When someone makes a pie for me it makes me feel very happy. Pies are special and they tend to make the pie’s recipients feel special. At the same time most of the good cooks I know, with a couple of exceptions, think making a pie is a very difficult thing to do. I’d love to change this phenomenon. I’d like to encourage you to give pies a chance.
My eldest daughter, Candice, is the champion pie baker in our family. She actually thinks they’re easy! She’s on a roll this summer with both her pies and fresh fruit. (She also lovrs to make jam.) Candice is a regular customer at an amazing “pick-your-own-fruit-and-veggie-farm” on the outskirts of Portland. Berries are doing very well this year in her area (Oregon) and she has made several berry pies.
Candice gave me permission to share a couple of her recipes with you. I want you to see how easy it is to make a beautiful pie like the one below. Next week I’ll share with you her latest Blackberry Pie.
Before we get to the pie recipe, let’s talk about pie crust. There are a number of good pie-dough recipes. I have my own favorite and Candice has a couple of favorites. We’ll also share those with you in a future post. For right now, if you don’t have your own favorite recipe for pie dough, I’m going to suggest something that may shock you: Buy a ready-made pastry at the grocery store! Shocking, I know, but bear with me. Home-made is usually the best, but even a stalwart cooking establishment such as Cook’s Illustrated/Test Kitchens say that Pillsbury’s Pie Crust (in the refrigerated section of your local grocery) is an excellent pie crust. So, for the pie below, use your own crust or Pillsbury’s.
For her family’/s 4th of July celebration Candice created this beautiful
Mixed Berry Pie.
- 2 pie crusts – one for the bottom and one for cutting out the stars for the top
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar *see notes below
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- pinch of cinnamon (optional)
- 4 to 4 1/2 cups mixed berries *see notes below
- 2 to 3 tablespoons light cream or half and half
- 3 to 4 tablespoons coarse sugar (if you have it) or regular sugar
- Preheat oven to 375
- Place one pie crust in the bottom of a pie dish. Trim and crimp the edges.
- In a medium sized bowl mix together the sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon, if using. The sugar measurements really depend on how sweet your berries are, and how sweet you like your pie. I try to go for less sugar to maximize the tart fruit taste, and as an excuse to add whipped cream or vanilla ice-cream when the pie is done!
- Carefully add the berries. I’ve used a mix of blueberries, raspberries and blackberries in whatever ratios I had available. Be sure to carefully add the raspberries last, if using. Raspberries can be quite delicate and may end up crushed into a juice-like form. This, however careful you are, may not be entirely avoidable!
- Pour the berry mixture on top of your pie crust.
- Lay out the second pie crust on a clean surface with a little flour underneath it to keep it from sticking. Use a small star cookie cutter to cut out the shape of stars. Place the stars on top of the berry mixture in whatever creative mode feels right to you. Lightly brush the stars with light cream or half and half. Sprinkle with coarse sugar (I used Demerara Sugar that I found in the bulk section of Whole Foods.) If I don’t have any of that, I have used regular granulated sugar.
- Bake the pie in the oven for 45-55 minutes. The pie will likely bubble over, so add a pan to catch the spills on the rack below the pie.
- Let the pie cool slightly or completely before serving. It’s great by itself or with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!
*Note on spices: Feel free to use whatever spices you like most with your fruit pie, or use nothing at all. This can be reason enough to bake extra pies.
This post is linked with other food related posts at Weekend Cooking.
Weekend Cooking is hosted by Beth Fish Reads.