Sarvis berries were likely the most important berry crop of Native Americans living in the Yampa Valley. The berries were both easy to gather and versatile. According to Edible & Medicinal Plant of the Southern Rockies by Mary O'Brien and Karen Vail, sarvis berries provided nutritional value all winter long, but also had medicinal uses. The authors also describe the tart deliciousness of dehydrated serviceberries to make "servins" (service berry raisins).
- 5 cups sarvis berries, blueberries can be used as a substitute
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- Juice from 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ¼ cup water
- 1 ¼ cups flour
- ½ cup shortening
- ½ teaspoon salt
Wash berries. Place in a 9 x 13-inch pan. Mix sugar and cornstarch; sprinkle over berries. Squeeze lemon juice over top; toss and let stand for 15 minutes.
Dot fruit with butter; pour water in one corner of pan and tilt pan so water covers the bottom.
Mix dry crust ingredients and add small amounts of water until dough forms a ball in the bowl.
Roll out crust and fit to top of pan, over berries. Sprinkle with sugar; slit crust to let steam escape.
Bake at 375 degrees until crust browns (about 30 minutes). Take care not to let berries cook dry. Add water as needed.
This and many more of Elaine's recipes can be found in a local cookbook, Fair Family Favorites – Celebrating 100 Years of the Routt County Fair.