In my life, I’ve learned a TON from my mom about baking. Cooking, in general – yes. But baking is my mom’s specialty. Cake is her love language and, let me tell you, she is FLUENT. (Imagine that in a deep Georgia accent. It’s how I said it, I promise.)
But pie. While my mom can ROCK a chocolate pie, an apple pie, a sweet potato pie (glory!), it’s just something I never learned to do. While it seemed simple enough, the “delicate balance” of pastry dough was intimidating to me. And I decided it is time to face my fear – yes, fear of pie-baking; roll with me here – and dive in.
That was a few weeks ago and I chickened out. We had little turnovers that were sloppy, and a little crust-heavy and overly sweet. But no pie.
Listen, it’s a silly block, but it was my block. (And this is my blog, and I’m allowed to exaggerate as much as I please.)
Ok, so I baked a pie and you know what? There’s a reason for the phrase “easy as pie”. Delicious, flaky crust with sweet berries baked in the middle. All in a couple of hours. And I’m left wondering, “What took me so long?!”
So – in true ‘I do it how my Momma does it’ fashion – I borrowed from a few sources for inspiration but ultimately did my own thing. It worked, so I’m willing to call it an official recipe.
And – ok, you twisted my arm, I’ll share it.
Rita’s Beginner-Level Homemade Berry Pie
1/2 c. cold butter (Some recipes use shortening. Butter is better. Quote me on it.)
2 1/4 c. all purpose flour
3 TBSP ice cold water
3 1/2 c. fresh or frozen berries (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries)
2 TBSP sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon (optional)
In a food processor, mix the flour and butter at med-hi speed until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Remove to bowl. Add cold water to flour with a fork, stirring just until mixture forms into a loose ball. Pack all the crumbs together into a ball, cover, and put in the fridge for 30 minutes.
While that’s refrigerating, toss berries with sugar and cinnamon. Set aside. (I had frozen berries that had proven to be a little tart last time I used them in a recipe. I thought the cinnamon would help cut that. I was right.)
Cut the pastry into two balls. Roll the first ball onto well-floured surface. (I had to do this twice, since the mixture was slightly sticky.) Press into pie pan and poke holes into the dough a few times. (Assuming you’re a beginner, as I was – this is to keep the crust from ‘bubbling-up’.) Bake at 350* for 20 minutes until the edges are golden.
Pile the berries in. Roll out the other half of the pastry. I cut mine into strips and laid it on top all fancy-like, but I’m sure it would work just as well just to layer the pastry over the whole top and cut holes into the center.
Return to the oven and bake for 20-25 more minutes or until the top is evenly golden brown.
Serve warm and topped with ice cream. Or homemade whipped cream if you remember to pick up cream while you’re at the store – as I did not.
I’m sure my technique could use some perfecting but this pie was quite delicious. I give it an A for the recipe and a B+ for execution – good, but not perfect.