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Berry Pie Recipe & Video

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This Berry Pie has a crisp and buttery top and bottom pastry crust, with a filling full of lightly sweetened blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries. This dessert is perfect during the Summer months when berries are at their best. I love how the berries soften as they bake, becoming almost jam-like in texture and flavor. This pie is excellent served à la mode, that is, with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream. 

Fruit pies need a crust and, for me, nothing beats Pate Brisee (short crust pastry), which has a wonderful buttery flavor and crumbly texture. It is easily made in the food processor, just remember that the butter and the water need to be very cold and do not over mix. Once made, the pastry must be chilled until firm. The tricky part is rolling out the pastry. In order for it to roll out smoothly, without it sticking to the counter or tearing, it has to be at the right temperature. Too cold (it will tear), too warm (it will stick). This "feel" for the dough will come with practice, so don't get discouraged if you have some trouble at first. If the rolled out pastry tears a little as you put it into the pie plate, just patch it. Now, the top crust of this Berry Pie is in the form of pastry stars. I know that this step is a little more time consuming but it does make for a very festive pie. It also serves the purpose of allowing the bubbling fruit juices underneath the crust to evaporate. Lastly, when you pull the baked pie out of the oven there is the temptation to cut into it right away. Resist if you can. Fruit pies need several hours to set so that when you finally cut into them the fruit is juicy but these juices will not run. 

Now, for the filling. The filling uses a total of five cups (1.2 liters) of berries, and you can vary the type. Just keep in mind that you may have to adjust the amount of sugar depending on the sweetness of the berries. It is important to pick through the berries and discard any soft, moldy, or crushed ones.  

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Pie Pastry:  In a food processor, place the flour, salt, and sugar and process until combined. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Pour 1/4 cup (60 grams) water in a slow, steady stream, through the feed tube until the dough just holds together when pinched. If necessary, add more water. 

Turn the dough onto your work surface and gather into a ball. Divide the dough in half, flattening each half into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about one hour or until firm. This will chill the butter and relax the gluten in the flour. 

After the dough has chilled sufficiently, remove one portion of the dough from the fridge and place it on a lightly floured surface. Roll the pastry into a 12 inch (30 cm) round. (To prevent the pastry from sticking to the counter and to ensure uniform thickness, keep lifting up and turning the pastry a quarter turn as you roll (always roll from the center of the pastry outwards).) Fold the dough in half and gently transfer to a 9 inch (23 cm) pie pan. Brush off any excess flour and tuck the overhanging pastry under itself, crimping as desired. Cover and refrigerate for about 15-30 minutes before filling. 

Next, remove the second round of pastry and roll it into a 12 inch (33 cm) circle. Using a 2 1/2 inch (6 cm) star cookie cutter, cut out about 20 stars. Place the stars on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator for about 15-30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) and place the oven rack in the lower third of the oven. Put a baking sheet on the oven rack. (The pie plate will be placed on the hot baking sheet to catch any spills.)

Berry Filling: In a small bowl mix together the sugar, cornstarch, and lemon zest. Place the berries in a large bowl. Add the sugar mixture and lemon juice and gently toss to combine. Pour the mixture into the chilled pie shell and dot with the butter. Then, lightly brush the rim of the pastry shell with cream. Starting at the outside edge of the pie, place the pastry stars in a circular pattern on top of the berries, making sure the tips of the stars are touching. Once the top of the pie is completely covered with the pastry stars, brush the entire surface with cream, making sure that it does not pool. Sprinkle with a little sugar.

Bake the pie for about 20 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Continue to bake the pie for about 35 - 45 minutes or until the crust is a deep golden brown color and the juices are bubbling and thick. If the edges of the pie are browning too much during baking, cover with a foil ring or aluminum foil. 

Place the baked pie on a wire rack to cool for two to three hours. Serve at room temperature with softly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Store any leftovers for 2 - 3 days at room temperature or in the refrigerator.

Makes about 8 servings.

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Pie Pastry:

2 1/2 cups (350 grams) all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon (4 grams) salt

2 tablespoon (30 grams) granulated white sugar

1 cup (225 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1/4 to 1/2 cup (60 - 120 grams) ice cold water

Berry Filling

5 cups (1.2 liters) (2 1/2 pints) fresh berries (I used 2 cups (480 ml) fresh blueberries, 1 cup (240 ml) fresh blackberries, 1 cup (240 ml) fresh raspberries, and 1 cup (240 ml) fresh strawberries)

2/3 cup (135 grams) granulated white sugar (use a little more or a little less sugar depending on sweetness of the berries)

3 tablespoons (28 grams) cornstarch

1 teaspoon (1 gram) lemon zest (outer yellow skin of the lemon)

1 tablespoon (13 grams) freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tablespoon (14 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut in small pieces



Granulated white sugar



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