food

Perfectly Imperfect Pie



Have you ever woken up one morning and felt especially in the mood for a certain food? Well I woke up today, in the mood to make pie. Not just any pie, though. It needed to be one of those “perfectly” manicured lattice ones that no one really eats, instead acting as window decor (you know, in those 1950’s movies). Today is Friday, and Friday is the day that my local farmer’s market is open, so the universe was just telling me: “go to the market, buy fresh berries, and make a beautiful pie”. Not a summer goes by without there being a pie recipe featured in a food magazine such as Real Simple that people look at but never bake. After recently seeing so many amazing lattice pie recipes all over the place, I decided it was time. So, here is a fool-proof recipe. As you can tell in the pictures, the pie did not come out flawless, but my family and I can vouch for how amazing it tasted. That is why it is so perfectly imperfect. Together, you and I can promote more realistic beauty standards for pie.

Ingredients:

Crust
1 cup of cold butter (two sticks) cubed
6 tablespoons of ice cold water — fill a cup with water and ice and measure out by the Tablespoon
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour + extra for dusting
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar + extra for topping

Filling
1 pound of fresh strawberries
A bit less than a pint of blueberries
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
Pinch salt
Juice of one lemon
Two tablespoons of butter (to add when the filling is inside the pie)

Directions:
Crust:
You could use a food processor for the crust, but I did it by hand as to avoid the heat from my food processor. Rule number one when it comes to pie crust: keep your dough cold.
Add dry ingredients to a big bowl and combine well. Add half of the butter and cut it into the flour using a pastry blender, until you get a lumpy crumbs. Add half the cold water. Continue to cut in the rest of the butter until well combined. Then add in the rest of the water and continue to use the pastry blender until the dough stays together. It is okay if the dough is slightly crumbly, as long as it does not fall apart. Shape the dough with your hands into two disks and put them inside the fridge for an hour.

Filling:
Add all of the ingredients together, except for the butter, and set it aside. This is called the maceration process, which extracts the juice from the berries, resulting in a more flavorful final product. You can leave it aside for up to an hour.

Putting it together:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Be sure to put loads of flour on your clean counter and roll out both disks after reshaping them into spheres. The thickness should be about ⅛ inch. Rotate the dough as you roll it very carefully, and add flour as you go Make sure the crust is not uneven. Halfway through rolling, flip the crust and add flour .

Drape the pie crust on a 10 inch pie pan that has been greased with butter and flour to prevent sticking. If it does not fit quite right, adjust the crust accordingly, use excess dough to fill in any small gaps. At this point, add the filling and sprinkle the butter over the fruit. Roll the other disk out and cut strips lengthwise that are half an inch wide.

Start laying out the lattice for one direction. Then place the other direction down. In the areas where the dough crosses, you must either make it go over the other the other strip (the one going the other direction) or under it, alternating each time.

After you have finished your lattice, then trim the edges to your liking with a clean pair scissors. If you have extra dough, add a strip around the edge, over the part you just trimmed for a cleaner finish. Then, take a fork and press down the edges, so that a row of vertical lines form around the pie.

Take one egg and mix it thoroughly with a fork. Generously apply this egg wash with a pastry brush, but don’t go too crazy with it. Sprinkle a bunch of sugar (approx 3 tbsp) on top of the pie, being sure to cover all of it.

Bake the pie at 425 degrees for fifteen minutes. Then, lower the heat to 350 degrees for 50 minutes. Let it sit for an hour before you eat it. There you have it! A pie that is too beautiful to eat, but tastes so good. Trust me, using fresh fruit really does make a difference.
PS:
If you can wait to eat the other half of the pie a day later, it somehow tastes 10 times better.