Wednesday, April 28, 2010

old fashioned pie crust and mulberry filling

We found two beautiful mulberry trees on our new farm property. Since last week we have been harvesting mulberries and blackberries. (i think they are dew berries, but can't be sure.) 
Besides jelly, I have tried to make as many pies and cobblers as I can. Here is a great little pie recipe:

Makes 2 pie crusts:
2 1/2    cups of all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 stick of unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
1/2 cup of solid vegetable shortening, cut into 8 chunks
6-8 TBS of ice water

Combine flour, sugar, salt in a food processor. Pulse to mix.  Throw in butter and shortening around the flour and pulse in short bursts until it looks like small pebbles. Sprinkle 6 TBS of water and pulse until no dry flour remains and the dough just starts to pull away and make a ball.  If it is too dry (and this is important) add 1 TB more and pulse a few more times till added in.  You do not want a dry dough, it will crack when you try to roll it out.   Separate the dough onto two sheets of saran wrap and wrap separately.  Smooth out to form two round discs.    Let chill in fridge for about 1 hour.  When ready to roll out, let it rest on counter for at least 10 minutes.

Mulberry filling
3 cups of mulberries, washed
1 and 1/4 cup white sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp  fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
unsalted butter, 4 TB cut into 8 pieces
1 egg, a little water added
1 TB of white sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees ( at least 30 minutes, you need a good hot oven to start the pie)
In a large bowl, mix berries with sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, zest and lemon juice.
Place mixture into bottom pie crust. Dot with butter.
Top with second crust.
Crust may be cut (i like to use a pizza cutter) into lattice strips. It makes a very pretty presentation.
Crimp the edges, cut slits into top crust. (if you don't lattice)
Paint top crust with egg and water mixture.
Evenly sprinkle sugar over top of pie.
Let rest for about 20 mins in fridge. (it will help pie crust retain its shape)
Bake in your preheated oven for 15 mins. Bake on a cookie sheet to avoid bubble spills.
Lower oven temp to 350 and bake for 40 minutes more.
At this point, I rotate the pie after about 15 minutes to cook evenly.
At end of baking time be sure the berries are tender by stabbing one with a fork, it will give easily. If it feels as though the berry is a little uncooked, let it go for another 10 mins.  If you think the pie crust will get too dark, wrap a piece of tin foil around the edge of the crust.

Test your pie before you finish cooking it. Partially cooked berries do not make for a good pie.
The last mulberry pie I baked cooked for only a total of 45 mins and the berries were still too uncooked.
I have added an additional 10 mins to  my personal total baking time. You will have to be the judge about the doneness of your filling. My oven cooks too hot. I bake my pie on the middle rack for this reason. It saves the bottom crust from burning but doesn't allow the berries to bake enough.
If your oven does not behave like mine, adjust the cooking time to fit.

Serve with sweet thick cream, homemade vanilla whipped cream, or vanilla icecream.

I hope you make wonderful memories for your children and family with your summer pies.

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