My frist Sugar High Friday! I’m still very new to food blogging, and even though I’d love to show off photogaphy and food styling like Bea at La Tartine Gourmande, or Matt at Mattbites, all I can do so far is make something taste good. But I’m working on it! And the pie I made for this event was very special to me.Pies That Evoke Your Dreams! This event is being hosted by Rachel at Vampituity, who drew inspiration from two really neat sources:
(1) The AMAZING movie Waitress, which stars Keri Russel and a very talented woman named Adrienne Shelly who wrote and directed the film, but who was senselessly murdered before the film was released. If you haven’t, WATCH this movie. It’s genius, and my word the PIES! The pies are the Ancient Greek Chorus of the movie. They give you insight to what’s really going on. If you bake, you cannot watch this film and not be inspired to bake a pie that is an expression of your self or your situation.
(2) The Pie Ranch of California. The Pie Ranch teaches young people about the full cycle of their food. From the earth to the kitchen and back to the earth. These youngsters are harvesting their pie ingredients locally, learning their way around a bakeshop, and selling the pies at Mission Pie in San Fransisco. This is a really important movement for social change. This program is teaching young people to appreciate not only the food they eat, but the waste that results from food production and the quality vs. price factor when it comes to buying groceries. Learn more about it at PieRanch.Org and MissionPie.Com
On to the pie! This isn’t an “I’m having an affair with my prenatal specialist” pie, or an “I don’t want no damn baby” pie. This is a pie about a dream that I have, in which I own a bakery that is flooded with sunlight, where guests are free to spend all day in a fluffy chair enjoying comforting foods and company. This is a dream that I revisit every day, when I’m driving around scouting buildings I’d like to buy, or when I’m at school getting lost in the kneading of whatever dough I’m working on. This is a dream about Apple Berry Pie.
There are a lot of crust recipes out there, and everyone is always saying that theirs is no fail, but this of course, is a dirty lie. Crust is the worst part of pie. In preparing my pie, I day dreamed about going into business as a pie maker, exclusively. But then I remembered it’s not all bubbly filling and and lattice tops. A few times during the baking process, I said something to effect of: Pie crust is the worst thing that’s ever happened to me. Which of course is a gross hyperbole. But my point is, I decided to try something different.
I listened to the many, many crust-making tips that virtually everyone I asked had to offer, and I attempted to incorporate them into my recipe. Some of my favorites are listed:
01. “Growing up, my best friend’s mom made the best pie crust! Her secret was orange juice instead of water!” -my mom
02. “I make the best pie crust. Straight out of the Betty Crocker cook book: Lard.” -my best friend’s dad
03. Roll the dough out between pieces of plastic wrap. -Kraft Food and Family Magazine
04. Roll the dough out inside a ziplock bag -Alton Brown
05. Use cold flour – Bon Appetit Magazine
06. Butter is better quality for taste, but you need LITTLE shortening if you want flakyness
I used a few of those, but not all. There was one tip I used that I really don’t think I should have. I just didn’t execute properly. I was hell-bent on doing a lattice top so I poked around the internet looking for instructions, and I found this: CLICK. The instructions say to construct your lattice on floured parchment and then slide it onto your pie. My dough warmed up a bit while I made the lattice and stuck to the parchment. It was rolled too thin and I ended up flipping it onto my pie, which was a big fat mess. My official reccomendation: Build your lattice directly atop your filling. The cold fruit will keep your dough from thawing so quickly and breaking.
Blackberry Raspberry Apple Pie with Cookie Crust
adapted from a Bon Appetit recipe from 1996
- 2 cups self-rising flour
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 cup butter, chilled
- 1/4 cup butter flavored shortening
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons cold orange juice
- 2 lbs granny smith apples, peeled, cored, quartered, cut into 1/4″ slices
- 3/4 cup frozen unsweetened blackberries*
- 3/4 cup frozen unsweetened raspberries*
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons ap flour
* Do not thaw. Measure out berries and keep frozen until ready to use.
- Whole Milk
- Turbinado Sugar
Begin by preparing the crust. Place your flour and sugar directly onto your clean workbench, and use your hands to mix the two dry ingredients. Cut in your butter and shortening by hand or by using a pastry blender. A metal pastry blender will help keep your fat cold. Mix in your egg (yes, with your hands!). Add your orange juice a little at a time until your dough just comes together. Knead slightly (once or twice) and divide your dough in two. Pack the dough into two balls and flatten them slightly. Put them into their very own large ziplock bags and refrigerate. This bit can be done a day in advance. You’ll want to give the dough at least thirty minutes to firm up, but if you touched it a lot you’ll need an hour.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees (F).
Roll out one of your disks to 12 inches. I recommend rolling the dough out between bits of plastic wrap or parchment. Place the dough in your pie dish and refrigerate. Roll out your second disk and use a pizza cutter or bench scraper to slice up 3/4″ strips of dough for your lattice top. Refrigerate strips on parchment until ready to use.
Combine sugar, flour, apples and berries and place the mixture in your pie dish atop your bottom crust. Remove the lattice strips from the fridge and top your pie with a lattice design. Remember that website I was complaining about a few paragraphs ago? They have the best instructions for how to create a lattice top. Just do it on the pie rather than floured parchment. Here’s the link again: CLICK
If you can fancifully crimp the edges and things like that, do it! I honestly am pie-dough challenged so I left my edges a bit rough. Wash your crust with milk and sprinkle some raw sugar on top. Take a ring of foil around the edge to protect your pie from browning too much. Bake for about 55 minutes.
NOW, if you’ve got any more tips for pie crust, let me know!!!
Sound delicious? Make a contribution to a non-profit helping to transform the world of food through pie- Pie Ranch. Please specify “Pie Ranch/Green Oaks Fund” in the “Designation” field of the online donation form (Pie Ranch is fiscally sponsored by the Rudolph Steiner Foundation) at: http://tinyurl.com/3bmn4c