Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Michigan 4 Berry Pie #FoodnFlix

There is a pie company in my small town of Michigan that is owned by the Achatz family.  The Achatz family has a long history of restaurateurs, cooks and catering.  They are popular family diners throughout St. Clair County, Michigan where I live.  Grant Achatz Sr., one of 11 siblings, is known as the pie man.

There are Achatz pie companies throughout the neighboring counties now and  they are available to be shipped Nationwide.  Their most popular pie is the Crumb Michigan Four Berry Pie.  They offer free shipping.  The cost of one pie is $49.00.  They sell a ton of them.

This is my version of that pie.  Fresh frozen tart cherries from my daughter's tree, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries combine to make the perfect summer treat.

I was inspired to make this pie after watching the documentary "Spinning Plates" for this month's FoodnFlix event.......

Food 'n Flix

This month's movie was chosen by Cam of Culinary Adventures with Camilla.  Everybody is welcome to attend this party.  You can learn how to join in the fun at Cam's Invitation Post.  You still have nearly 3 weeks to watch this great film and get inspired to create a recipe to share with us.

Image result for spinning plates movie

This documentary follows three restaurants and the people who own and cook at them.

It starts off talking about Alinea, a very high end Chicago restaurant co-owned by Nick Kokonas and Executive Chef, Grant Achatz Jr.  Yes, this is the son of the Grant Achatz Sr. of whom I spoke in the introduction to this post.

The second restaurant being showcased is Breitbachs.  A family run business that has been passed down through the Breitbach family for generations.  Much like the Achatz family restaurants in my neck of the woods.

The final restaurant being showcased is Gabby's named after the chef and wife of the owner who bought this restaurant believing that others would love his wife's cooking as much as he and their family does.  They spent every dime they had to open the restaurant.  They are unable to afford any employees and rely on family to help run the struggling restaurant.

All three of these restaurants are very different yet all of the owners have much in common.  They all love their profession.  They all take pride in their craft.  They all work their tails off.

Alinea sees food as an art form.  They specialize in multi course tasting dinners that are exceptionally beautiful to behold.  These meals take many hours and many hands to prepare and they are priced accordingly.  I don't know that I will ever be able to attend a meal at our local hometown boy's Chicago restaurant.  Even if I could afford it, reservations are booked solid for the next 5 years!!

Breitbach's is a fixture in a small community where locals gather each morning for coffee and breakfast, many times arriving before the cook, letting themselves in and starting the coffee and kibitzing while they await her arrival.  The are very well known for their buffets, especially their Mother's Day buffets where they may seat and feed over 1000 customers.  The matriarch of the family is in charge of desserts and makes hundreds of pies for the buffet dinners.

Gabby's specializes in homemade, traditional Mexican fare.  It is the sole source of income for the family who has no background in business and no budget for advertising.  The food they have is most likely amazing but nobody has discovered it and they are holding on for dear life as their world crumbles around them.

Grant Achatz's family background and the slew of pies being made by Mrs. Breitbach was all the inspiration I needed to make a pie.  

I decided on the 4 Berry Pie made famous by Achatz in this area because I still had some tart Michigan cherries from our daughter's tree that I had frozen after they were harvested.  Achatz 4 Berry pie contains tart cherries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries.

It also has a crumb topping.  I'm not sure what the Achatz put in their crumb topping so I just used the topping for my Apple Crumb Pie, since it is always a hit.

I sure am glad I had that silpat under my pie LOL....it is a very juicy pie!!!  And very delicious as well.  Perhaps I should have used a little more cornstarch in my slurry when I thickened the pie?  I have added another tablespoon in the printable recipe I am sharing.  

Oh well, luckily I wasn't serving it to company or in a restaurant where this presentation would have been entirely unsatisfactory.

Oh, just one other little piece of advice.  When you freeze your cherries at the end of this summer, try to remember to mark the bag "pitted" or "not pitted".  Another good reason that I wasn't making this for company or restaurant LOL.

#pie, #berries, #blackberries, #blueberries, #raspberry, #sourcherries, #desserts,
Desserts, Pies, Fruit
Yield: 8 Servings

4 Berry Pie

Tart cherries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries combine to make the perfect summer treat.
prep time: 15 Mcook time: 45 Mtotal time: 60 M


  • 2 c. tart cherries, pitted
  • 2 c. blueberries
  • 1 c. raspberries
  • 1 c. blackberries
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 3 T. orange juice
  • 3 T. cornstarch
  • 1 unbaked pie shell
  • 4 T. butter
  • 3/4 c. flour
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 1 t. cinnamon


  1. Rinse the cherries and berries and place in a dutch oven over med high heat.  Add the  1 cup of sugar. Toss to coat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
  2. Combine the orange juice and cornstarch.  When the berries start to break down and release their juices, add the cornstarch mixture.   Cook and stir until juices thicken.
  3. Line a deep dish pie pan with your crust.  Pour in the thickened berry mixture.
  4. Place the butter, flour,  1/3 c. sugar and cinnamon in the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse until crumbs form.  Pour over the berry mixture.
  5. Place the pie pan onto a baking sheet that has been lined with foil or a silicone mat.  Bake in a preheated 400* oven for 40-45 minutes, until hot and bubbly and the crumb is browned.  
  6. Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack.  Refrigerate for several hours or overnight before cutting and serving.


Inspired by Achatz Pie Company,  Crumb Michigan 4 Berry Pie.
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Created using The Recipes Generator


  1. I had no idea about his dad's pie empire! Thanks for sharing and that pie looks deliciously messy. That's the best! Thanks for joining me.

  2. I made a tri-berry pie too (to post soon) based on the Breitbach version. Loved the pie tie-in with Achatz. Definitely a foodie family. I really enjoyed this round. Happy Easter!

  3. 49$ pie? OMG. Hope yours was cheaper to make lol. I love summer berries, and adore tart cherries! Looks so amazing.

    1. I know, crazy right? We can buy it here for about half that price which I still think is ridiculous. But they sell them like crazy.

  4. I almost made the Breitbach pie too, now I'm kinda regretting I didn't. Your's looks so good, I'd love a slice right now. But $49 for a pie?! They must make some really amazing pies!

    1. Well, I'm proud to say that my friends who tried mine rated it better than theirs. It's the secret ingredient of love as you well know April.


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