I've been baking like a crazy woman lately. It relieves stress, and there's been plenty of stress in my work life lately. Chocolate chip and pecan-cranberry brown sugar cookies, strawberry rhubarb crisp, rum-soaked banana bread, hummingbird cupcakes, sugar cream pie, triple berry pie...
The triple berry pie I'm calling my best pie yet and so I'm sharing it after the jump. It's the perfect summer berry pie: Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, though I'm sure you could easily substitute raspberries in there. I usually use flour to juice up my filling, but my aunt mentioned tapioca, so I thought I'd give it a try. Must've worked well, since the pie was so damn good. I also made some vanilla whipped cream, just softly whipped, to plerp on top. Delicious dessert for a few days.
In a way, this pie was also a 717 pie (the 717 being the magical yellow house that we lived in, with a fourth roommate whom we no longer speak of, in Bloomington for two years). The pie bird, a little guy with a hole in his beak that you settle in the center of your filling and then place your top crust over, was a gift from Samantha. The cheerfully purple-dotted pie dish was a gift from Marnie. Maybe that's why it was so good!
My weekend will be filled with rhubarb thanks to Smitten Kitchen. Moist and sweet rhubarb coffee cake and little rhubarb tarts. This has most definitely been the spring of rhubarb.
Triple Berry Pie
For Double Pie Crust
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup crisco, in the fridge until right when you need it
1/4 cpu butter, in the fridge until right when you need it
4 to 8 tablespoons ice cold water
For Pie Filling
1 cup sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons tapioca
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups (8 ounces) strawberries, quartered
1 1/2 cups (8 ounces) blueberries
1 cup (6 ounces) blackberries
1/4 cup raspberry or blueberry jam
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 egg, beaten
whipping cream (for glaze)
With pie crust, I've said it before, two rules: Keep everything cold and handle the dough as little as possible. Cold will help make the dough easy to handle and not melty. No touchy will make the crust tender.
Make the Crust
• In a large bowl, mix the flour and salt together.
•Cut the chilled butter into small cubes. Using a pastry blender (in a rocking motion) or two knives (in cutting motions), cut the cubed butter and chilled shortening into the flour mixture until the shortening and butter form small pea-sized balls.
•Mix in the ice cold water with a wooden spoon, starting with only 4 tablespoons. Add more as needed, one tablespoon at a time, until the dough is moist and holds together if you gently gather it into a ball. It should stick together but not be super sticky.
•Squeeze the dough into a ball, trying to handle it as little as possible, cover the bowl, and put it in the fridge to chill for at least a half an hour. You can wrap your dough ball up nice and tightly with plastic wrap and freeze it for as long as you want at this point.
Make the Filling
•In a large bowl, whisk the sugar, tapioca, and cinnamon together.
•Gently mix in all the berries and the lemon juice. Let the fruit mixture sit for about 20 minutes, or until the berries start to get juicy.
Assemble the Pie
•Preheat the oven to 375°.
•Get ready to roll the dough. Flour your counter top/work surface and rolling pin. Split your dough ball in half.
•Roll out one half of the dough (sometimes I do this on parchment paper, which makes for super easy flipping into the pie dish), stopping to gently peel it off of the counter and flip it over every few rolls to make sure it doesn't stick. Set it in the bottom of the pie dish. You'll want a little hanging over the edge.
•Brush the bottom crust with the beaten egg. This will help keep the fruit juices from soaking through the crust.
•Carefully put the berry filling into the pie pan.
•Roll out your top crust and lay it over the berry filling. Fold up that extra from the bottom crust that's hanging over the edge and pinch it to the top crust. You can make nice little designs by using a fork or pinching with your thumb and index finger.
•Cut slits into the top crust, or if you're lucky enough, use your pie bird :)
•Bake the pie for 30 minutes. Cover the top of the pie loosely with foil to keep the crust from burning. Bake for an additional 40 to 50 minutes, until the juices are all bubbly.
•Remove, cool, and EAT!