Boysenberry Pie


Homemade boysenberry pie recipe with fresh off-the-vine boysenberries, a cross between blackberries, loganberries, and raspberries.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Come late May and early June, my mother’s boysenberry vine comes alive with fruit.

Boysenberries look like blackberries, but are actually a cross between blackberries, loganberries, and raspberries. As such they fruit much earlier in the season than blackberries, and they are more delicate in touch and taste.

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As a vine to cultivate, they aren’t nearly as thorny as blackberries and neither are they as invasive of a plant. I used to grow blackberries in San Francisco and it was a constant struggle to keep them from taking over the yard. (Trivia fact: the hybrid boysenberries were popularized by Walter Knott of Knott’s Berry Farm.)


Boysenberries on the vine

This berry pie recipe is easy to put together!

The tricks are to let the whole berries macerate in sugar first, and to use instant tapioca as a thickener. You can use cornstarch instead of the instant tapioca, but we found that it is harder to gauge the correct amount and tapioca has a nice consistency that works well with berries.

Boysenberry Pie

Boysenberry Pie Recipe

  • Yield: Makes 8 servings


  • 1 pie dough recipe for top and bottom crust
  • 5 cups boysenberries (can substitute blackberries or marionberries), rinsed, picked clean, lightly patted dry (if you use frozen berries, first defrost them and then drain them of excess moisture)
  • 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup sugar (depending on how sweet you want your pie)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 3 Tbsp quick cooking instant tapioca (you can find it in the baking aisle of your supermarket)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten, for egg wash


1 Toss berries with sugar, lemon juice, nutmeg, and quick tapioca: Put berries, sugar, lemon juice, nutmeg, and quick tapioca in a large bowl. Gently fold so that the berries are all coated with some sugar. Let sit for 30 minutes.

2 Roll out bottom crust: Preheat oven to 400°F. Roll out one ball of pie dough on a lightly floured surface to 12-inch diameter. Line the bottom of a 9-inch pie pan with the dough. Chill in refrigerator while you roll out the top crust.

3 Roll out top crust: Roll out second ball of pie dough. If you plan to do a lattice top, as pictured, prepare the dough strips as described in How to Make a Lattice Top for a Pie Crust.

place bottom crust in pie pan for boysenberry pie

4 Scoop berry mixture into pie crust, top with top crust or make a lattice top: Scoop berry mixture into dough-lined pie dish.

add boysenberry filling to the pie crust for boysenberry pie

If you would like your pie to have a lattice top, weave strips of pie dough over the top of the fruit-filled pie dish.

If you would like your pie to have a solid top, place the second rolled-out pie dough crust on top of the pie. Press ends of strips into the rim of the bottom crust.

Trim the edges to 1/2-inch. Fold the edges back over themselves and crimp to seal. If you are using a solid top crust, score the top to create air vents.

Gently brush the top with beaten egg.

5 Bake: Place pie on middle rack of the oven, on a baking sheet to catch any juices that might bubble over. Bake at 400°F for 30 minutes. Place a sheet of aluminum foil over the pie to protect the edges and tops from getting burnt.

Reduce the heat to 350°F and bake for an additional 30 minutes, until crust is browned and filling is bubbly.

Baked homemade boysenberry pie

Remove from oven and place on a wire rack. Cool completely before serving (or the filling will be runny).

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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20 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Margee

    Turned out great! Used frozen pie crust for bottom and already refrigerated rolled out crust for top. Super easy.


  2. haineswellness

    Love how easy it seems!! Trying it tomorrow night for thanksgiving dinner Thursday!

  3. Katie

    Boysenberry pie is a family classic for me, it brings back memories of my grandma’s pie. I tried this recipe for my very first pie ever and my whole family loved it! Boysenberry pie is now the family’s favorite dessert. Thank you for the recipe I have used it about a dozen times in the past year!

    P.s. I have used cornstarch as well as tapioca flour with great results, and I have also substituted lime for lemon when I don’t have it on hand.

    Show Replies (1)
  4. Mary M

    Hi! I’m a bit of a baking newbie. For the instant tapioca, do we just put it in, in powdered form? So like, not pudding form? Thank you!

    Yes, use the powdered (or granular as it is more aptly described) form. Not cooked. ~Elise

  5. Benjie Randall


    This may be a very stupid question. But do I make the instant tapioca with the milk in the microwave and add that to the mixture? Or just add the dry tapioca mix in with the berries and sugar? I’ve never baked a thing in my life but this is my fathers favorite pie and I want to make him one for Christmas
    Thank you

    Just add the dry instant tapioca to the filling ingredients. ~Elise

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