Category Archives: Baking

Baking: Purple Plum Pie

Purple Plum Pie-01

Happy Monday, everybody! Today we’re talkin’ about pie. Purple Plum Pie to be exact.

Over the weekend, Benjy meant to order 3 plums from our trusty grocery delivery service, but instead of 3 individual plums, he got 3 packages of 5 plums each. So, faced with a plum surplus, I made them into a pie. A little bit tangy/a little bit rock n’ roll (or something like that?)

Ingredients: (crust)

Recipe is Paula Deen’s Perfect Pie Crust (because why mess with perfection?)

  • 2 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon Fine Salt
  • 3 tablespoons Granulated White Sugar
  • 1/4 cup (cold) Vegetable Shortening
  • 12 tablespoons butter (cold + cubed)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup Ice Water

Ingredients: (filling)

*Recipe adapted from this one.

  • 3 tablespoons + 1 cup sugar
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons (packed) finely grated orange peel (I used a clementine)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • About 10 purple plums, pitted, and thinly sliced

Directions: (crust)

  1. In a large mixing bowl (or a large food processor), sift together flour, salt, and sugar
  2. Add the shortening + break apart with your hands (I prefer to use a food processor)
  3. Add cold butter cubes + work quickly into the flour mixture (The butter cubes should be about 1/2″ wide on all sides, and should be frozen before being introduced into the flour mixture) Continue to work the butter into the flour until the mixture is crumbly.
  4. Add the ice water a little at a time until the dough forms. You want to add as little water as possible, so be sure to pour it in slowly.
  5. Bring the dough together into a ball
  6. Divide the dough in half + mold halves into discs
  7. Wrap each disc in tinfoil + refrigerate for at least 30 minutes

Directions: (filling)

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Roll first dough half and transfer to pie dish
  3. Mix 3 tablespoons sugar and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon in a small bowl; set aside.
  4. Whisk 1 cup sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, and next 6 ingredients in large bowl. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean. Add plums and toss to coat.
  5. Spoon filling into crust, mounding slightly in center.
  6. Roll out second dough half and cover bottom crust/filling in whichever way you usually finish your pies (I went with a lattice crust).
  7. Bake pie at 375 degrees for 30 minutes
  8. Loosely tent pie with tin foil to prevent over-browning, bake for another hour or so, until filling bubbles through latticework.

 

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And voila! A perfect purple plum pie.

 

 

 

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Baking: Four Berry Pie

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(Backstory: Peach pie is my favorite. I’m an exceptional peach pie baker (if I do say so myself), and an even better peach pie eater.)

SO, the other day I was at the farmer’s market lamenting the lack of peaches, when I saw some really lovely crates of berries. I bought them, found a recipe, whipped up this Four Berry Pie, and EVERYTHING CHANGED. Peach pie shmeach pie. I’m in love. 4Berry 4Ever.

Notes: The crust is an all-butter crust, meaning it uses no vegetable shortening. I used a recipe from Gesine Bullock-Prado’s book Pie it Forward.

Filling Ingredients

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Dash of salt
1/3 cup water
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup halved fresh strawberries
1 cup fresh raspberries
3/4 cup fresh blackberries
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons butter
 

Crust Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour, cold
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and chilled in the freezer for 10 minutes
1/2 cup ice water (don’t add the ice to the pie dough, just the water)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
 

Crust Instructions:

  1. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, pulse together the flour, salt, sugar, and butter until the mixture resembles cornmeal.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the ice water and the lemon juice. Slowly add the liquid to the flour mixture, pulsing, until the dough just comes together. Squeeze a small piece of dough between your thumb and index finger to make sure it holds its shape.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it in half. Gently turn over each piece of dough a few times so that any dry bits are incorporated. Form each piece into a loose disk, cover the dough with plastic wrap, and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.

While the dough is chilling in the refrigerator, get started on your filling.

Filling Instructions

  1. In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon if desired, salt and water until smooth; add the blueberries. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Set aside to cool slightly.

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2. Gently fold the strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and lemon juice into the blueberry mixture.

