This classic homemade Marionberry Pie recipe celebrates the Pacific Northwest berry season with a sweet-tart filling tucked into a flaky, golden crust. Bursting with juicy Oregon marionberries and simple to prepare, this lattice-topped pie is summertime berry perfection!
The first time I ever had marionberries was at Starbucks on a trip to Seattle. They had a limited-time regional pastry, Marionberry Muffins. I instantly fell in love with this fruit!
In my opinion, the flavor is even better than blackberries and I love that the seeds are hardly noticeable.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Sweet and Tart Flavor: The star ingredient is the marionberry, a type of blackberry that is found in Oregon. It has a sweet-tart flavor that shines in this pie.
- Easy to Make: This simple recipe has just a few steps and is a great pie for beginner bakers.
- Perfect for Summer Entertaining: There's nothing quite like a fresh berry pie to celebrate summer. It's sure to be a hit at any summer gathering!
What are Marionberries?
Marionberries are a special variety of blackberries that are grown predominantly in Oregon's Willamette Valley.
Named after Marion County where they were first cultivated, these plump purple-black berries have a unique cone shape and an exceptionally rich, tangy-sweet flavor.
The Marionberry is a hybrid of two West Coast blackberries bred specifically to highlight the best qualities of each - the hearty size of the Chehalem berry and the complex taste of the Olallieberry.
Their deep purple juice makes for excellent pies, jams, syrups, and more. Once you try a fresh marionberry, you'll see why they're treasured in Oregon and beyond!
When is Marionberry Season in Oregon?
Marionberry season in Oregon is highly anticipated every summer, but it's only for a limited time. These plump, juicy berries hit their peak from mid-July through early September, giving Oregonians just 2-3 months to enjoy them fresh off the vine.
The timing coincides perfectly with the warmest days of a Pacific Northwest summer. Marionberry lovers flock to u-pick farms and roadside stands during August when the bumper crop of berries is ripe for harvesting.
Part of the magic is the fleeting availability of these iconic Oregon marionberries. Their short season makes each berry taste even sweeter!
Looking for the full recipe? See the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the full list of ingredients, including measurements and instructions.
Marionberries - Use fresh or frozen whole marionberries. If you live in the Pacific Northwest you can often find them in the freezer section of your local grocery stores. If you live elsewhere, frozen berries can be purchased online. I got mine from Northwest Wild Foods.
Sugar - The amount of granulated sugar can be adjusted based on the tartness of the berries. Use less sugar if berries are very ripe and sweet.
Tapioca - This helps thicken the filling. Quick-cooking tapioca is preferred. If you do not have tapioca on hand then cornstarch is an equal substitution.
Lemon Juice - Adds a touch of brightness and balances the sweetness. Freshly squeezed is best.
Pie Crust - Use your favorite double-crust recipe or purchase store-bought dough. A flaky and buttery crust complements the filling.
Egg wash - An egg washed over the top crust gives it a golden brown color and sheen.
How to Make Marionberry Pie
1) Prepare Fruit Filling
- In a large bowl, combine the marionberries, sugar, tapioca, and lemon juice.
- Let this mixture rest for 15-20 minutes so the juices can be released from the fruit and the tapioca can thicken.
2) Prepare Pie Crust
- On a lightly floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll out one portion of pie dough into a 12-inch circle.
- Gently fit into a 9-inch pie plate, letting the excess hang over the edges.
- Roll the disk of dough into a 12-inch circle.
- Cut the pastry dough into 1-inch wide strips for the lattice top.
3) Assemble the Pie
- Pour the thickened marionberry filling into the pie shell.
- Lay the dough strips in a lattice pattern on top of the berries.
- Fold the overhanging bottom crust up and over the lattice edges and crimp to seal.
4) Bake the Pie
- In a small bowl, beat together the egg and 1 tablespoon of water for the egg wash.
- Brush the wash over the lattice crust.
- Place the pie pan on the middle rack of a 425°F (200°C) oven for 15 minutes.
- Reduce heat to 375°F (190°C) and bake until the filling is bubbly and the crust is golden brown.
- Let the pie cool to room temperature before slicing.
TIP: Place the pie on a rimmed baking sheet to catch any juices that may spill over.
Why is My Berry Pie Runny?
