Friday, August 5, 2011

The Most Wonderful Pie

Raspberry pie is the most wonderful kind of pie, in my opinion at least.  It is a perfect balance between sweet and sour with an irresistibly flaky crust.  Still not convinced?  Just wait until you smell the black raspberries bubbling in the oven.

Since I had just about two cups of black raspberries left, I decided to make a mini pie.  In fact, I prefer the mini pies to the larger ones.  They are easier to make and are the perfect size for four.  Plus, it's best when the pie is eaten up the same day it is made.

So here is the recipe for the pie crust followed by the pie recipe.  The crust recipe is enough for the top and bottom of one mini pie, so if you are making a full pie with a top and bottom crust you will need to double the recipe.  Similarly, if you are making a full pie, double the filling recipe.


Pâte Brisée
From Gourmet

1 1/4 cups flour
6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into bits
2 tablespoons shortening
1/4 teaspoon salt

Combine ingredients together until they form a coarse meal.  Add 2-4 tablespoons of water, a bit at a time, until the dough sticks together enough to form it into two equally sized pieces.  Individually wrap the dough pieces and refrigerate while making the filling.

Berry Pie Filling
makes 1 mini pie

2 heaping cups berries
1 tsp lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar
1 heaping tablespoon corn starch

several bits of butter for dotting the top

Sprinkle berries with lemon juice and mix in a bowl.  Add the sugar and the corn starch and mix completely.  Let sit for several minutes (or while you are rolling out the dough).

When you are rolling out the dough, make sure to dust it with enough flour so that it doesn't stick.  If it becomes to sticky you can put it back in the fridge for a few minutes to let the butter harden up a bit.

When cutting out the strips for the top, I find that it is much easier to use a pizza cutter or similar style tool rather than a knife.  I was using my grandma's cutter here that had an adorable ridge design.

When my mom made pies for me, she always made a point of properly weaving the top crust into a basket weave, rather than just placing the strips down.  This was the part I would always help out during, weaving under and over with the next strip.  I think her insistence on always perfecting the top crust rubbed off on me, because I have to make sure my basket weave is done right!

Before I baked it I should have added the bits of butter to the top of the completed pie before putting it in the oven, but I forgot that step.  It isn't detrimental to the pie, but the top will be a bit drier without the butter.

I used some of the extra pie dough to make Mr. Darcy a little dog treat.  I just rolled some shredded cheese in the dough and shaped it (as well as I could) into a mini dog bone.

He hasn't tried it yet, although I'm pretty sure he will like it.  He would have probably preferred for me to add some bacon bits too though.

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