If you’re a fan of marionberries and love pie, then you’ll love this Marionberry Pie with a delicious buttery crumble topping. This will be the best marionberry pie you’ve ever tasted, as you indulge in the perfect combination of sweet-tart berries, buttery, flaky crust, and crunchy crumble topping. This pie won’t last long in your household, but you can enjoy it any time of day with a cup of coffee and a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.
- What Is A Marionberry
- What Do Marionberries Taste Like
- When is Marionberry Season in Oregon
- What You'll Need For This Recipe
- Marionberry Filling
- Crumble Topping
- How to Make Marionberry Pie
- How to Serve Marionberry Pie
- How to Store The Pie
- Recipe - Frequently Asked Questions
- If You Like This Recipe, Try These Recipes
- Marionberry Pie
You all, there is nothing like fresh pie straight from the oven. I love pie. Growing up, my mom was the master pie maker, and her pies were so good we all wanted that first slice even while the pie was still too hot.
If you love berry pies and haven't made one yet this summer, then you need to make this marionberry pie with it's crumble topping. You'll absolutely love it. I tested this pie 4 times to get it right. Though I don't know if the first one counts since I dropped it as I pulled it from the oven.
The marionberry pie filling is juicy and deliciously sweet and tart while the berries hold their shape. The bottom crust is golden brown and flaky and the the sweet brown sugar crumble topping holds it shape and even has a slight crunch. And if you want more pie recipe ideas check out my recipe for Blueberry Crumble Pie and Peach Crumble Pie.
What Is A Marionberry
I often get the question, what is a marionberry? So let's start with the basics. A marionberry is a type of blackberry grown almost exclusively in the Pacific Northwest, which is why a lot of people haven't heard of it. It's a cross between two different blackberries - the Chehalem blackberry and Olallieberry; and it's named after Marion County in Oregon, where it was first developed in the 1950s.
What Do Marionberries Taste Like
Marionberries taste like a cross between a blackberry and a raspberry. They have the sweet flavor of blackberries and the tart flavor of raspberries, the best of both worlds. The colors range from dark red, to almost black. Most marionberries I've seen are black with hints of red.
When is Marionberry Season in Oregon
Marionberry season is early July through early August. The berries are only grown in Oregon, but can be bought frozen in other parts of the country.
What You'll Need For This Recipe
Here are the ingredients that you’ll need for this incredible pie:
Marionberry Filling Ingredients
Crumble Topping Ingredients
- Fresh or Frozen Marionberries: For this recipe, I used fresh marionberries, but if you can’t find them use frozen marionberries or blackberries.
- Lemon Zest: The lemon zest adds a slightly floral flavor to the berries.
- Lemon Juice: The tartness of the lemon juice balances out the sweetness of the sugar and helps preserve the natural flavor and tartness of the marionberries.
- Granulated Sugar: The granulated sugar adds sweetness and helps thicken the marionberry filling as the pie bakes
- Tapioca Flour: Use finely ground tapioca flour. I recommend using Bob’s Red Mill brand.
- Kosher Salt: Just a little salt balances out the sweetness in this pie and elevates the flavor in the crumble.
- Prepared Pie Crust: Homemade Pie Crust will work a lot better than store-bought crust as store-bought will brown easier and become drier when baked at this temperature and length of time. Keep the pie dough for crust chilled before you roll it out and while you make the pie filling.
- Unbleached All-Purpose Flour: The flour is necessary for the crumbly texture and for the crumble to hold its shape during baking:
- Unsalted Butter: Butter holds all the other ingredients together. Using cold butter ensures that the crumble holds its shape when baked and helps maintain the crispy texture.
- Light Brown Sugar: The brown sugar adds, sweetness, and crunch to the crumble. I tested this recipe with both light and dark brown sugar and the recipe works with both, so you can use either in the recipe.
- Ground Cinnamon: The cinnamon adds a nice warm woodsy flavor to the crumble.
