Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Out West and Cherry Berry Pie

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A trip out west, some Daytrotting, a puppy named Garp, bug bites, a dilapidated farmhouse turned art gallery, a rock and roll show in a barn, and a family reunion capped off with a cherry berry pie that was baked in an unfamiliar kitchen then served to familiar folks, with this no-churn ice cream and devoured in seconds.

Where is your summer taking you? I'd love to hear.

Cherry Berry Pie
Sweet cherries and tart berries are combined to make this super summery pie. I used my favorite pie crust recipe, but feel free to use your own favorite recipe if you have one.

For the Crust
This crust comes to you from Brandi Henderson of I made that! and The Pantry at Delancey where she teaches a class called "How to be a Pie Ninja" and she is not messing around. Brandi uses a technique called fraisage which creates long sheets of buttery flakes throughout the dough instead of little pockets of butter. Delightful!

12 oz pastry flour 
8 oz cold butter 
4 oz ice water 
1t apple cider vinegar 
1/2t salt 

1. Mix the flour and salt together, then pour the whole lot on a large cutting board or countertop.
2. With a bench scraper, cut in half of the butter until it is the size of lima beans, then cut in the other half of the butter until it is the size of quarters. Add the apple cider vinegar to the water.
3. Using your fingers, flick the water on to the butter flour mixture and gently fold it in with your bench scraper. You have added enough water when you can pick up a handful of the dough and squeeze it together without it falling apart.
4. Then, get this, you smear the butter into the dough. With the heel of your hand push a section of the dough down and away from you. Congratulations, you have just created a sheet of butter which is going to turn delicious flaky crust. Scrape your sheet off of the board and place it in a bowl to the side. Repeat until you have worked through all of the dough, pushing it down and away from you in sections. Once you've gone through all of the dough gently remove it from the bowl, press it together, then split it in half, and wrap each half in plastic wrap and form into a disk. Chill the dough for at least one hour before using. I chilled mine overnight.

If this sounds confusing, check out the link above for a really helpful photo tutorial.

For the Filling

1 pint blueberries
1 pint blackberries
2 pints sweet cherries, pitted and roughly chopped
2-4 ounces sugar, depending on the sweetness of your fruit
zest of one lemon
2T lemon juice
1.25 ounces flour
1/2t almond extract
pinch salt
pinch freshly grated nutmeg

For the Topping

1 egg, beaten
A few tablespoons of coarse sugar like turbinado or light demerara

To Assemble and Bake

Preheat oven to 450º 1. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one piece of the dough into a 12'' circle about 1/8'' thick and place it into a 9 or 10 inch pie pan. Place in the fridge while you prepare the rest of the pie.
2. Roll out the other piece of dough into a 12'' circle about 1/8'' thick and place it in the fridge to chill while you prepare the filling.
3. In a large bowl,  combine the fruit, sugar, lemon zest and juice, flour, almond extract, salt and nutmeg. Toss gently to combine. Fill the prepared pie shell with the berry mixture and top with the second crust, crimp the edges and cut a few vents. Alternately, you can top the pie with a lattice-style crust as I've done in the photo above. Here is a link to a great photo tutorial on Simply Recipes. When I make a lattice topped pie, I like to use nice thick strips of dough, the strips pictured above are about 1'' wide.
4. If the crust seems soft or warm, slide the whole pie into the fridge or freezer for about 15min before you bake it. When you are ready to bake brush the top of the pie with a beaten egg and sprinkle with a healthy dose of coarse sugar.
5. Put the pie on a baking sheet to catch any drips and bake for 15min on the lowest rack of your oven, then lower the oven temp to 350º and bake for 40-50min or until the crust is deep golden brown and the berry juices bubble. Cool at least 2 hours before serving, preferably more.

17 comments:

  1. Sounds dreamy! Are you are up in Washington? We're headed that way this weekend for a wedding and I really can't wait! xo

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    1. Sadly I'm back in sweltering NYC, but I hear the weather in Seattle has been incredible lately. Say hello to my home state for me, I miss it!

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  2. Beautiful round up of photos, Yossy! And what an adorable pup! I've only been back to my western home twice in the last four years, though sometimes I think about the PNW very fondly. Though I have an upcoming trip to LA in three weeks, hopefully that will quell the western desire in me, at least in the short term.

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    1. Thanks lady, I only made it about half way to the west coast on this trip ;), but I hope to get there soon. PNW summers are the absolute best! I think any time you can take away from the city is good for your soul, safe travels!

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  3. These photographs took my breath away! That old wall, that peeling paper, those floorboards... my oh my. Not to mention that cherry pie ;)

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  4. Yos, this looks so beautiful. How I wish i had been there!

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  5. Just realized this is Codfish Hollow, isn't it incredible? (saw Daytrotter's retweet of your photos and it all made sense). I live in Des Moines and came across your blog via Emma Barker, who I grew up with. Anyway, hope you enjoyed your time in Iowa. Small world...

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    1. It's amazing! I got to tag along with my bf who was shooting the Barn on the 4th show, he works with the Daytrotter dudes. I had a great time, but I always love visiting the Midwest even though this trip was oppressively hot! Thanks for your kind words about my blog too.

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  6. Should also probably mention I love your blog and this pie looks fantastic!

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  7. Well, your "out west" looks just lovely. My "out west" is on the Pacific Ocean, on Vancouver Island, Canada. We live on the southern tip of the island in Victoria (known for pretending it's English, with high tea and all!), but last week, my husband and I went further west to the west coast of the island and a little surfing town called Tofino.

    We hiked out to find a plane wreck from World War II. The cool thing is that my husband's grandfather was on the crew of that plane -- and everyone survived when it crashed! We took his parents and it was quite the adventure through the swamp to find the plane . . . but oh so worth it! If you want to read the whole story, it's here: http://bit.ly/PVwbye

    P.S. Love the look of the pie and definitely trying the no-churn ice cream!

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    1. Hey Stephanie! My family loves Victoria, they are from Seattle and often make the trip up for the weekend. Thanks for sharing your story about your trip to Tofino, too cool!

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    2. How neat about your family being from so close. So you know what it feels like to smell a rain forest every day. (:

      By the way, I tried making no-church ice cream with coffee and cacao nibs and it was fabulous -- I'm already plotting what flavour I'll make next . . .

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  8. You certainly make a mean pie. (As I write that I'm thinking that isn't it funny we say "mean pie" when really we mean "really-amazingly-delicious-pie" which is about as far away from mean as you can get....I guess it's kind of like saying "wicked" to mean awesome). I love this collection of photos. Garp is a beauty, no doubt about it. Looking forward to making this pie.

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    1. Thank you so much Talley and yes, where do those expressions come from, ha!

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  9. I will now call you the crust ninja, because I love your pie crusts so much! They are dark and caramelized and wonderful. Looks like you're having a great summer. I've been home to Arkansas for my (one and only) nephew's first birthday party, and the husband and I are headed to Seattle in a couple of weeks. It's been a pretty darn good summer.

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    1. Thanks Jess! This is totally my summer of pie and I am having so much fun experimenting with different crusts and techniques. I hope people aren't getting sick of seeing pies and tarts because there are more coming, haha. I'm so jealous you are going to Seattle soon, summers there are the best!

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