Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Best Berry Pie Recipe

photo by Sally

An accomplished home cook once said, "Good pies come from experience," but it doesn't hurt to have a great recipe and high quality ingredients! Berry pies are always a favorite, especially during the summer when the berries are fresh, but this recipe also allows for frozen fruit.

Best Berry Pie

Pie Crust Ingredients: 
  • 2 cups (240 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. (5mL) kosher salt (or sea salt)
  • 1 tbsp. (15 mL) sugar
  • 1 cup (240 g) Crisco butter-flavor shortening 
  • 5-7 tbsp. (75 to 105 mL) cold water (Use a measuring cup with a little water and some ice cubes so it will be really cold, but make sure the ice cubes don’t pour out)
  1. The best pie crusts are cold and have been “at rest,” so begin at least four hours to one day before you want to bake the pie. Mix the flour, salt and sugar in a bowl.
  2. Cut in the shortening until it is the size of small peas.
  3. Then add the water, one tablespoon (15 mL) at a time, until the dough cleaves together and forms a ball.
  4. Divide the ball into 2 parts and flatten each one into a pancake shape. Then wrap each one in wax paper, put in a Ziploc bag and refrigerate. The dough will rest and then become cold. Use within a day, making the pie with fresh or frozen berries.
Fresh Berry Filling Ingredients: 
  • 4 cups (600 g) fresh blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, sour cherries, loganberries or a combination of several berries, gently rinsed and dried on a paper towel (the berries should be small to medium size. Sometimes blackberries are huge and need to be cut in half or into thirds) 
  • 2/3 to 1 cup (130 to 200 g) or more of sugar (taste a berry and add the right amount of sugar according to the level of tartness)
  • ¼ cup (30 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. (10 mL) quick cooking tapioca
  • 1-2 tbsp. (15 to 30 mL) butter

Frozen Berry Filling Ingredients: 
  • 20 oz. (565 g) frozen blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, etc. or a combination of berries)
  • ¼ (30 g) cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp. (30 mL) quick cooking tapioca
  • 2 tbsp. (30 mL) melted butter
Lillian Vernon Online

Ceramic Pie Bird
Allows Steam to Escape
  1. If using frozen berries, defrost them until they separate easily. Put the prepared berries into a medium size bowl.
  2. In another bowl, combine the sugar, flour and tapioca; then gently sprinkle it over the berries until they are well coated.
  3. Let the berries stand for 15 minutes while you roll out the bottom pie crust.
  4. Preheat the oven to 450*C (842*F).
  5. Dust the pie pan with flour. Roll out the bottom pie crust with a floured rolling pin and place into the pie pan. If you have a “pie bird,” place it in the middle of the bottom crust.              
  6. Then gently turn the fruit into the pie shell. Dot fresh berries with butter; for frozen berry recipe, mix the melted butter in before you place the berries into the crust.
  7. Roll out the second pie crust and place it over the fruit. If you are using a pie bird, it helps to make a 1-inch circular hole in the middle of the crust for the bird’s beak to stick out through.
  8. Seal the edges of the upper and lower crusts together and cut several slits in the top crust for steam to escape.
  9. Bake the pie in a 450*C (842*F) oven for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350*C (662*F) and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown (45 minutes for the frozen berries). Let cool on a rack. Serves 8.
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