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3. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

4. Take your dough out of the refrigerator and roll it out onto a floured surface. Line the pie pan with the first half of the rolled dough, and blind bake for 15 minutes (*blind baking is optional). If not blind-baking, flour the dough lightly, and then pour the berry mixture into the crust-lined pan.

5. Cover your pie with your top crust, and vent the crust however you prefer (classic vents, lattice crust, etc.). Using a pastry brush, brush an egg wash over the top crust (1 egg whisked with 2 tablespoons of water).

6. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and back for 45 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly.

And that’s all she wrote, folks! A truly fantastic Four Berry Pie!

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Baking: Strawberry Raspberry Hand Pies

As you all know, I’m a bit of a pie fanatic. I love the baking just as much as the eating, and am always on the hunt for new and exciting recipes. So, when my best friend/Maid of Honor/all-around cool chick Darcy gave me Gesine Bullock-Prado’s pie cookbook Pie it Forward as a wedding gift, I began cooking (and eating) my way through. These Strawberry Raspberry Hand Pies are my favorite so far, and I couldn’t help but share the recipe with all of you.

Ingredients:
Filling:
  • 1/2 pint Fresh Strawberries
  • 1/4 cup Granulated Sugar
  • Zest and Juice of 1 Lemon
  • Fresh Rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Cornstarch
  • A Pinch of Sea Salt
  • 1 cup Fresh Raspberries (halved)
  • Egg Wash (1 egg whisked with 2 tablespoons of water)
  • Sanding/Turbinado Sugar, for sprinkling
  • 1/2 cup Confectioner’s Sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Milk
Crust:
  • 2 cups All-Purpose Flour (cold)
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 3 tablespoons Vegetable Shortening (frozen)
  • 2 tablespoons Unsalted Butter (cut into small pieces and chilled)
  • 1/2 cup Milk
  • 1/4 cup Sweetened Condensed Milk

Filling:

  1. Hull the strawberries. Cut them into small pieces, a bit larger than corn kernels. Combine the strawberries, sugar, lemon zest, and rosemary in a mixing bowl and stir until the strawberries are evenly coated with sugar. Allow the mixture to rest for a few minutes until the sugar melts and the strawberry juices run freely.
  2. Drain the strawberry juice into a small bowl. Add the lemon juice, then stir in the cornstarch until the mixture becomes a smooth slurry without lumps.
  3. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the strawberries, the cornstarch slurry, and the salt. Stir over medium heat until the mixture bubbles and thickens, 5-10 minutes. Allow the filling to cool completely in the refrigerator (about 20 minutes).
  4. Stir the raspberries into the strawberry mixture.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Dough:

  1. In a food processor, pulse together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  2. Add the shortening and butter. Pulse until the mixture resembles cornmeal.
  3. Whisk together the milk and condensed milk.
  4. With the processor running, slowly add the milk mixture and continue to pulse until the dough just comes together.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Use the plastic wrap to turn the dough over a few times, until it no longer has dry bits of flour visible and is smooth. It’s important that the dough be rather smooth; otherwise, when you roll it out for your crust, the dough will crack.
  6. Wrap the dough in the plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes before using.

  1. Divide the dough evenly into 12 pieces, and roll out using a cold rolling pin. Using a round cookie cutter, cut each piece into a 4-inch round and place the rounds on a parchment-lined sheet pan.
  2. With a pastry brush, brush egg wash around the outer edge of the dough rounds. Place 1 1/2 tablespoons of filling onto the middle of each round. Fold the dough over, creating a half moon, and seal the pastries by pressing gently along the edge of each with the tines of a fork. Brush the outsides of the pastries with egg wash and sprinkle with sanding/turbinado sugar (*note: I used Sugar in the Raw and it worked nicely).
  3. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Allow the hand pies to cool completely.
  4. Whisk together the confectioner’s sugar and milk. With a clean pastry brush, brush each hand pie evenly with the glaze.

And voila! Perfect little hand pies for any occasion.

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How To: Apple Raspberry Pie

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I’m a sucker for a good pie. And it’s not just the eating that gets me, its the making. The measuring, kneading, rolling, chopping, filling, baking, is just downright cathartic. So last week in the midst of holiday madness, I spent an afternoon baking a really fantastic (if I do say so myself) apple raspberry pie. Here’s how: Continue reading

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