Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie! No dessert on earth beats a freshly baked pie straight out of the oven, right? Don’t forget the ice-cream dollop on my plate please. If you are indeed a pie-lover like me, today’s post is just for you! (Who doesn’t like pie though, I mean really!?) A homemade pie can be the most heart-warming kind of comfort food on earth.
If you don’t believe me, it’s time to put on your chef hat and get out your mixing spoon my dear. Don’t plan on going anywhere, because while this little wonder is baking away, your home will be filled with the most inviting, delicious aroma you have ever experienced. Get out the slippers, your favourite gigantic tea mug and snuggle up for a date night with yourself (just don’t eat it all, darling). Now you’re welcome to invite your friends over as long as they’re down with tea, books/anne of green gables movies and/or knitting, because as a heads up, that is all your pie-brain is going to want to do!
Lots of people I know have a favourite pie recipe. Do you? Whether your preference is for a hand-picked berry pie with a flaky crust, a spiced pumpkin pie (preferrably) mid-October, or a deep-dished and zesty key-lime pie with a healthy scoop of whipped cream dolloped on top, I am pretty certain that you are going to like the look of today’s pick!
Pies were the most frequently baked dessert in my childhood household, especiially in the summertime when our family’s cupboards and backyard garden were overflowing with berries and fruit! Now that I’m all grown up, I still can’t think of a better way to use up all the fresh, juicy BC fruit we are lucky to get in the hot months!
What are your favourite kinds of summer fruit? I love the August blackberries we get! In BC we are lucky to have wild, weedy blackberries that grow in brambly thickets all throughout our province. You can find the vines in back alleyways or tucked along the rocky crags of our coastal cliffs. During the wintertime, blackberry plants are a troublesome nuisance that overwhelm gardens, prickle passerbys and strangle the roots of their meeker plant friends. In the summertime however, blackberries change their tune to become bountiful bushes that provide free treats for curious hands. There is really nothing lovelier than the ability to wander to the backyard for a 5 minute berry grocery shop mid-August. Time to bake a pie!
Today’s recipe does not incorporate blackberries, (so apologies for that tangential b-berry rant!), but the recipe calls for the blackberry’s similar, slightly tarter sibling– the raspberry! And that my friends brings us to the introduction of my favourite kind of pie– the raspberry-rhubarb!
I absolutely love the tangy pairing of baked raspberry with rhubarb. I am not a fan of overtly sweet desserts, so this courtship of Rasp-Rhub creates a perfect dessert-time blend. The pie is tart with a natural sweetness, and is encompassed with the flakiest and thickest traditional Australian pastry dough straight from Bourke Street Bakery (remember those chocolate croissants? Same cookbook!) Mmm.
Raspberry Rhubarb Pie with a Flaky Pastry Crust
Yield: 1 pie. Time: Allow 2 days. Make pastry night before baking day to refrigerate. Pie takes 1 afternoon Bake: 375 F, 1 hr 30 mins minutes or until bubbly and golden.
Step 1: Bourke Street Bakery’s Sweet Shortcrust Pastry
400 g (14 oz) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 5/8 inch cubes 20 mL (1 tbsp) vinegar, chilled 100 g white sugar, chilled 170 mL (2/3 cup) water, chilled 665 g plain all purpose flour, chilled 1 tsp salt
1. Remove butter from fridge 20 minutes before you begin. Put vinegar and sugar in a bowl, and add the water. Stir well. Set aside for 10 mins, then stir again to dissolve sugar.
2. Mix flour and salt in a large bowl, and toss the butter into mixture. Use hands to mix the dough, and rub the butter between your fingertips until the butter is partly combined into the flour. If using a food processor, pulse flour, butter and salt in 1 second bursts, about three or tour times to partly combine. You should now have a floury mix through which you can see squashed pieces of butter.
3. Turn out mixture onto a clean surface and gather together. Sprinkle the sugar mixture over the flour mix and use the palm of your hand to smear the mixture away from you on the work surface. (You can use a pastry scraper for this.) Gather pastry together again, and repeat this smearing process twice more before gathering the dough again. Be careful not to overdo this step. You should still be able to see streaks of butter marbled throughout. This will give your pastry the flaky texture!
4. Divide the dough into two even portions and shape into two round, flat disks, about 2 cm. Wrap each disk in saran wrap and refrigerate 2 hrs or overnight.
