Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Mixed Berry Pie

Well, here are the last of the 120 or more pounds of berries we picked this summer.  I made a mixed berry pie,

 a batch of mixed berry freezer jam

and still had enough for the berry topping to spoon over our favorite cheesecake on Easter.  

Do you love flakey crust? So does my husband, in fact he loves it so much he requests a double layer. He says, "why waste the parts you cut off of the outside"...and loves it randomly layered over the top of the pie crust. Just make sure you vent it through all the layers. It is better to lay the leftover pieces of crust on top vs rolling out a second layer. The dough becomes tough as it is handled, so the more you roll it, the tougher it will be. And we want a flakey crust!

I also recommend covering the edges with foil to prevent over browning. Remove half way through the baking time.

All those layers look pretty delicious with all that yummy berry juice peeking through.

And when you bite into it you will taste all those tender layers too.

* The following recipe has gluten, but a gluten free crust will work as well.

When making a gluten free crust please be patient, it's going to be harder…but worth it…I promise.
If the dough is crumbly, and it will be…just press it into the pie plate leaving no open areas for juice to leak. For the top crust I suggest rolling out sections instead of one whole piece. Smaller sections are easier to work with and it's ok if it's not sealed, because the steam will need to vent anyway. That's why we cut slits on top of our pies before baking.

If you are NOT like me and can have eggs, a pie crust with an egg is also an option. Try this recipe on Martha Stewart's blog,

Mixed Berry Pie                                     Serves 8
4-5 cups berries, any mix you have. I used marian berry, raspberry, and logan berry.
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour or a gluten free
1 Tbsp corn starch
1/8 tsp salt
Put clean berries in a bowl.
Mix sugar, flour, corn starch and salt together in a small bowl. Pour over berries and gently mix.
1 Tbsp butter, or non dairy butter like Earth Balance.

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (gluten free if needed)
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup shortening (I use Spectrum All Vegetable Shortening)
7-8 Tbsp cold water

In a large mixing bowl add:
flour and salt, mix well.
Cut in shortening until pieces are the size of small peas.  Sprinkle in 1 Tbsp of water at a time gently tossing with a fork until mixture is moistened enough to stick together and form a large ball. 
Divide ball in half.
On a floured surface, preferably on a pastry cloth, roll out one ball of dough a little larger than the pie dish you intend to use.
When dough is placed in the pie dish the bottom crust will need to just slightly hang over the edges of the dish. This prevents the fruit juices from leaking under the crust.

Set first rolled out crust in pie dish. Pour berry mixture into dish. Top with pieces of butter or Earth Balance.
Roll out second ball of dough for top crust.
Place over berry mixture. Cut small slits in top crust. Trim edges of crust and flute, by squeezing bottom and top crust together and pushing between fingers to form an edge.  Then add the trimmed off pieces if you like. Make slits through the top pastry layer to allow steam to escape. 

At this point I choose to cover the edges of my pie with foil for half of the cooking time. This allows me to bake the pie longer  and ensure the fruit is fully cooked. It also prevents edges from becoming overdone.

Bake pie at 375 for 25 minutes, remove foil from edges. Continue baking for another 25 minutes or until filling is bubbling and crust is a nice golden brown.  Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.


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