Summer Berry Pie

Happy belated 4th of July!  This 4th of July I was unfortunately had the pleasure of working a 24 hour shift in the emergency room.   Generally, alcohol plus hot weather plus holidays equals lots of trauma (aka drunk people doing stupid things like driving, riding motorcylces, getting into fights or attempting to jump over bonfires) so I was prepared for the worst.  Luckily the shift was relatively uneventful.  So uneventful that I actually had time to sit down and eat dinner (a huge luxury).  My colleagues and I tried to find a BBQ restaurant that would deliver to us on 4th of July but were unsuccessful…so we settled for Mexican food…and pie!  Nothing says “America” like a burrito and a side of berry pie!  This pie uses an all butter crust and is filled with sweet strawberries, blueberries and raspberries.  Topped with sweet corn ice cream (stay tuned for my upcoming post), it’s the perfect summer (or 4th of July) dessert!

Summer Berry Pie

Crust

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
6 tablespoons (about) ice water

Mix flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt in processor. Add butter; pulse until coarse meal forms. Gradually blend in enough ice water to form moist clumps. Gather dough into ball; divide in half. Form dough into 2 balls; flatten into disks. Wrap each in plastic; chill 2 hours or overnight.
 
Filling
 
5 cups of berries
3 Tbs sugar
3 Tbs flour
juice from 1/2 lemon
 

Assembly

1 egg, beaten

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Roll out  a disk of dough on a well floured surface into an 11 inch diameter circle, about 1/4 inch thick.  Place dough into a 9 inch pie dish. 

Fill pie with berry filling.  Roll out second disk of dough and place on top of filling.  Crimp the edges together.  Brush top with egg wash and make several slits in the top to let the steam out while it bakes. 

Tip:  To prevent the edges from burning, I like to cover the edges of the crust with aluminum foil.  Fold a large square of aluminum foil (to cover the entire pie) in fours.  Cut the center out so that when you unfold it, the foil will cover just the edges and allow the rest of the crust to brown.  (see pictures below)

Bake pie for 40-60 minutes until crust is brown and filling is bubbling.  Let cool for 1 hour before serving.  Enjoy!

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Strawberry Hand Pies

Today is a special day:  Julia’s birthday!

20130528-212555.jpgJulia has been my best friend since freshman year of college and has probably been the biggest culinary influence on me over these past 11 years. We initially bonded over sharing our closets but soon discovered our mutual love of food (which is really the key to any lasting relationship). Over the years we have made some incredible meals together and gone on many great foodie adventures both locally and abroad (most recently to Bimini). We know how to push each other’s buttons and may occasionally fight like an old married couple, but in the kitchen we are a harmonious team. While I do help out with cooking dinner, my main task is usually dessert. This year for her birthday, I decided to stray from the usual cupcake/cake route and instead came up with a new original recipe.

I have had a fascination with miniature things ever since I was younger. I remember, as a child, going to our yearly local fair “Longmeadow Days”, and enviously eyeing the doll houses and miniature accessories. I never did get a doll house but my fascination with things in miniature form persisted, especially when it comes to food! For some reason mini cupcakes or even baby brussel sprouts or zucchini just taste better than their regular sized counterparts, not to mention that they are super cute. So this weekend, when I spied the first of the local strawberries at my neighborhood Whole Paycheck (I mean Whole Foods), I decided to create mini strawberry pies aka strawberry hand pies! These adorable little hand pies have a slightly higher crust to filling ratio than regular pie, which I actually prefer (I seem to remember a mini food fight at a restaurant with Julia over pie crust).  Paired with Julia’s homemade vanilla custard ice cream (made with eggs from her chickens, aka “chicky boos”), it was the perfect birthday celebration dessert. Happy birthday Julia!

Click below for the recipe.

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