Monday, July 9, 2007

Berry Pie (updated!)

Would you believe we didn’t eat pie when I was a kid? It’s true. Mom certainly never baked one and we never missed them. Even as a young adult, I was not a pie eater. Then one day...poof...I decided I wanted to bake a blueberry pie. Luckily the recipe I found way back when was a good one. I never use any other recipe. I think it’s from Martha Stewart, from the time she was at Food Network. It works with just about any berry or combination of berries, and it’s not overly sweet.

I wanted to update this post because I really think it's a good recipe, and I wanted to note a few things I've played around with. First off, I decided to actually use weight instead the standard cups for measuring. I feel like it's more informative to know the weights rather than the volume of ingredients when baking. That way, the we can ignore the differences among different brands and types of flours, sugars, etc. Another thing, you can easily make this vegan by using something like Earth Balance vegetable shortening instead of butter and brushing the top with soy milk. Still has the same great taste.

Berry Pie
  • 4 to 5 cups (about 1.5 lbs) fresh berries
  • 2/3 cup (5- 1/2 oz) sugar
  • 3 tbs cornstarch
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 2 tbs milk or cream
  • 2 pie crusts (recipe follows, or use store-bought)
Preheat oven to 400º.

In a large bowl, combine the sugar and cornstarch. Mix until all the clumps disappear.
Add the berries and lemon juice. Toss well to combine. Fill a 9 inch pie crust with the berries and dot with the butter. Cover with the second crust and make a small slit in the middle for steam. Brush the crust with the milk or cream. Bake at 400º for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350º and continue to bake until golden brown (anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes). Make sure to put a baking sheet underneath the pie as it bakes in case it leaks. Allow the pie to cool completely before slicing, otherwise the filling may not be completely set.

If you want to try making your own crust, it’s pretty easy, especially if you have a food processor. This recipe makes two crusts and is good for sweet or savory fillings.

Pie Crust
  • 9 oz (2 cups) all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 5-1/4 oz (2/3 cup) cold butter
  • 6-7 tbs cold water
Stir together the flour and the salt. Cut the butter into the flour until it resembles small peas. This is easiest/fastest with a food processor. Just give it a few pulses. Sprinkle in 1 tbs water at a time until dough comes together, pulsing between each addition. If you’re doing it by hand, knead a little between each addition. Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before rolling out into two crusts.

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