And finally, the last, and possibly most important tip I have for making your fruit pies delicious every time is to add acid to your fruit pie filling. I add lemon juice, and often lemon zest, to my fruit pies, regardless of the type of fruit I’m using. The lemon juice also helps to enhance and bring out the fruit’s natural flavor. I think the lemon juice in a fruit filling is what turns an average fruit pie into a spectacular one.
Full ingredients, measurements, and instructions are in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
How to Make Marionberry Pie
I love pie, especially crumble pie. Double crust pies are great, but crumble topped pies are even better. That crunchy sweet topping combined with a juicy, sweet tart filling is just about perfect in my opinion. When this pie was done and ready I did a little happy dance as I ate it.
Step 1: Use this all-butter pie crust recipe to make the dough. There are instructions for making it by hand or using a food processor but I think using your hands will yield the best results.
Step 2: Refrigerate the dough for at least 45 minutes and for up to two days.
Step 3: With a rolling pin the pie dough out to a 12-inch circle and transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie plate. Trim the edge of the dough, leaving a 1-inch overhang. Fold the edges under and crimp the edges. Refrigerate the dough for 60 minutes or freeze it for at least 30 minutes.
Step 4: For the crumble topping cube the butter into 1/2-inch squares, place the butter in a bowl and put it in the refrigerator to keep the butter cold. Do not freeze it. It will be harder to work frozen butter into the dry ingredients.
Step 5: Place the flour, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon in a medium-sized bowl and whisk together. Use your fingers to break up any brown sugar clumps.
Step 6: Add the butter to the dry ingredients and use either a pastry blender to cut the butter in the flour mixture. You can also use your hands to smush the butter into the flour mixture.
Step 7: The butter should be about the size of peas when done. Place the bowl in the refrigerator to keep the crumble cold while you prep the marionberries.
Store the crumble topping in the refrigerator until ready to assemble the pie
If using fresh marionberries rinse them under a spray of water and remove any small leaves or sticks. Remove any berries that appear spoiled. Spread the berries on paper towels to dry them off.
If using frozen berries, don’t let the berries thaw out before mixing them with the other pie filling ingredients.
Step 8: Whisk together the sugar, tapioca flour, and kosher salt in a small bowl.
Step 9: Spoon the berry mixture into the prepared pie shell.
Step 10: Spread the crumble topping on top of the marionberries.
Adjust the amount of crumble topping to your taste. In my opinion, you can’t have too much crumble topping. Place the pie on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. The rimmed baking sheet catches any filling that overflows the crust.
Step 11: Bake the pie at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake until the juices in the pie are bubbly all the way around the pie, about 35-40 minutes. At some point the edge of the crust may start to get too brown, Add a pie shield to protect the crust.
Step 12: Remove the pie from the oven and let it cool in a wire rack for 2-3 hours it as room temperature.
Tip: If you want absolutely clean cuts, let the cool completely, cover the pie with plastic wrap, and refrigerate it for 30-60 minutes.
How to Serve Marionberry Pie
This pie is best served at room temperature, though I absolutely understand the temptation to eat warm pie. Serve the pie plain, with vanilla ice cream, or whipped cream.
How to Store The Pie
The pie can sit at room temperature loosely covered with plastic wrap for up to 2 days because this is a fruit pie and the filling doesn’t contain egg, cream, or milk. If the weather is hot or humid, then refrigerate the pie after the first day. The pie can be refrigerated for 3-4 days covered with plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
- Marionberries are a type of blackberry so you can other varieties blackberry varieties in this recipe.
- Frozen marionberries can be used if you cannot find fresh berries. Don't thaw out the berries. Add them to the pie crust while they are still frozen.
- Add chopped almonds or pecans to the crumble topping.
- Pie Plate: For this pie, I used the USA Pan Pie Pan. I get the best results with metal pie tins. The bottom crust browns beautifully and you can see the pie crust layers when you cut into it.
- Pastry Blender: The pastry blender is a great tool for cutting the butter into the dry ingredients. I think it's especially helpful if your hands tend to be warm, which can make the butter very soft if you're making the pie crust or crumble topping by hand.
Recipe - Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can use an equal amount by weight of frozen marionberries or blackberries in this recipe. Do not thaw the berries before mixing them with the dry ingredients and lemon juice.
