Friday, July 14, 2017

Recipe: Fruit of the Forest Pie

While I was on vacation for the 4th of July, my friend and I discovered that her parents had a blackberry bush in their front yard! So every day we picked as many ripe berries as we could, collecting and saving them until we had enough to make a pie.

We definitely had enough blackberries, but we decided to make a "fruit of the forest" pie, which is a European thing; pretty much it means a berry pie. We ended up adding raspberries and fresh cherries to ours. Here's the transformation:

We sort of winged the recipe, but we based it off of this one from Epicurious:

·         Pastry dough
·         6 cups blackberries (1 3/4 lb)
·         1 to 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
·         1/4 cup cornstarch
·         2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
·         2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
·         2 tablespoons water
·         1 tablespoon quick-cooking tapioca
·         1 egg white, lightly beaten
·         1 tablespoon sanding (coarse) or granulated sugar

1. Make pastry dough.

2. Place a baking sheet in lower third of oven and preheat to 400°F.

3. Toss together berries, granulated sugar to taste, cornstarch, butter, lemon juice, water, and tapioca. Let stand, tossing occasionally, 20 minutes.

4. Roll out 1 piece of dough into a 14-inch round and fit into a 9-inch pie plate (4-cup capacity). Trim edge, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang. Chill shell while rolling out top.

5. Roll out remaining piece of dough into a roughly 16- by 11-inch rectangle. Cut crosswise into 11 (1 1/4-inch-wide) strips with a fluted pastry wheel or a knife.

6. Stir berry mixture, then spoon evenly into shell. Arrange strips in a tight lattice pattern on top of filling and trim strips close to edge of pan. Roll up and crimp edge. Brush top and edge with egg white and sprinkle all over with sugar.

7. Bake on hot baking sheet until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling, 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes. (Check pie after 45 minutes: If edge of crust is browning too quickly, cover edge with foil or a pie crust shield and continue baking.) Cool completely on a rack before serving.

First of all, I did not bother to make my own pie crust. While I think homemade crust probably would have made this pie taste a bit yummier, it just saves time and effort to use the Pillsbury pie crusts. Also, we probably used twice as much cornstarch; berry pies can be very wet, so the cornstarch helps to solidify things so you don't have pie soup. We didn't bother with the tapioca or butter, and we only used 2/3 or 3/4 cup of sugar (berries are already naturally sweet!). We did add a little bit of cinnamon, just for taste. And clearly we decided to make our own design on top for Independence Day.

Even with all these changes, I think this pie came out really nicely!

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