sweets for every tooth.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Mixed Berry Pie

Another order.  For another pie.  Goodness, I make good pies.  Anyway...this one is a Mixed Berry Pie.  Strawberries are coming back into season, so they are the inspiration for this pie. The strawberries I bought are HUGE.  And soooo sweet.  I almost considered reducing the amount of sugar in the filling because of this, but my berry pie already uses less sugar than many others.  I don't think you need more than half a cup of sugar, unless you like a really sweet pie.  In my opinion, there's something wonderful about most of the sweetness coming from the berries.

For the crust, I'm using my standard All Butter Crust.  Gonna do some lattice-top action for this pie.  Oh yeah.  For the filling?  Some berries.  Some sugar.  Some tapioca for thickening (Don't like flour, makes it grainy.  Don't like corn syrup, I have this thing against it.)  Some love.  Here's what you'll need:

1 Cup Unsalted butter, chilled and diced into 1/2-inch cubes
2 1/2 Cups Flour
1 Tbs Sugar
1 tsp Salt
1 Cup Ice Water

2 Cups Fresh Strawberries, halved, washed and patted dry
2 Cups  Fresh Blackberries, washed and patted dry
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/4 Cup Instant Tapioca
1/8 teaspoon Salt
2 tsp fresh lemon zest
3 Tbs Fresh Lemon Juice

1. Preheat oven to 400 Degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Prepare Pie Crust.  Mix flour, butter, sugar and salt until crumbly, with large chunks of butter still visible.  Add in 1/2 Cup ice water and stir until just combined, adding more water by the Tablespoon  if necessary.  Don't over mix!  Divide into two even sections, wrap separately in plastic wrap and store in refrigerator.  (For more detailed instructions on how to make your crust, go here: All Butter Crust.)

3. Combine berries, sugar, tapioca, salt, lemon zest and lemon juice in a large bowl.  Mix gently until all berries are evenly coated.

4. Remove one half of pie crust dough from refrigerator.  Roll out to 1/8th of an inch thickness.  Lay into pie pan.  Pour berry filling on top of pie crust, spreading evenly.  Roll out second half of pie crust.  You now have a choice...easy?  Or awesome?  If you chose easy, lay second pie crust on top of berries, using a bit of water to press together edges of crust all the way around pie.  Cut off extra crust.  If you chose awesome, slice your rolled-out crust into half-inch strips.  Lay strips across pie in a lattice formation, one at a time, folding over each other to create a woven pattern.  If that sounds too hard, just lay half the strips vertically, then half the strips on top horizontally.  It'll still look cool, without all the effort of weaving involved.

5. Place pie on baking sheet (to avoid juices bubbling over into your oven, and to provide for easier removal from oven) and bake at 400 Degrees for 20 minutes.  Cover pie with tin foil and bake at 400 for an additional 30 minutes.  Allow pie to cool for at least one half hour before slicing and serving.

Oooh oooh look how cute this is!  I had some extra crust and filling, so I baked this little guy for myself :)  Same bake time as the big pie.  Yum!

This pie is a perfect balance of tart and sweet.  The lemon really brings out the flavor of the berries, while adding a subtle lemon zest kick of its own.  This pie can be made with any combination of berries, will probably throw some blueberries in next time.  Whatever the combination, make sure you have at least 4 cups of berries, more if you like a really big pie.

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