Once the fruit mixture has rested, pour the filling into the pie shell.
- Place the pie crust strips in a lattice pattern on top of the filling (see the blog post for instructions). Alternatively, place the entire top crust on the pie, crimping the edges with the bottom crust, then cut 3 slits for the steam to escape.
- Beat the egg and water together to make a wash, then brush onto the top crust.1 egg, 1 tablespoon (15 ml) water
- Place the pie in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to rechill the crust.
- Bake in the 425°F (220°C) oven for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 375°F (190°C) and bake an additional 30-35 minutes.
- The pie will be runny when it is warm. Cool for several hours before slicing.
- If using fresh huckleberries, let them sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before mixing with the other ingredients. Drain off any excess juice.
- Use a pie shield to prevent the edges from burning.
- Wrap leftover pie with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- You can freeze the pie for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before serving.
This post was originally posted on August 3, 2020 as a recipe for huckleberrry jam pie. It was updated on August 1, 2023 as a fresh or frozen huckleberry pie recipe, with extra tips and information, including a variation for using huckleberry jam like the original recipe. Here is one of the original images.