So this week has been a little crazy to say the least! I actually sprained my ankle this week on my way to work and am now dealing with the unfortunate items that are crutches. Hoping to be up on my feet and actually walking soon (and then hopefully training for my Thanksgiving 8K).
In the meantime, at least we have pie. And not just any pie, but the kind of pie that makes the best use of the huge bounty of ripe juicy summer fruits at this time of year. I made this pie with cherries, blueberries, strawberries and the couple plums I found in my fridge, but use what you have on hand. I used a new pie crust recipe that I didn’t like as much, so I’m going to recommend my usual pie crust. Let me know what you think.
For methodology on working with pie crust, check out Smitten Kitchen here, here, and here. The key is to keep the dough cold so that the butter melts in the oven and not on the counter. Then you get flaky pies.
Summer Fruit Pie adapted from Sweet by Valerie Gordon
Crust (for a double crust pie)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting surfaces
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon table salt
2 1/4 sticks unsalted butter, very cold, cut into small cubes
1/4 – 1/2 cup water, very cold (I pour 1 cup and add ice while I work, then measure 1/4 – 1/2 cup from it when I need it)
7 cups mixed fruit
3/4 cup sugar, adjusted to taste
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons Pie Dust
Raw Sugar (optional)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
To make the crust, put the flour, sugar, and salt into a medium bowl and mix together. Add the cold, cubed butter to the dough and mix by hand until the bits of butter are about pea-sized and the dough looks like course crumbs. Slowly add the water over the dough and continue to incorporate until the dough just comes together. If at any point, the butter starts to melt too much, put the mixture in the fridge to cool. Form into 2 equal disks and wrap in plastic and place in fridge for at least 2 hours.
Put 3 cups of the fruit and the 3/4 cup sugar into a medium saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the fruit softens and releases some juice, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add the remaining berries and toss. Taste for sweetness; add more sugar if needed. Stir in the melted butter, lemon zest, and cornstarch and let cool to room temperature.
Remove one disk of dough from the fridge and roll-out on a cool, floured surface, rolling into a 13-inch circle. Rotate the dough every roll 2 to 3 inches. Once the dough is the correct size, roll the dough up onto the rolling pin and then unroll into a 9-inch pie pan. Gently press the dough into the pan and sides, removing any air pockets. Trim any excess dough. Chill the crust for at least 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and center the rack in the oven. Cover the bottom of the crust with pie dust (created by whisking or sifting the flour and sugar together). Fill the pie with the fruit filling, being careful not to overfill. Roll-out the second disk of dough (if using both crusts). You can cover the pie entirely, but be sure to cut vents in the top crust, or you can create a lattice pattern by interweaving pieces of dough. I find it easiest to start with the top and interweave one row at a time. Be sure to work quickly. (the Smitten Kitchen links above have good advice on lattices). Crimp the crusts together and brush the top with a beaten egg and raw sugar (if using).
Place pie on a baking sheet (to catch any fruit spillage) and bake for 30 minutes, or until the edges are golden. Cover the edges of the crust with a pie ring or with foil and continue cooking for another 25-30 minutes until the visible crust is golden brown. Once the crust is golden brown with no translucent areas, remove the pie ring or foil and bake for another 5 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rake to cool completely.