The pie is good at room temperature for 2 days loosely covered with plastic wrap. It can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days covered with plastic wrap or aluminum foil
Yes, you freeze the unbaked pie. Place the filling in the pie shell and then add the crumble topping. Place the uncovered pie in the freezer overnight. Wrap it tightly in two layers of plastic wrap to avoid freezer burn, then return it to the freezer. When ready to bake the pie, preheat the oven and place the frozen pie in the oven. Follow the same baking instructions in the recipe for baking a fresh pie.
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If You Like This Recipe, Try These Recipes
- 1/2 recipe homemade pie crust (my recipe makes 2 pie crusts, but you only need 1 for this recipe)
- 1-1/2 cup (188 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) light brown sugar
- 1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 12 tablespoons (169 grams) cold unsalted butter cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Marionberry Pie Filling
- 5 1/2 cups (767 grams) fresh marionberries washed and dried
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest about 1 lemon that weighs 90 grams
- 2 tablespoons (30 grams) fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
- 5 tablespoons (40 grams) Bob’s Red Mill finely ground tapioca flour
Make the Pie Dough
- Use this recipe for the pie dough. Once the dough is done wrap the disk in plastic wrap and chill for at least 45 minutes. Freeze the other half of the dough. The dough for this pie can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.
- For a 9-inch pie plate roll the dough until is it 1/8-inch thick and 12-13 inches round. Fold the dough in half and then half again so that you have a quarter. Place the dough in the pie plate do the corner of the dough is centered. Gently unfold the dough so the pie plate is completely covered, and the dough is overhanging the edges of the pie plate.
- Trim the dough so that there is about a 1-inch overhang all the way around. Fold the dough under so that it rests on the edge of the pie plate. Crimp the dough using a fork or create your own design.
- Refrigerate the prepared dough for at least 60 minutes or freeze it for 30 minutes.
- Cut the cold butter into 1/2-inch cubes and place it back in the refrigerator so it stays cold while you prepare the other ingredients.
- Place the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a medium size bowl. Whisk the ingredients together until well combined. Use your fingers to break up any clumps of brown sugar. Add the butter to the dry ingredients and toss the butter into the flour mixture with your hands until all the butter is well coated.
- Use the pastry blender to cut the butter into the flour mixture, until the butter is pea sized. You can also you use your hands if you don’t have a pastry blender. To mix it with your hands take each piece of butter and smash it flat between your thumb and first two fingers. Continue to do this until the butter is pea sized.
- Cover the crumble with plastic and place it in the refrigerator to keep it cold until ready to use. If not using the crumble the same day, place it in an airtight container (something with a lid) to keep it from drying out. The crumble can be made up to one week in advance and refrigerated in an airtight container.
Assemble the Pie
- Place the marionberries in a large bowl and zest the lemon directly into the berries then add the lemon juice. Combine 3/4 cup of the sugar, tapioca, and the salt and whisk together. Add these ingredients to the marionberries and gently fold the sugar mixture, lemon juice, and lemon zest into the berries. Taste the berries and decide based on taste if you want to add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar.
- Let the marionberries sit for 10 minutes so the sugar and tapioca dissolve before baking.
Baking the Pie
- While the berries are macerating preheat the oven to 400°F. Place a half baking sheet in the oven lined with parchment paper. Baking the pie on a baking sheet will catch any pie juices that bubble over. Baking it on a hot baking sheet will ensure that the bottom of the pie dough browns.
- Remove the prepared pie shell for the refrigerator or freezer and spoon the marionberries into the pie shell. Spread the crumble topping over the berries.
- Bake the pie at 400°F for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and bake the pie for another 40-45 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the fruit juices are bubbly all the way around. If the crust starts to get too dark cover the edges of the crust with a pie shield.
- Remove the pie from the oven. Place it on a wire rack and allow to cool for 3 hours to room temperature before serving.
Storing the Pie
- The pie can sit at room temperature for 2 days (and for 1 day if the weather is hot and humid). Store the pie in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, covered with plastic wrap or foil.