Last week, my co-worker Zac and I decided to have a bake off for our whole building. We work on the fourth floor and every week we organize a Cookie Hour, where one person brings sweets for everyone. In preparation for the Fourth of July, we decided to extend our cookie hour to the whole building and turn it into a pie bake off. Everyone was invited to bring a pie, taste and vote for the best pie.
I love pie (and so does Pat but love may be an understatement). Berries were on sale at my grocery store, so I decided to make a berry pie. I found this excellent recipe from Taste of Home for a mixed berry pie. I made a test pie because I wanted to see how it would taste and Pat gets very sad when I make pie and he can’t have any. The test pie turned out really well and I knew it would get votes!
This recipe is probably the perfect pie. The crust is so flakey; the filling isn’t runny so the bottom isn’t soggy; and the filling is sweet but not too sweet. It was definitely a good pie because it won the contest! I’m sharing one of the votes it received – “Very Fucking Berry!”.
Many people are scared to make their own pie crust, but it’s so easy! And the results are so much better than using store bought. The key is to use cold butter, cut into the flour. This creates little butter pockets that make for a flakey crust because it doesn’t just melt while it cooks, it lifts the crust to make it flakey.
First, cut the butter into cubes. I do this by cutting the butter in half and then the halves in half. Then I cut each stick into cubes, mix it with the flour and then use a pastry cutter to mix it in. Fingers also work very well.
Keep mixing until it looks like little peas in the flour. Then add in the cold water until it just comes together, form little discs and chill. Chilling is key to keep the butter cold.
After chilling, roll the dough out, put it in the pie pan, add the filling, make the lattice and cook! And you will get a delicious pie, hopefully with a complete lattice, unlike mine.
Very Berry Pie
Prep time: 1 hour and 20 minutes
Cook time: 55-65 minutes
2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup butter (2 sticks), very cold and cut into small cubes
8-10 tbsp cold water
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup corn starch
Dash of salt
1/3 cup water
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup fresh blue berries
1 cup fresh raspberries
1 cup fresh strawberries, cut into pieces
3/4 cup fresh blackberries
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp butter
Preheat the over to 400 degrees F.
Combine the flour, salt and cubed butter in a bowl. Using a fork, a pastry cutter, or your hands, cut the butter into the flour until it forms the texture of peas. Add the cold water until the crust just comes together. Form it into two balls where one ball is smaller than the other. Smash the balls into discs, wrap in cling wrap and chill for about an hour or overnight.
For the filling, combine the sugar, cornstarch, salt, water and cinnamon in a pot. Heat over medium heat until the sugar dissolves and is about to boil. Add the blueberries and boil for about 2-3 minutes or until the mixture turns purple, the blueberries have burst and the mixture starts to thicken a bit. Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool for a few minutes. Add the berries and lemon juice, mix thoroughly.
Roll out the large disc of dough until it will fit in the pie pan. Trim the edges, add the filling and dot the top with butter. Roll out the small disc and remaining scraps from the bottom crust, cut strips and weave them into a lattice.
Bake at 400 for 10-15 minutes. Lower the temperature to 350 and bake for another 45-55 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling.
Let the pie cool completely (or else the filling will run). Serve with vanilla ice cream after reheating.