5. Remove one of your pastry disks from fridge 20 minutes before use. Sprinkle flour on surface and rub flour over rolling pin. Working from centre of your first pastry disk, roll dough away from you, then turn dough about 30 degrees and roll again. Repeat this process until you have a flat, round disc, about 3 mm thick. Sprinkle extra flour over the work surface as needed, but don’t over-flour. Try to push down with your weight on the dough, instead of stretching it with excessive pushing. Stretching will cause the pastry to shrink when baking. (oops!) Transfer pastry to a tray and place in fridge, covered in plastic for at least 2 hours.
6. At this point, remove the second pastry disk from the fridge. Brush your pie pan with a little butter. Place first pastry disk that you’ve just rolled out on top of the mold, ensuring it is in the centre, and use your fingers to gently push the pastry into mold. Use index finger and thumb to work your way around the edge, forcing the pastry into the hold so no pastry is left protruding. Set the pastry aside to rest for at least 20 minutes in the freezer so that the gluten relaxes and holds its shape. Now it’s time to mix fruit and preheat your oven to 375 F. You are almost ready to bake!
Step 2: Raspberry-Rhubarb Pie
1 1/3 cup sugar 3 cup raspberries (or blackberries!) 3 cup chopped rhubarb, about 1 inch long cubes 1/4 cup cornstarch 1 large egg yolk
1. If you haven’t already done so, preheat your oven to 375F and place a cookie sheet or a large baking pan at the bottom of the oven. This will collect pie drippings. In a bowl, mix cornstarch and sugar. Add cut fruit to mixture and blend gently until coated in sugar mixture.
2. Place fruit in chilled pie pastry, smoothing down until it is evenly spread out in pie pan.
3. Sprinkle a clean surface with flour, and roll out your second pastry disk until it is a long oval. If you want to make a lattice, cut twelve 3/4 inch vertical strips.
4. How-to make a lattice: Arrange half the pastry strips over pie filling about 1 inch apart. One at a time, weave remaining strips perpendicular to and over and under every other strip in the first set (lifting first strips as needed) into a lattice pattern. Trim edges flush with dough in pan. Fold dough edges under, flush with pan rim. Flute as directed for single-crust pie. If that went over your head (me too!), here’s a helpful DIY lattice video!
5. Wrap tinfoil just over outside pie crust. This will prevent it from burning. Place pie in bottom of a 375 F preheated oven for 30 minutes. While pie is baking, mix egg yolk with 1 tbsp of cold water. After 30 minutes of baking, remove pie from oven and use a pastry brush to gently coat pie lattice with egg yolk blend. Place pie back in oven and bake for another 40 to 50 minutes longer or until pie filling bubbles in the centre. If the whole pie crust looks like it is browning too quickly, cover pie with tinfoil in the final baking stage.
6. Cool pie for 2 hours, then serve with tea or your favourite vanilla ice-cream!
Recipe Credit: Pastry: Bourke Street Bakery. Pie: My Mama’s recipe!
I hope you have been well since the last post. Sorry it’s been so long.. I have been in a bit of a travel whirlwind this summer! It is nice to be home, though. Right now, Vancouver is in this funny state of seasonal indecisiveness. Where are we at right now– summer or fall!? So far, it hasn’t decided. Vancouver falls are like the menopauses of the seasonal world (haha sorry, mom). The weather this year gets seasonally damp and cool for a couple of days and then SO HOT SUMMER! SUMMER IS HERE! the next. Keeps you on your toes!! (In sandals or Uggs, though? Sigh..)
I hope you have a wonderful week ahead full of some local fall veggies, a night out with your favourite people, and a handful of moments to enjoy those stunning golden sunsets we’ve been getting around 7 o clock. Want a good restaurant spot to head to while PIE is on your mind? I would highly recommend hitting up Aphrodite’s Organic Pie Café in Kits or Savary Island Pie Co. in West Van. (Don’t need to tell you what I’d order! ;) )
PS: A village painted Blue.
PPS: My favourite new dance-fest-track-of-the-week (obvious because of its stellar flute solo)
PPPS: I am excited to see this film. It is about an estranged brother and sister. It looks like it’s going to be a heart warmer! Plus who doesn’t love Kristen Wiig? She is hilarious. The movie comes out Sept 24! What do you think of the trailer? Would you see it?