Nicole Rucker

"Preheat your oven for at least 20 minutes," says Nicole Rucker. "If you put a pie into an oven that isn't hot enough, the butter will melt before it has time to set into the dough." Other tips? For juicy — but never runny — berry pie, Rucker crushes a single large handful of the berry filling to help create the perfect saucy consistency. Huckleberries and blackberries create the namesake black-and-blue filling, but a mix of any brambleberries and blueberries will do. A crumb topping adds texture and helps absorb some of the pie's juice, allowing it to slice cleanly.
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