It’s become a tradition — or at least a habit — for Food Safety News to host virtual potlucks on holidays as a way to share our favorite recipes and love of food, and also to take a little break from writing about the potential risks in what we eat.

Always, but especially at Thanksgiving, we’re grateful for the many people who work hard to provide us with fresh, wholesome and safe food.

Just like last year, in addition to the turkey, our virtual Thanksgiving 2011 potluck includes a choice of two soup starters – Gretchen’s Thai Butternut Squash soup and Andy’s Gorgonzola and Celery Soup. Helena has contributed homemade herb chard stuffing., Dan is offering pumpkin applesauce muffins, Alli is bringing herb-roasted winter veggies, Suzanne has made apple-blackberry pies and Cookson has suggested coconut-milk pumpkin pie.

Thank you for reading Food Safety News. Have a happy and food-safe Thanksgiving.

Suzanne’s Apple-Blackberry Mini-Pies

apple-blackberry-mini-pie1.jpgWhen it comes to Thanksgiving dessert, there’s nothing better than pie.  Some of my family members prefer apple.  I prefer berry.  To satisfy everyone, I decided to do an apple-blackberry combo this year for the Food Safety News potluck.  And for an added twist, I made each member of our team an individual mini-pie.

I’ve been doing variations of these mini-pies for a few years now and think these apple-blackberry pies stack up nicely against my favorite – peach (or nectarine)-blueberry pies.  Feel free to make up your own combos.  They’re fun to make, although they take more time to prep than a normal 8- or 9-inch pie.


1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tablespoons gluten
Up to 1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable shortening

Combine flour, gluten and salt in a mixing bowl.  Cut in the shortening until the mixture is crumbly.  Add enough cold water as you need to form the crust into 8 small balls a little bit larger than golf balls.

Roll the balls of cough out into rough circles and place them in muffin tins.  These pies don’t get a top crust, so I leave the extra crust that falls over the edge of the muffin tin unfinished.

Fruit Filling:

2 cups Jonathan apples, cut into small chunks
1/2 to 1 tablespoon lime juice, squired over the cut apples so they don’t turn brown
1 cup blackberries
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2-3 tablespoons butter

Thanksgiving-apple-blackberry-pies406.jpgMix all filling ingredients in a bowl and fill the pie crusts.  The apples will cook down, so you can mound the fruit a bit and the pies shouldn’t boil over.

Top the pies with thin pats of butter.

Brush milk onto the exposed crust and sprinkle cinnamon and sugar over the milk.

Thanksgiving-apple-blackberry-crumble406.jpgBake at 350 for 20 – 25 minutes, until the fruit is cooked and the crust is browned.  After removing from the oven, drizzle with honey so the fruit shines.  (Admittedly, this works better on peaches or nectarines than on apples.)  Serve warm, topped with ice cream or whipped cream.  I usually use whipped cream and strategically place it wherever the crust is lacking in aesthetic.

Crumble Topping:

If you prefer a crumble topping instead of no topping, you can combine oats, butter and cinnamon in a ratio of 1/2 c. oats to 1 tablespoon butter to 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon and top your pies.  Bake them uncovered for 15 minutes, then loosely cover them with foil for the last 5-10 minutes of baking so the topping doesn’t burn.

Makes 6-8 individual pies that are also excellent for brunch!