Thursday, June 18, 2009

Summer Berry Pie

I am not normally a pie person… something about the gelatinous filing in the middle hides the true fruit flavor (in my opinion). Somewhat embarrassing, but I’ve owned Baking Illustrated for several years now, and I’m just now cracking open this cookbook. One of the first recipes that I had tagged was this very one, and since berries were on sale this week, it was the perfect opportunity to try it out.
The crust was very simple- it didn’t involve cutting butter into the flour and chilling the dough, and the gelatinous filling, you ask? It is SCRUMPTIOUS! The filling is made of pureed berries with a little bit of cornstarch to help thicken. This berry puree sits on top of the baked graham crust, and the berries are placed on top of that. A very simple and pure pie, where the fruit is the main hit. This would be a great pie to serve at a BBQ- just ensure the pie stays chilled. Next time, instead of processing graham crackers, I’d suggest buying the graham cracker crumbs- much less mess! I paired this with a dollop of Cool Whip, but would be great accompanied with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. This has changed my mind about fruit pies, and this will now be my go-to pies to take to BBQs and brunches.

For the crust
5 oz. graham crackers (approx. 9 crackers), broken into rough pieces (Will use pre-packaged graham cracker crumbs next time, 1 cup)
2 Tbsp sugar
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and warm

For the Berry puree filling
2 cups raspberries (about 9 oz.)
2 cups blackberries (about 11 oz.) (I used strawberries)
2 cups blueberries (about 10 oz.)
½ cup sugar
3 Tbsp cornstarch
1/8 tsp salt
1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 Tbsp red currant jelly (I used strawberry jam)

To make the crust
1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 325 degrees.
2. In a food processor, process the graham crackers into fine, even crumbs (you should have 1 cup of crumbs). (Skip this step if you are using pre-packaged graham cracker crumbs.)

3. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter in a small mixing bowl and toss with a fork until all the crumbs are moistened.

4. Transfer the crumbs to a 9-inch glass pie plate.
5. Use the bottom of a ramekin or measuring cup to press the crumbs evenly into the bottom and up the sides, forming a crust.

6. Bake in the preheated oven until it is fragrant and beginning to brown, 15-18 minutes.
7. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely while making the filling.

To make the Berry puree filling
1. Combine the berries in a large colander and gently rinse (taking care not to bruise them).
2. Spread the berries on a paper towel-lined rimmed baking sheet and gently pat dry with additional paper towels.
3. In a food processor, puree 2-1/2 cups of the mixed berries until smooth and fully pureed, about 1 minute.

4. Strain the puree through a fine mesh sieve into a small non-reactive saucepan, scraping and pressing on the seeds to extract as much puree as possible (you should have 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 cups).

5. Whisk the sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a small bowl to combine, then whisk the mixture into the puree.
6. Bring the puree to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon; when the mixture reaches a boil and is thickened to the consistency of pudding, remove from the heat, stir in the lemon juice, and set aside to cool slightly.

7. While the puree is cooling, place the remaining (3-1/2 cups) berries in a medium bowl.

8. Warm the jelly (or jam) briefly in the microwave (I warmed it for 20 seconds) to melt it slightly. Add the warmed jelly to the bowl of mixed berries and toss very gently so that all the berries are coated.

9. Pour the berry puree filling into the cooled crust and smooth with a rubber spatula.

10. Evenly distribute the glazed berries over the puree and gently press into the surface. Loosely cover the pie with plastic wrap; refrigerate until chilled and the puree has set, about 3 hours (or up to 1 day).

11. Slice with a hot, dry knife and serve.

Source: Baking Illustrated


Joelen said...

Looks fantastic and I love how colorful and fresh this is!!

Naomi said...

Thank you so much for making this! It is my new favorite berry pie....obviously, since I finished it in less than 24 hours. LOL!

Erin said...

YUM! This looks seasonally delicious!

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