Thursday, December 1, 2011

For The Love of Pie

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Pie is one of the most perfect desserts ever created. You get pastry, fruit or cream and the perfect blend of seasoning. It can be served cold or hot, with ice cream or whipped cream or a variety of sauces. How could you get any better?

This Thanksgiving we traveled up to PA to spend time with family and friends and got to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with everyone at my brother-in-law's house. Everyone contributed dishes and I took on some of the desserts: two pies and two batches of cookies. We had 13 adults and 3 kids to feed! My mother-in-law baked the other desserts and covered two pumpkin pies so I wanted to do something different. I went with my classic apple pie that I've been making since I was about 14 years old. Originally I was going to try a salted caramel apple pie, but after destroying the caramel twice (once burnt and once crystallized), I decided to stick with the basics.

I didn't include that recipe here, mostly because it is so simple and I don't really have a recipe written down. I always go with my standby favorite all-butter crust, 3 pounds of peeled and thinly sliced granny smith apples, about 3/4 cup white sugar, 1 tbsp. cinnamon and about 2 tbsp. lemon juice. Simple as that! I always brush the top crust with an egg wash and then sprinkle with about a tsp. of sugar before baking.

The new pie recipe I tried this year was a Cherry Raspberry Pie. I found out a lot of our family members were big fans of cherry and I thought the tart addition of the raspberries would be really was a hit!

Perfect All-Butter Piecrust (Food Network)

Pulse 3 1/2 cups flour, 1/4 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon salt in a food processor.

2. Add 1 diced stick cold
butter; process until combined. Add 2 more diced sticks cold butter; pulse three times, or until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

3. Add 1 tablespoon
apple cider vinegar, then gradually pour in 1/3 cup ice water, pulsing about four times until combined.

4. Turn out onto a clean surface and press into a cohesive dough without overworking (you should see bits of butter). Wrap in plastic wrap
and press into a 1-inch-thick disk; refrigerate at least 1 hour before rolling out.

Cherry Raspberry Pie

Ingredients (filling)

- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tbsp. quick-cooking tapioca
- 2.5 cups frozen raspberries (thawed)
- 2.5 cups frozen cherries (thawed and pitted)
- 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 2 pie crusts (use above recipe)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine raspberries and cherries in a large bowl. Toss well with lemon juice. Combine the sugar and tapioca in a separate bowl before adding it to the fruit mixture, tossing well to coat completely. Let the mixture set for 15 minutes.

2. Line a 9" pie plate with one of the rolled-out piecrusts. Fill with the fruit mixture, dot with about 2 tbsp. of butter (diced fine). Cover with second crust and crimp along edges to seal. Brush with an egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp. water) and cut a few slits in the pie to allow steam to escape.

3. Bake pie until the crust is golden brown and the filling is hot and bubbling (about 60 minutes). Allow to come to room temperature before serving.

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