Friday, September 26, 2014

Baby Shower Chocolate and Berry Pies

While I got out of having to make a pie for the pie contest this year (I was a judge), I signed up to make these beauties for another neighborhood baby shower on the day of the contest. The Chocolate Pudding Pie is the same as I usually make it. (Omit the coffee ingredients.) The Berry Pie was a mix of raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries. It was very heavy on the raspberry, in part because most of them were some potent (perhaps a bit sour) ones from the farmer's market. The result was pleasingly tart, but I'd probably add more sugar if I made it again. I would also add another tablespoon of arrowroot starch or substitute 1/4 c. of tapioca instead. Anyway, here's the recipe for the Berry Pie:

Berry Pie (makes one 9" pie)

buttery pastry dough for bottom and top crust
1/2 c. white sugar (and extra for sprinkling on crust)
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1 quart strawberries, hulled and halved or quartered (depending on size)
3/4 pint of blueberries
2 pints of red raspberries
4 T. arrowroot starch
juice from one lime

Mix filling ingredients in a large nonreactive bowl. Roll out bottom crust and place in pie dish. Pour filling in. Roll out top crust, cut in strips, and arrange in a lattice on top of pie. Fold crust edges over and crimp to seal. Sprinkle top of crust with white sugar. Freeze pie for 10 minutes. Bake at 400 F for 25 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 F and continue to bake for another 40 minutes. Cool and serve.

Current Pie Tally: 148

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Block Party Apple Crumb Pie

The Annual Neighborhood Labor Day Block Party is usually my opportunity to test out my recipe for the town's Apple Pie Contest. However, this year I have been selected to be a JUDGE, rather than a contestant. It's the only way to give someone else a chance to win, right? . Despite my promotion to the judges' table, I didn't want to disappoint any pie-starved neighbors, so I whipped up a crowd-pleasing Apple Crumb. It was not completely devoured, which leads me to believe two things: 1) Half of the neighbors were already satiated on pie from the baby shower, and 2) The apples were not the best. I bought a bag of Gingergold apples from a Virginia farm that they had at Whole Foods, and am convinced that they were not as flavorful as the ones I generally buy at the local farmer's market. Oh well. It was still great, just not the usual exceptional. Recipe can be found here. My substitutions are as follows: I used my own crust recipe (the one that involves an entire stick of butter); I used 3 T. of fresh orange juice for the acid/liquid (frozen leftovers); I baked it for 50 minutes (probably should have left it in for the full hour in retrospect). This one capped off a three-pie weekend for me. Whew!

Current Pie Tally: 146

Happy 2nd Baby Peach Crumb Pies

I seized the opportunity to "make good" on some more in-season peaches with a baby shower I hosted recently. Whole Foods had them on sale and the stars aligned for the ripening schedule to work out just right for when I needed to slice 'em up for the pies. They came out at least as good as my mother's 60th birthday version, dare I say better. Truly a hit when paired with the vanilla ice cream one of the thoughtful guests brought. Recipe can be found here.

Current Pie Tally: 145