Simply put, I love pie. Fruit pies. Cream pies. Any kind of pie. I'd take pie over cake any day.
A while back, I posted a recipe for an Apple Galette. Galettes are my favorite kind of "pie" because they are simple to make and usually contain less sugar and more fruit than a standard pie. The recipe below is a variation of that galette but it can be made with any fruit you have available. The crust is whole wheat but still tender and flaky. Really, it is.
I don't suggest using frozen berries in this because of the excess moisture they contain. Fresh is best when making galettes. It lets the fruit really shine.
Raspberry Galette with Whole Wheat Crust
**The spice (or herb used) will depend on the fruit you choose. Raspberries and cardamom go well together. Lavender and blueberries are a lovely match. Cinnamon goes with many fruits and berries. Or you can just leave the spice out.
Preheat oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll the pie crust into a 12 to 14-inch circle. Transfer to the baking sheet.
In a large bowl, toss together the fruit, sugar, salt, lemon juice, lemon zest, cornstarch, and cardamom.
Mound the fruit mixture in the center of the crust, leaving a 1-2 inch border. Gently fold the pastry over the fruit, pleating it as you move around the crust. Brush pastry with the cream and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake for 35-45 minutes or until the filling is bubbling and crust is golden brown. Cool for 20 minutes before serving. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.
Ice cream or sweetened whipped cream optional.
Whole Wheat Pie Crust
In a the bowl of a food processor, mix together the whole wheat flour and salt. Add the butter and pulse 15-20 times until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
In a liquid measuring cup, whisk together the honey, orange juice, water, and zest.
With the motor running, pour wet ingredients through the feed tube. Pulse until the mixture starts to come together and is moistened.
Place the dough on a lightly floured surface. Pat the dough together until it becomes a solid piece. Flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Can be made up to 2-3 days ahead of time.
The berries are here! The berries are here! The berries are here!
This is what I want to scream each time I visit my local farmer's market. I might get strange looks but I don't care. I love fresh local berries. For the past few weeks we've had the pleasure of eating fresh cherries (my favorite), but now raspberries and blueberries (and other berries) are making their debut. Every time I see lots of fresh berries, I feel the need to bake a pie or tart. With the plethora of fresh berries right now, I will have to find many uses for them since I cannot eat pie every day. Well, I could eat pie every day but I don't think I should do so.
Until I find the time to make jam (lavender blueberry jam is in the works), I decided to bake a pie. I love 3 pies -- Apple pie, Cherry pie, and Mixed berry pie. What I love about this recipe, is that you can use whatever berries you have available. I used blueberries and raspberries for this recipe but you can use blackberries and black raspberries as well. It's up to you.
And ... you need to make a crust. Or you can purchase a ready made pie crust. Even though I won't tell on you (people are busy, I know), I will say that a homemade pie crust is much better than store bought. The recipe for the crust is below.
Mixed Berry Pie
Yield: 1 10-inch pie
Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
On a lightly floured surface, roll one pie crust out into a 12-inch circle. Carefully transfer crust to the pie plate. Gently tuck it in to the plate.
Place the berries in a large mixing bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Add the mixture to the berries. Toss to coat well. Add the orange zest and juice. Toss mixture to combine well. Pour mixture into the pie crust.
Roll out the other pie crust on a lightly floured surface. You can either cut strips to make a lattice design or simply transfer the crust to the pie. If choosing the latter, be sure to cut for slits in the top of the crust (for vent holes). Trim the edges of the crust to make about a 1-inch overhang. Fold the crust under to create a seal with the bottom crust. Brush the top with the heavy cream and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake for 25 minutes at 400ºF. Reduce heat to 350ºF and bake for another 25-30 minutes or until the filling starts bubbling through and the crust is golden brown.
Allow the pie to cool on a wire rack for 1 hour. Refrigerate for about 2 hours before serving. The pie is good warm or cold and best served with vanilla ice cream.
