Well, guys, guess what? I’m headed to Vegas tomorrow. I am far from a Vegas novice. We used to go every year when we lived in Arizona (close proximity can be a dangerous thing) and have even been twice since we have lived in New York. I think last year was the first year we hadn’t been in a long while, actually, which ended up being a blessing in disguise because Sandy hit around the time we usually go and while I enjoy Vegas, I would never want to be stuck there against my will. This time around, though, Kramer will not be joining me. I’m going for my friend Valerie’s bachelorette party. This is definitely going to be a new way to experience Las Vegas. Despite having been there a lot, I’ve never been to a club or gone dancing (like, ever in my whole life) so we shall see how I hold up. Outlook is shakey. But I do love me a pool, which is where I hope we will be spending 90% of our time. I got a brand new American flag bathing suit and I’m ready to do the damn thing. Wish me luck.
Chicken thighs and tortillas for our pork shoulder.
Jessie and Alex.
It was also Emily’s birthday celebration!
Val and me – we’re going to Vegas together this weekend!
Not a bad view, right?
Mix together your fruit mixture and set aside.
Then it’s time to roll out your pie crust.
It doesn’t have to be (and probably won’t be) perfect!
Bake and cool before slicing and serving.
It will go fast!
- 7½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1⅓ cups unsalted butter, COLD (NOT room temperature), cut into pieces
- 1⅓ cups shortening, COLD (NOT room temperature)
- 1⅓ cups ice water
- 4 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
- 6 cups berries (I used blackberries, blueberries and raspberries)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- zest of ½ a lemon
- juice of ½ a lemon
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- First, make your crust. Whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl or the bowl of your food processor. I used my food processor, but I didn’t always have one and have had great results making this crust by hand. Please note that this is basically a double pie, meaning it is a lot of dough! I did mine in two batches (i.e. divided the recipe in half, which is my go-to regular pie crust, and did it two times - if you have a giant mixing bowl or food processor, go for it, but my equipment isn't large enough to handle 7½ cups of flour).
- Add in the chopped pieces of cold butter and cold shortening . Blend together with your hands or pulse with your processor until you have coarse crumbs (it doesn’t have to be perfect). You can use a pastry cutter, too, but I find that a clean pair of hands work best. Mix together the water and vinegar in a small bowl. When ready, slowly drizzle it over the dough, a tablespoon or so at a time, gently stirring the mixture with a fork or pulsing with your processor, until fully incorporated (you may not use all of the water). It might seem a bit too wet at this point, but it will dry up while it sits in the fridge. Form the dough gently into 2 loose balls, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and chill in the fridge for a minimum of 3 hours or as long as overnight (as always, overnight is best). Make your filling when you are almost ready to use your dough.
- When you are ready to bake, preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Mix together your berries, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, flour and cinnamon and set aside. Generously butter a 9x13-inch rimmed baking sheet and set aside. Flour your work surface, rolling pin and your hands. Take one ball of dough (leave the other in the fridge) and begin to roll it out to fit your baking sheet (about 13x18-inches so that you have some overlap over the pan). It does NOT have to be perfect - obviously mine isn't! Just keep working and do the best you can. It will look lovely once it bakes. A trick to get the crust into the pan is to fold it gently in half once it is rolled out, then transfer it to the pan and unfold.
- Spread your berries over the bottom pie crust, then roll out your second crust and place it on top, gently folding and unfolding it to transfer to the pan. Crimp the edges, fold the edges, do whatever you want with the edges, and cut out some pretty decorative circles or poke fork holes all over the top crust (just be sure to do something to let the steam vent out from the cooking fruit). Beat your egg and brush the top of the crust with it, then sprinkle generously with granulated or raw sugar. Place the pie in the oven at 400 degrees F, then once it's in there, reduce the heat to 375 degrees F. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until beautifully golden and bubbling (I let mine go for a full hour, but it depends on your oven). Allow the pie to cool almost completely before slicing and serving.