There are several reasons a pie might be runny. Here are some tips to ensure your berry pie filling has a thick, properly set filling.
- Correct Proportions: Use the full 1⁄4 cup of tapioca called for in the recipe to thicken the juices released by the fruit.
- Fresh Berries: Pick marionberries that are ripe but still fairly firm, not overly soft and juicy. This prevents excess liquid in the filling.
- Drain Excess Liquid: If using frozen marionberries, be sure to drain any liquid off before adding to the filling.
- Bake Fully: Bake the assembled pie fully until the crust is browned and the center bubbles, about 50-55 minutes. This evaporates excess moisture.
- Cool Completely: Let the baked pie cool completely on a wire rack for several hours before slicing. This chilling time is important to ensure the filling is completely set.
How to Store
- Cover the cooled pie with plastic wrap.
- Fruit pies can be stored at room temperature for 2 days.
- For longer enjoyment, refrigerate for up to 4 days.
- To freeze, wrap individual slices in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 3 months and thaw overnight in the refrigerator before eating.
TIP: Check the pie about halfway through baking. If the edges are turning brown, cover it with a pie shield or place a piece of tin foil around the edges of the pie.
- Mixed Berry: Replace half of the marionberries with a mixture of blackberries, raspberries, or blueberries.
- Streusel Topping: Instead of a top crust, mix ½ cup of all-purpose flour with ½ cup brown sugar, ½ cup rolled outs, and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Then cut in 6 tablespoons cold butter with a pastry blender, and spread it on top of the marionberry pie filling.
- Spices: Add some flavor complexity with the addition of ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon, or ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves.
- Citrus Flavor: Add a little extra brightness by mixing 1 teaspoon of lemon zest into the berry filling.
- Boozy: For a sophisticated enhancement that boosts the berry flavor, make this marionberry pie with 2 teaspoons of brandy, Cointreau, or Grand Marnier. The alcohol will cook out of the pie, but the added flavor will remain.
- Sugar Crust: After bringing the top crust with egg wash, sprinkle it with coarse sugar for extra texture and a decorative touch.
- Toppings: When serving, top the pie with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream or a spoonful of mascarpone.
Can you use frozen marionberries?
Yes, frozen marionberries work great if fresh ones are not available. Just thaw them for 30 minutes first and drain any excess liquid
Do I need to blind bake my pie crust?
Blind baking is not necessary. If you are doing a lattice crust you'll want the bottom crust to be unbaked so it can fold into the top crust. If you are doing a streusel crust then blind baking can be helpful.
Do marionberries have seeds?
Marionberries do have small seeds, similar to blackberries. But they are softer and almost undetectable.
Can I make this pie if I don't have marionberries?
If you do not have access to marionberries, you can make blackberry pie which is very similar. Just substitute an equal amount of fresh blackberries,
More Fruit Pie Recipes
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Marionberry PieRecipe by:
- 6 cups fresh or frozen marionberries
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup quick-cooking tapioca
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 double-pie crust recipe
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C).
- In a large bowl, combine the marionberries, sugar, tapioca, and lemon juice. Gently stir together. Allow to rest for 15-20 minutes so the fruit can soften and the tapioca can thicken.6 cups fresh or frozen marionberries, 1 cup granulated sugar, ¼ cup quick-cooking tapioca, 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- On a floured surface, roll out one pie crust into a 12-inch circle. Gently fit into a 9-inch pie plate with the excess dough draped over the sides of the pie plate. Roll out the second crust and cut into 1-inch strips.1 double-pie crust recipe
- Once thickened, pour the fruit filling into the bottom pie shell. Lay the dough strips in a lattice pattern on top.
- In a small bowl, beat an egg with 1 tablespoon water for the egg wash. Brush over the lattice top.1 egg, 1 tablespoon water
- Refrigerate the assembled pie for 30 minutes.
- Bake at 425°F for 20 minutes. Lower heat to 375°F and bake 30-35 minutes more until golden brown.
- Allow pie to cool completely before slicing to allow filling to set.
Streusel Topping: Instead of a top crust, mix ½ cup of all-purpose flour with ½ cup brown sugar, ½ cup rolled outs, and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Then cut in 6 tablespoons cold butter with a pastry blender, and spread it on top of the marionberry pie filling.