Double Pie Crust
Place the white whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse for 10 seconds to combine ingredients. Add the butter; pulse several times until the mixture resembles coarse meal. With the processor motor running, slowly pour in the cold water. Pulse until the mixture starts to come together and form a ball of dough.
Divide the dough half. Flatten each piece slightly. Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, preferably up to 2-3 hours. Dough can be made 1-2 days ahead of time.
You need butterscotch pie. You just need one slice. It will make your day.
My kids were skeptical when I made this. I field questions like: What is butterscotch? Is it served with ice cream?
Butterscotch pie is a pudding-type pie (like Chocolate Cream Pie) and no, it is not served with ice cream. The kids were still on the fence about it. Until they tried it. And then they wanted more. The pie was gone in 24 hours.
It was my 40th birthday recently (I tell everyone that I'm actually 28, so please keep my real age a secret) and I decided that instead of cake, I wanted birthday pie. Because I would rather eat pie than cake any day of the week. I have a serious weakness for pie. I could have made any kind of pie, but I chose this one because it reminds me of home. Grandma Clinger is not my grandmother. She's my stepsister and stepbrother's grandmother. But I remember Grandma Clinger and I remember her making this pie for my stepdad, since was his favorite. I guess reaching 40 (um, 28) made me a little sentimental this year.
Plus, I also have a serious weakness for family recipes, especially ones from grandmothers. So... I made butterscotch pie. It was a rainy day when I made it and my meringue did not get as lofty as I had hoped. But honestly, the family didn't care. They ate it anyway.
Grandma Clinger's Butterscotch Pie
Yield: 1 9-inch pie
Single Pie Crust:
Make the Crust:
Put the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse for 30 seconds. Add the butter and pulse for 20-30 seconds until it resembles coarse crumbs. With the motor running, add the water through the top. Pulse until the dough starts to come together. Place the dough onto the counter and press into a disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. This can be made up to 2 days ahead of time.
Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 12-inch circle. Gently place the dough into a 9-inch pie plate. Trim off the excess edges to leave a 1 inch overhang. Tuck the edges under and decoratively crimp the crust. Poke the bottom of the crust with a fork. Place a large piece of foil in the pie crust. Fill with dried beans, rice, or pie weights, making sure it reaches the sids of the crust (this helps prevent it from shrinking down). Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and remove the foil and dried beans/rice/pie weights. Reduce oven temperature to 375ºF. Bake the crust for an additional 15 minutes. Cool pie crust completely on a wire rack.
Make the Pie Filling:
In a 2-quart saucepan, combine the brown sugar and water. Bring to a boil over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring constantly until it becomes a thick syrup. Be careful not to burn it. In a small bowl, stir together a 1/4 cup milk and the cornstarch to make a slurry. Stir in the rest of the milk. Pour the milk mixture into the brown sugar syrup. Cook for 5 minutes over medium low heat.
Place the egg yolks in a bowl and whisk slightly to break them up. To temper the egg yolks, whisk in a 1/4 cup of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks. Pour the egg yolk mixture into the pan with the rest of the milk. Cook the mixture over medium heat until thick, about 2-5 minutes. It should look like pudding. The mixture is thickened when it starts to bubble/boil. Turn off the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla. Pour the filling into the pie crust. Cover the surface of the filling with wax paper. Let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes; then refrigerate it for at least 2 hours before making the meringue.
Finish the Pie:
Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
Using an electric mixer, whip the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar. Whip until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar. Whip the whites until they form stiff peaks and are glossy.
Spread the egg whites over the filling, making sure it reaches the edges of the crust. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool. Refrigerate the pie until ready to serve.
*Eggs are best separated when they are cold. Also, the egg whites will whip up better when they are at room temperature.
A galette is the French term for rustic pie or freeform pastry. These can be made with any fruit filling. For instance, I once catered a party and made 7 mixed berry galettes. I wanted to serve a lovely dessert but I don't own 7 pie plates and making galettes was relatively simple and easy to assemble.
Since it's apple season and there are a plethora of apples being sold at farmers markets or at your local apple orchard, I figured an Apple Galette was in store for us.
