Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Monday, July 12, 2010

Triple Summer Berry Pie

No summer is complete without this pie. And with an abundance of berries at Costco, it's an easy dessert in under an hour. BUT and this is the part that I am sure to forget the first 2 times I make a recipe like has to chill for 3 hours. I made it the night before a 4th of July party and the only problem was that there was not enough for second helpings. You could make it super-fast if you (ahem) buy a pre-made (eye roll) graham cracker crust. I mean pie crust is hard, but graham cracker crust is uber-easy, even my 7 year old can do it. Like 99.9% of my recipes, this is a tried and true favorite from the Cooks' Illustrated folks. I even took this picture myself. Of course, I had to brush away all of the crumbs, silly bandz, pixos, and old macaroni first.

Triple Summer Berry Pie

For the crust:
9 graham crackers
2 T sugar
5 T unsalted butter melted

For the filling:
2 cups raspberries
2 cups blackberries
2 cups blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
3 T cornstarch
1/8 t salt
1 T lemon juice
2 T red currant jelly which I never have, so I used Welch's grape jelly last time. I've also used strawberry, apple, etc. whatever I have.

For the topping:
To be honest, I've never made the topping. This pie is too damn good without it. Why ruin it? But here goes for the over-acheivers in the group...
1 cup cold heavy cream
1 T sugar
1 t vanilla

For crust:
Preheat oven to 325. Process graham crackers in a food processor. Add sugar and pulse. Add butter in a stream and pulse until it looks like wet sand. Put crumbs in a 9" glass pie plate, form the crust. Dang, that's the hard part. Use a flat bottom glass. Bake 15-18 min.

For the filling:
Rinse and dry berries. Mix 'em all together, then measure out 2 1/2 cups and put them in your food processor. Yes, you should wash the butter crumbs out first. Puree 2 1/2 cups of the berries for 1 minute. Strain the puree through a mesh sieve into a saucepan. You should have about 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 cups of thick seed-free juice. Whisk sugar and cornstarch into puree to combine. Bring puree to boil over medium heat stirring constantly. When it resembles dark purple pudding, remove from heat. Stir in lemon juice and salt. Cool slightly while you heat jelly til melted (30 sec. in the microwave should do it). Toss remaining berries with jelly.
Pour puree into pie shell. Top with shiny, sticky berries and chill 3 hours.

My hand-written copy of this recipe stops here, but I'm guessing you would mix all of the topping ingredients in a pre-chilled stainless steel bowl with an electric mixer until it forms peaks. Soft or stiff...your guess is as good as mine. Enjoy!