Friday, August 3, 2012

Three Berry Pie

It was (is...) summer. And although, out of all the dessert categories, pie and ice cream are my least favorite (as in, I don't crave them hardly ever), I had a craving to make a pie.

Let's be clear here. Although I did eat lots of pie, and loved it...

I had a craving to craft pie dough by hand, roll it out, buy enormous quantities of berries at costco, and bake a pie.

Before, and

What a great experience! Granted, I definitely "screwed up" the crust by overmixing it or adding too much water or something. I'm still not sure what I did wrong. I'm no experienced pie baker. But it was beautiful and tasty.
In fact, the crust was sort of shortbread-y in a delectable way! It was also thick, stood up to the filling, and the bottom didn't get soggy.

Celebrate the wins in life. You are a champion.

The filling was out. of. this. world.

Blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries playing off each other in a simple filling, which by the way stayed together to make lovely slices on the second day, after what was left was refrigerated.

Enjoy, guys! Use whatever berries that are sort of like the ones I did, in whatever combo you have, just make sure you have 5 1/2 - 6 cups of berries.

Common Scents: Eat some of this with lightly sweetened (with honey) greek yogurt for breakfast. Carbs from the crust, fruit in the pie, and protein from the yogurt. Complete breakfast? Check.

Three Berry Pie
Yield: 1 pie

Make crust 1 hour ahead and refrigerate:


3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1/2 cup cold vegetable shortening, cut into pieces
1/2 cup cold water


  1. Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Toss well, by hand, to mix. Scatter the butter over the dry ingredients and toss to mix. 
  2. Using a pastry blender, 2 knives, or your fingertips (or toss this whole shooting match into a food processor), cut or rub the butter into the flour until it is broken into pieces the size of small peas. Add the shortening and continue to cut until all of the fat is cut into small pieces. 
  3. Sprinkle half of the water over the mixture. Toss well with a fork to dampen the mixture. Add the remaining water, l 1/2 to 2 tablespoons at a time, and continue to toss and mix, pulling the mixture up from the bottom of the bowl on the upstroke and gently pressing down on the downstroke. 
  4. Form into two disks, one slightly larger (this will be the bottom crust) than the other. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm enough to roll, about 1 hour.
Then, assemble the pie:

1 recipe pie dough (see above)
5 1/2 to 6 cups berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, and cranberries all work well, wash if fresh and thaw partially if frozen. Drain if canned)
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
pinch salt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Heavy cream (or half and half or milk if you don't have cream)

  1. On a sheet of lightly floured waxed paper or a silpat, roll the larger portion of the pastry into a 12-inch circle with a floured rolling pin. Invert the pastry over a 9-inch standard pie pan, center, and peel off the paper or silpat. Gently tuck the pastry into the pan, without stretching it, and let the overhang drape over the edge. Place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the berries in a large bowl. Mix the sugar and cornstarch together in a small bowl, then stir the mixture into the fruit. Stir in the nutmeg, salt, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Set aside for 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  3. Roll the other half of the pastry into a 10-inch circle on a sheet of lightly floured waxed paper. Turn the filling into the chilled pie shell, smoothing the fruit with a spoon. Moisten the outer edge of the pie shell with water with a pastry brush. Invert the top pastry over the filling, center, and peel off the paper. Press the top and bottom pastries together along the dampened edge. Trim the edge to an even 1/2 inch all around, then sculpt the overhang into a pretty ripple, folding under as you go to make a thick ridge. Poke or cut several steam vents in the top of the pie with a fork, paring knife, or cookie cutter. Brush the top of the pie generously with heavy cream and sprinkle with sugar.
  4. Place the pie on the center oven rack and bake for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F and rotate the pie 180 degrees, so that the part that faced the back of the oven now faces forward. Just in case, slide a large aluminum foil—lined baking sheet onto the rack below to catch any spills. Continue to bake until the juices, most likely visible at the steam vents, bubble thickly, 25-30 minutes. If the top pastry starts to get too brown, cover with loosely tented aluminum foil during the last 10 minutes.
  5. Transfer pie to a wire rack and let cool for at least 1 hour before serving with vanilla ice cream.
From Pie (thanks, library!).

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