When making any apple dessert, I always use 2-3 different varieties of apples. Why? For flavor and texture. Some apples are tart, while others are sweet and juicy. I like a combination. My favorite varieties to bake with are Gala, Fuji, Macintosh, Braeburn, and Honey Crisp. There are several other varieties to choose from, however. Jonathan makes the best applesauce, but I rarely ever use it in pie. Red Delicious are only good for eating and even then they have a tendency to taste rather bland.
At any rate, go for a mix of apples. Your pie or galette will be even better.
Yield: 1 9-10 inch galette
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the white whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, and salt. Add the butter and pulse for 15-30 seconds to create a coarse looking mixture. With the food processor running, add the water until the mixture forms into a ball. Mound the pastry dough into a ball and flatten slightly. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before using. Can be made up to 2 days ahead of time.
Preheat oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a medium sized bowl combine the apples, honey, orange zest, and orange juice. In a small bowl, mix together the 1/2 cup sugar, cinnamon, and cornstarch. Add to the apple mixture and stir to combine. Set aside.
On a lightly floured surface, roll pie pastry to a 12-inch diameter circle. Transfer pie crust to a baking sheet. Place the apple mixture in the center of the pie crust, leaving a 2-inch border around the edge of the crust. Dot the filling with the butter. Fold in the sides of the crust, overlapping as you go around the circle. Brush the crust with the cream and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until crust is golden brown and apples are soft.
Serve with ice cream or sweetened whipped cream.
I’ll take pie over cake any day of the week. A good pie has a flaky crust for a foundation and a sweet filling, but not too sweet.
Now, my favorite pies are ones that are made simply – utilizing the freshness and ripeness of the fruit. Apple and cherry pies are by far my favorite, but I won’t turn down peach pie made with fresh, ripe peaches.
I bought peaches at a local farmer’s market. They were fresh and ripe, ready for pie. Instead of using cinnamon, I decided to use cardamom. It offers a spicy, yet warm flavor to the pie. If you prefer, you can substitute cinnamon or leave it out completely. It’s up to you, but I encourage you to try cardamom.
If you have never made a pie crust before, now’s the time to learn! The recipe is a basic all-butter pie pastry. It’s a classic recipe that can be used for any pie or tart.
makes a double pastry
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, salt, and sugar. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. With the motor running, drizzle the water through the feed tube. Add enough water until the mixture starts to clump together. If the mixture seems too dry, add a little water. If you added too much water, add some flour. The mixture should be somewhat dry and hold together. It should not be crumbly or sticky.
Divide the dough into 2 discs. Wrap each in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Can be made 1-2 days ahead or 1 month ahead if kept in the freezer.
and now for the main event:
Yield: 1 10-inch pie
Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
Peel the peaches by the same blanching method as the tomatoes. Bring a pot of water up ta simmer (near boiling). Mark an “X” in the bottom of each peach and the place the peaches in the hot, simmering water for 30-60 seconds. Remove each peach and place in ice water. The skins should peel off easily, especially if they’re ripe. Cut the pit of each peach and slice into pieces.
In a bowl, combine the sugar and cornstarch. Add the sliced peaches, lemon juice, ginger, cardamom, and salt. Mix well and set aside.
On a floured surface, roll out one pie crust to a 12-inch diameter. Tuck the dough into the pie plate. Be careful not to stretch it; tuck it in. Stretching the pastry causes it to shrink. Pour the filling into the pie shell. Dot the filling with the butter.
Roll out the second pie crust and and place over the filling. Cut off any excess pie pastry leaving about an inch lip around the pie. Fold the edges under and crimp decoratively around the edge. Mark the top of the pie crust with 4 slits. Brush the crust with the heavy cream and sprinkle with sugar. Place the pie on a baking sheet (in case it boils over).
Bake for 10 minutes and then lower the temperature to 375ºF. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. Tent the pie if the edges get too brown. Cool to room temperature on a wire rack. Chill for 3-4 hours before serving. Serve a la mode.