I’m really pleased to be sharing this pie recipe with you. There’s nothing better than pie, as previously stated, and I don’t feel like I get to eat it often enough. I think that now that Crumbs has (finally) gone under, people realize that the era of the cupcake is over. I am not a cupcake fan. They are hard to eat, and the size of the small cakes make for a potentially dry dessert. Don’t get me started on the frosting situation. There’s either an insane amount on top, making the cupcake impossible to eat, or it’s overly sweet. Sure, I have had the occasional delicious cupcake, but I’d probably pick almost any other dessert before going for a cupcake. Pie, on the other hand, is the dessert of the gods. The buttery, flaky crust, the sweet, curd-like fruit filling, and the must-have topping, be it ice cream, whipped cream or marshmallow fluff, is irresistible in every single way. Even when Kramer and I were in Montreal, having stuffed ourselves with foie gras and blood sausage, we still found room for a slice of heavenly lemon meringue pie. I think because pie involves a little bit of kneading, a little bit of waiting, and a little bit of rolling out dough, people make it less – it definitely takes longer to make than a sheet cake or something like that (for me, anyway – I am not a decorator). Maybe I wouldn’t feel so strongly about pie if I saw it as often as I saw a cupcake or a chocolate chip cookie, but we’ll never know because I don’t live in a fantasy world full of different kinds of pie. More specifically, this fantasy world would be filled with berry pies.
I adore this blueberry and blackberry pie. It’s filled with my two favorite summer berries. This time of year, they are plump, juicy and perfectly ripe. Just a touch of cinnamon, a little lemon zest and juice, and a bit of flour or cornstarch to hold it all together transforms a bowl of fruit into a seasonal dessert. Remember those pie cookies I shared with you? Luckily, this pie crust recipe makes a ton of dough, so you’ll be able to make this beautiful pie and a big plate of pie crust cookies, making you the surefire dessert king or queen of the day. I brought this pie to a World Cup party a few weekends ago, and only a small sliver remained in the dish by the end, which was of course picked apart by wandering fingers as people passed to and from the kitchen. I brushed the top of the pie with a quick egg wash, and sprinkled a healthy amount of sanding sugar over the top – this makes for the most crunchy, sparkly crust and believe me, nobody will be able to say no to a slice when they see it.
So, yes, I loved this pie, and I hope to make it or something like it again soon, but I’m also looking forward to more pies and what is to come this weekend. We are having a happy hour at work tonight, which is going to be a good time. I’ve made chocolate chip cookies with chocolate covered pretzels for the office, as well as some spicy guacamole for our guac station (a key element to any happy hour). After the happy hour, I’m determined to have enough energy to meet up with a friend for drinks at Tradesman, which is near my apartment so I’ll probably feel good just knowing that my bed is close by. On Saturday, I’m planning a picnic on Governors Island. I’m hoping a lot of people come! If you know me and want to stop by and you’re reading this, please let me know! I’ll send details. I’m going to get lots of charcuterie, spread out my picnic blanket, throw on some music and enjoy the sunshine. The weather is supposed to be perfect, so I’m hoping that is still the case by Saturday. On Sunday, one of my good friends is having her baby shower – I can’t believe she’s due in just a couple of months! Time flies. I of course got her something Star Wars related. Babies really can’t have enough Star Wars stuff – they must be indoctrinated early on. My friend will thank me later, I’m sure.
You will need butter. Lots of butter.
Pulse together your dough in a food processor, or cut it up by hand or with a pastry cutter, then add in your water and vinegar mixture.
Form your dough into two balls, then wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
What you will need for the filling.
Combine and let it sit while you roll out your dough.
I love rolling out pie crust – it’s quite the workout sometimes.
The easiest way I’ve found to get your pie crust into the pie dish is to fold it in half, then move it into the dish and unfold it.
Crimp the edges of the crust, and cut off any extra to make into cookies!
Roll out your second ball of dough.
Pour in your filling.
Crimp together your top and bottom crusts.
Brush the top crust with your egg wash and sprinkle with your sugar, then decorate the crust however you like.
Place the pie in a 400 degree F oven, then turn the temperature down to 375. Bake for 45-60 minutes, until bubbling and golden.
Allow to cool before serving – I served mine alongside some marshmallow fluff.
- 3 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1⅓ cup unsalted butter, COLD (NOT room temperature), cut into pieces
- ⅔ cup ice water, plus more as needed
- 3 teaspoons distilled white vinegar or vodka
- 1 egg + 1 teaspoon water, beaten
- sanding or raw sugar, for decoration (optional)
- 2 cups blackberries
- 2 cups blueberries
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- juice of ½ a lemon
- zest of ½ a lemon
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch (or flour, if you have no cornstarch)
- Whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Add in the chopped pieces of cold butter (cold is essential for a flaky pie crust). Blend together with your hands (or, alternatively, a food processor) until you have coarse crumbs (it doesn’t have to be perfect). You can use a pastry cutter, too, if you like.
- Place the dough back into the fridge for 15 minutes or so, so it stays cold. I don't always do this if I'm short on time, but if you can spare the minutes, it helps the dough a lot. Mix together the water and vinegar or vodka 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 and the dough forms into a nice ball. You may not need 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 (obviously, overnight is best - I sometimes let this dough sit for 36 hours). Be sure to let your dough sit out at room temperature for 10 minutes or so before you start to roll it out.
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Combine the blackberries, blueberries, sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice, lemon zest and cornstarch in a medium bowl, tossing to evenly disperse all of the ingredients. Let the fruit sit at room temperature while you roll out your pie crust.
- When you're ready, flour your work surface and roll out one ball of dough so that it's big enough to hang over the edges of your pie dish. To easily move the dough, fold it over on itself (see the photo above), then lift it into the dish and unfold. Trim the excess dough around the edges (and save to make cookies!), then crimp around the edge of your dish. Spoon your filling into the pie crust, then roll out the second ball of dough and place it on top, trimming the edges and crimping to stick to the bottom crust.
- Beat together an egg and a teaspoon of water, then brush the top of the crust with the mixture. Sprinkle generously with sanding or raw sugar, if you like. You can also cut out a decoration on top of the crust - I made a few circle cuts with the back of a metal frosting tip, but feel free to do whatever you like, or even use pie dough scraps to make a design and put those on top of crust, securing in place with some egg wash.
- Place your pie in the oven at 400 degrees F, then when it's in there, reduce the temperature to 375 degrees F. Bake for 45-60 minutes (depending on how hot your oven gets), keeping an eye on it in the last 10-15 minutes. If the crust starts to brown too much, create a foil cover for the pie or a foil ring around the pie dish to protect it from burning. Bake until the filling is bubbly and the crust is firm and golden brown. I like my crust just on the cusp of being burned, so I always stand in the kitchen for the last 10 minutes of the pie baking, watching carefully for the exact right moment to pull the pie out of the oven. It's worth it!