I have a confession to make.
I don’t like hot fruit.
Go on, let it sink in….
Still with me? I know, it’s weird. I’ve heard it all before.
Apple pie? No, thanks.
Peach cobbler straight from the oven? Ehhhhh… I’ll stick with the ice cream on top.
It’s a pretty un-American thing to say and frankly, I know I should like most things that contain hot fruit. I mean, the flavor, the toppings, the overall combinations, all pleasant. Key lime pie? I’m with you. Custard tarts with fresh fruit? Absolutely. Perhaps this is just a hot/cold dessert preference, given that my ice cream obsession is in my DNA. I mean, my Grandpa did let us have ice cream and bacon for breakfast (I know, he was the best).
My family has been making fun of my hot fruit aversion for years, and I can’t exactly blame them. It is bizarre, but what can I say? We all have our food quirks. So to post this berry pie recipe is definitely a bit strange for me. It started as a request to make my friend a birthday pie for Pi day (March 14 aka 3.14) and I began my research. I started with an all butter crust from Four and Twenty Blackbirds (my friend Jen of a-whey we go works there and recommended it) and modified the same shredding technique from my post on cheddar biscuits. I found that the flavor and texture was far superior to any crusts I’ve had in the past that require shortening or a mix of the two.
As for the pie itself, I was drawn to the streusal first- ginger, orange, and almond. It adds a nice crunch and buttery texture to enhance the plump blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. The ginger and orange add a beautiful bright flavor that once baked, rounds out the entire combination. As it turns out, this is a really delicious pie even I could enjoy, especially with some fresh whipped cream on top. The mixed berries are sweet enough on their own, and given that there isn’t too much added sugar, the pie is flavorful and sweet without being cloying. It’s definitely a crowd-pleaser and would be perfect for a party or the upcoming Easter brunch or dinner. Personally, I liked a slice cold, served with greek yogurt for breakfast, but hey, that’s just me. So for all you fanatical pie lovers out there, I know you’ll appreciate this even more than my hot-fruit loathing self. Enjoy!
1 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp. granulated sugar
1/4 pound (1 stick) cold unsalted butter (I used frozen)
1/2 cup cold water
2 Tbls. cider vinegar
1/2 cup ice
Stir the flour, salt, and sugar together in a large bowl. Shred frozen butter into the dry ingredients and toss to evenly coat the butter. Break up the butter with your hands or a pastry blender. You want mostly pea-size pieces of butter, and if the mixture gets too warm, feel free to throw it in the freezer to cool everything down. Be mindful not to over mix the dough.
In a measuring cup, combine the water, cider vinegar, and ice. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the ice water mixture over the flour mixture, and mix and cut it in with a bench scraper or spatula until it is fully incorporated. Add more of the ice water mixture, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time, using the bench scraper or your hands (or both) to mix until the dough comes together in a ball, with some dry bits remaining. Squeeze and pinch with your fingertips to bring all the dough together, sprinkling dry bits with more small drops of the ice water mixture, if necessary, to combine.
Shape the dough into a flat disc, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight, to give the crust time to mellow. If making for a double-crust version, divide the dough in half before shaping each portion into flat discs. Wrapped tightly, the dough can be refrigerated for 3 days or frozen for 1 month. I highly recommend doubling the recipe and keeping one in the freezer for a rainy day.
Mixed Berry Pie with Ginger, Orange, Almond Streusel (from Epicurious )
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbls. finely chopped crystallized ginger
1 tsp. finely grated orange zest
1/4 tsp. salt
6 Tbls. (3/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter (I used frozen)
1 Tbls. whole milk
1 cup sliced almonds
3 cups fresh blueberries (17 ounces)
2 cups fresh raspberries (9 to 10 ounces)
1 cup fresh blackberries (5 to 6 ounces)
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 Tbls. fresh lemon juice
3 Tbls. cornstarch
In a small bowl, combine flour, sugar, finely chopped crystallized ginger, orange zest, and salt. Shred frozen butter into the mixture and using your fingers, blend until coarse crumbs form. Sprinkle milk over the mixture, continue to blend, and then stir in almonds. (Note: this can be made 1 day ahead, left covered and chilled in the fridge)
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 400°F. Place rimmed baking sheet in bottom of oven to catch any possible spills from pie (I covered mine in tin foil for easy cleanup!). Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to 12-inch round. Transfer to 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish and carefully turn the edge of the pie crust under and crimp with your fingers. You want to have a nice high crust to encase the pie filling and the crumb topping. Freeze crust while making filling.
Gently toss blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, 1/2 cup sugar, and lemon juice in large bowl. Let stand 10 minutes. Mix cornstarch and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar in small bowl. Add to berry mixture and toss gently to coat. Transfer berry mixture to crust, mounding slightly in center. Bake 30 minutes.
Remove pie from oven and reduce oven temperature to 375°F. Sprinkle streusel topping evenly over berry pie filling. Return pie to oven and bake until crust is golden brown and berry juices are bubbling thickly, about 40 minutes. Transfer pie to rack and cool completely.