Monday, July 5, 2010

Black-and-Blue Pie

Once while she was home on a college break, my daughter asked me whether I was a cake or pie person.  Evidently, this reveals something about your personality similar to one's preference for cats or dogs.  I can't recall what I answered because it is such a tough choice.  It depends on my mood...and the season.  Right now, it's pie all the way.  It's that comforting mixture of sweet, fresh fruit sandwiched between savory, buttery crusts and topped with fluffy whipped cream that reels me in like an angler hooking a hungry fish.

And what better excuse is there to make a pie than the Fourth of July?  In honor of this festive holiday, I made a tri-berry pie minus one.  My raspberries were resembling a biology experiment, which prompted the use of whatever was still fungus free in the fridge. Blackberries and blueberries won out; thus, the name of my new creation.  Voila!  The black-and-blue pie:

Black-and-Blue Pie
Based on Choose-a-Berry Pie
(from Better Homes and Gardens Old-Fashioned Home Baking)

3/4 to 1 C sugar (How much?  Taste the berries to see how tart they are.)
1/4 C all-purpose flour (Add a bit more if you increase the fruit; I added approx. 2 T more.)
1/2 tsp. finely shredded lemon peel
4 C fresh blackberries, blueberries or a combo (I added more, about 1/2 C more of each.)
1 recipe pastry for double-crust pie (You can buy one but it is so much better homemade.)

In a large mixing bowl stir together sugar, flour, and lemon peel.  Add fresh berries, then gently toss till berries are coated. 

Prepare and roll out pastry as directed.  Line a 9-inch pie plate with half of the pastry.  Stir berry mixture, then transfer berry mixture to the pastry-lined pie plate.  Trim the bottom pastry to the edge of the pie plate.  Cut slits in the top crust and place on top of filling.  Seal and crimp the edge.  Bake at 375 degrees for 50 minutes, or until top is golden and berries are bubbling.  Check it after 20 minutes to see if you need to use a pie shield or aluminum foil to keep edges from overbrowning.

Notes:   I set my oven to the cakes setting and the top was refusing to brown, so I blasted it at 425 degrees for an extra 10 minutes to get the color I like.  Use a pie shield to keep the edge from overcooking or shield with aluminum foil.

The verdict:   "This pie is frickin' good."   (Hubmeister)

Tune in tomorrow for my favorite artery-clogging crust recipe.

Hey, wait!  What does this cake vs. pie preference say about me?  Am I dumb, lovable and loyal - or smart, sneaky and independent?  Could I be a little of each?  I'll have to ask my daughter what it all means.  How about you?  Are you a cake or pie person?

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