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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Summer Berry Pie

Pair of dress socks, new stripped tie, "Man BBQ" book?

Nah...for Father's Day I baked our Dad this juicy Summer Berry Pie and he said it was the best he's ever had (oh I'm sure it has nothing to do with the fact that I'm his kid). If our Dad was a fruit he'd be a blueberry (or maybe a banana...or a prune?) - I'm just saying he could pull a Violet Beauregarde at any moment. He eats his weight in blueberries...daily. Which isn't such a bad idea as they are "antioxidant powerhouses."

I've been a bit obsessed with strawberries (and Martha Stewart...a nice combination) this week but I can' help it - this is the first week I've spotted fresh picked strawberries at the farmers markets in MA & RI, those little green baskets are too cute to resist! And hello, obviously I turn to Martha when I want to bake a pie!

Martha Stewart's Blueberry Pie (adapted by TBL to include Strawberries):
All-purpose flour for dusting
Pate Brisee *(the perfect pie crust, below)
8 cups (4 pints) blueberries *(I used 6 cups blueberries, 2 cups strawberries)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon cream

Pate Brisee (pie crust):
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, cold, cut into small cubes
1/4 cup ice water, plus more if needed

  1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour and salt; pulse to combine. Add butter, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some larger pieces remaining, about 10 seconds. (To mix by hand, combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, then cut in butter with a pastry blender.)
  2. With machine running, add ice water through feed tube in a slow, steady stream, just until dough holds together without being wet or sticky. Do not process more than 30 seconds. Test by squeezing a small amount of dough together; if it is still too crumbly, add a bit more water, 1 tablespoon at a time.
  3. Turn out dough onto a clean work surface. Divide in half, and place each half on a piece of plastic wrap. Shape into flattened disks. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight. The dough can be frozen for up to 1 month; thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.
On a lightly floured piece of parchment paper, roll out one disk of dough to a 12-inch round. With a dry pastry brush, sweep off excess flour; fit dough into a 9-inch glass pie plate, pressing it into edges. Trim dough to a 1/2-inch overhang all around. Fold edge of dough over or under, and crimp as desired. Roll out remaining dough in the same manner; transfer dough (on parchment) to a baking sheet. Chill pie shell and dough until firm, about 30 minutes.
Place berries in a large bowl; with your hands, crush about 1/2 cup of berries, letting them fall into the bowl as you work. Add sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice; stir to combine. Spoon mixture into chilled pie shell, mounding berries slightly in the center. Dot with butter. Remove dough from refrigerator, and place over blueberry filling. Tuck edge of top dough between edge of bottom dough and rim of pan. Using your fingers, gently press both layers of dough along the edge to seal, and crimp as desired.
Using a paring knife, cut several vents in top of dough to allow steam to escape. In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolk and cream. Brush surface with egg wash, being careful not to let it pool. Freeze or refrigerate pie until firm, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees, with rack in lower third.
Place pie on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until crust begins to turn golden, about 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Continue baking, rotating sheet halfway through, until crust is deep golden brown and juices are bubbling and have thickened, 40 to 50 minutes more. Transfer pie to a wire rack to cool completely. The pie is best eaten the day it is baked, but it can be kept at room temperature, loosely covered with plastic wrap, for up to 2 days.

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