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Berry Pies - Celebrating the 4th of July

the urban baker: Berry Pies - Celebrating the 4th of July

the urban baker

The Urban Baker is deliciously photographed blog about nourishing your family's soul through life in the kitchen. The recipes for fabulous savories and sweets are easily replicated and will inspire you.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Berry Pies - Celebrating the 4th of July

My Martha Stewart Magazine arrived and I was overwhelmed by the cover.  I woke up early the next day and I hit the farmers market.  I picked up pounds and pounds of berries.  I came home, washed my berries and made doughs.  Lots and lots of doughs!  I used half the dough and started experimenting with berry combos.  The left over dough, I froze.  I love my freezer!

I toyed with the idea of creating my own pate brisee.  I am reading Ratio by Michael Ruhlman.  I am learning the ratios for basic cookie batters, muffins, biscuits, pie doughs, cakes, etc.  And as much as I wanted to experiment, I opted to just go with Martha's pie crusts.  I was reluctant, because I have not always had the best of luck with her doughs.  This was not the case with this dough.  It was perfectly delicious, easy to work with, not too sweet and flaky.  This dough is a winner.

Summer Berry Pies
adapted from Martha Stewart Living
yield: 10 mini pies

pate brisee
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
2 sticks cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 + 1 Tbls. cup ice cold water( I used slightly less)

berry pie fillings
7 1/2 cups berries
1 cup + 2 Tbls. sugar
1/4 tsp. cornstarch
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
zest of one lemon
2 large egg yolks
2 Tbls. heavy cream
sanding sugar or turbinado sugar for sprinkling

I split up the 7 1/2 cups of berries to make the following combos:  blueberry/blackberry, raspberry/strawberry and cherry.  I made half the amount of each blueberry/blackberry + raspberry/strawberry and cut down on the sugar just a tad.  For the cherry pies, I made about a 1/3 of the recipe and I cut the cherries in half.  All worked out perfectly and tasted great!

• preheat oven to 375*
for the pate brisee: 
• pulse the flour, salt + sugar in a food processor until combined.  add the butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
• drizzle, water slowly, into food processor as you pulse. You just want the mixture to come together.  This dough should not be sticky. I used less water than called for as I always wind up with wet dough.  Press the dough into one large disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, about an hour.
• roll out dough, 1/8" thickness.  I used a slightly smaller mini pie tin than the recipe called for ( 5"), instead  I used a 4".  Press the dough into your pie tins and crimp the tops.  Put in the fridge while you mix the berries.
• with the remaining dough cut out the shapes for the tops.  I used a star cut out and a pastry wheel to create the "stripes".  set these on a parchment lined baking sheet.
• mix egg yolks and cream in a small bowl.  brush your decorative accents with the egg mixture and sprinkle with sanding sugar.  set in the freezer until ready to use.
for the berries:
• I used separate bowls for each berry mixture. Mix berries or fruit with sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, lemon zest, and salt.  Fill pie shells with berry mixture.
• brush the edges of the individual pies with the egg wash.  place decorative crusts over pies and pinch the edges of the crust with the stars and stripes.
• bake until juices start to bubble and the tops are golden. about 40-45 minutes.  if the tops start to burn, tent pies with foil and continue baking until done.
• let cool before serving.
• pies can rest at room temp over night.  however, my boys like them cold, right out of the fridge!

I packed up a few and took them to friends
Happy 4th!

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Blogger Kim said...

These pies are really good looking! I enjoy pies so munch that I thnik I'm gonna bake some of them!

July 1, 2010 at 12:43 PM  
Blogger Heidi said...

Your pies look prettier than Martha Stewarts! Beautiful! Berry pie is my favorite but I don't often make it because it usually doesn't turn out quite right. Your photos give me inspiration. Good job!

July 1, 2010 at 4:33 PM  
Anonymous Lisa! said...

What gorgeous pies! I love them...

July 1, 2010 at 7:49 PM  
Blogger cindy* said...

nothing says americana like a homemade pie! these look lovely and so delish too!

thanks for the sweet comments on my blog too :)

July 2, 2010 at 9:49 AM  
Blogger Heavenly Housewife said...

I was looking at that martha stewart issue last night on my ipad. You did a fabulous job on those pies daaahling!
Have a fabulous 4th!
*kisses* HH

July 2, 2010 at 11:05 AM  
Blogger Sarah Maizes said...

Hi Susan - GOD I want that pie! I gave you a couple of awards. They're on my blog.

July 2, 2010 at 6:21 PM  
Blogger emg said...

We had the great good fortune to sample two of Susan's pies: one blueberry and one strawberry/raspberry. Both were delicious. The crust was just right and the berries had good flavor. The men in the house preferred the red pie, and the women preferred the blue pie. Go figure. I have no idea why. The red was a little more tart, I think. Perfect 4th of July treats. Thanks for sharing, Susan! Love, the "G's"

July 3, 2010 at 3:20 PM  

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