Tuesday, November 10, 2009

fruit pie

since pie isn't so much one food as a class of foods, this isn't so much a recipe as a template. so consider, once you have a pastry blender, everything you need to make some sort of pie is probably in your kitchen already.


for two (2) layers of pie crust, sift together
  • 2 1/2 c. all-purpose and/or whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tsp salt (reduce by 1/4 tsp for each stick of salted butter used)
  • 1 Tbsp sugar (powdered is preferable)
cut in with a pastry blender
  • 1 c. total of butter and/or shortening and/or vegetable oil
when the mixture looks dry and granular, with no clumps larger than peas, pour in
  • 1/3 c. ice water
and pastry-blend it up until it comes together. divide into two balls, wrap each in plastic, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or as long as a few days.
when fixin to bake your pie, preheat oven to 425F, and make the

combine in a large bowl
  • 6-8 c. fruit. better to err on the side of too much and have to eat pieces of raw fruit covered in sugar that didn't fit than to have a skimpily filled pie, in my humble opinion. for my fairly deep, 9.5" diameter pyrex pie plate i used 6 small to medium sized apples and a 12 oz. bag of frozen blackberries. or, try a combination of fresh and reconstituted dried fruit.
  • 2-3 Tbsp lemon juice or vinegar, optional. mix in while slicing apples to prevent oxidation. brightens the fruit's flavor. being out of lemons, i used several shakes of umeboshi vinegar.
  • 1/4 - 1 c. sweetener. how sweet is your fruit, and how sweet do you want the pie to be? i used 6 Tbsp (3/8 c.) of white sugar, and someone eating the pie commented that it was not very sweet. it wasn't but that's ok by me.
  • spices, optional. 1-2 tsp cinnamon is classic in apple pie, but i'd like to try cardamom, maybe with plums.
  • 1-6 Tbsp corn starch or flour. this is the thickening agent. flour is about half as effective as corn starch, so use twice as much. use more with a high-moisture fruit like ripe peaches or berries, or if you're using a liquid sweetener (honey, maple syurp, ...). I used 3 Tbsp of corn starch in the apple-blackberry pie.
set fruit aside. if you want to top your pie with

crumble, optional
now is the time to combine, with the pastry blender
  • 1/2 c. total, rolled oats and/or flour
  • 1/3 c. brown sugar
  • 6 Tbsp butter
  • handful walnuts, chopped
refrigerate crumble, place cold dough between 2 sheet of plastic wrap and roll into circle slightly larger than pie pan. peel of top layer of plastic, and flip crust into pan, dump the filling in, top with 2nd crust or crumble or don't, trim and crimp the edge of the crust. place in oven, with cookie tray beneath, and bake 15 minutes at 425 F. lower temp. to 350F and bake another 40-50 minutes or until juices are bubbling.
now, seriously, let it cool for at least an hour so the corn starch can set the juice and it's not a giant fruit soup dumpling. or, frivilously, enjoy the fruit soup dumpling. with ice cream.

No comments:

Post a Comment