Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a lovely holiday season, and enjoyed the time with friends and family!
I was lucky in that I spent about three weeks traveling from Liberia to both New York and Los Angeles. I got the freezing temperatures and snow of New York City (though living in such a humid climate now, I LOVED the cold!), and then the nice temperate climate of LA. Because I was traveling so much, I didn’t do the usual homemade presents this year. Last year I spent the weeks before Christmas churning out homemade gianduja (aka Nutella, but better!), dill pickles, cupcakes and cookies for all my friends. This year, I still had the opportunity to make a few things for the holidays despite the busyness of traveling, but mostly for family.
One thing I made that I wanted to share with you was this berry extravaganza! pie. Yes, the exclamation mark is totally necessary. 🙂 We had a ton of berries as I was initially supposed to bake a cheesecake with a cranberry and orange sauce, and a strawberry rhubarb pie, but I got sick on Christmas Eve and wasn’t able to bake, and I also couldn’t find rhubarb! The best laid plans, right? 🙂 So in looking at all the berries we had, I decided to toss them together into a pie, and add some lemon to balance out the tartness of the cranberries. And this is the result!
I had also just happened to get my parents dog cookie cutters for Christmas (they’re dog people, with four dogs, and I’m a total cat person, with two cats – perfect team!), and one of my new year’s resolutions is to improve my pie decorating skills. Not sure that this is an improvement, but it did look pretty fun! I simply cut out the dog shape with the cookie cutter, and added it back to the pie in honor of my parents two golden retrievers. I still think there’s a long way to go in terms of being a proficient pie decorator (or so my searches through Martha Stewart’s website tell me!), but I’m happy with this first foray into decorating beyond my usual use of hearts. 🙂
Berry Extravaganza! Pie
You will need a total of 6 cups of berries, all fresh, not frozen. Here’s how I split it up, but if you have more or less of one thing, feel free to change it up! ::
2 1/2 cups strawberries
1 1/2 cup blueberries
1 1/2 cup blackberries
1/2 cup cranberries
zest of one lemon
2 tbsps fresh squeezed lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup corn starch
2 prepared pie crusts (either store bought, or check out some of my favorite recipes here!)
2 tbsp. of unsalted butter
1 egg white
granulated sugar for sprinkling on the top
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees fahrenheit, 218 degrees celsius.
In a large bowl, add all six cups of berries. Add the lemon zest and lemon juice, and stir with a wooden spoon or similar, lightly until just mixed. Then add the sugar and corn starch, and agains stir lightly until the ingredients are just mixed.
Roll out one pie crust, using either a rolling pin, or bust it out of your favorite store bought box! Place the pie crust at the bottom of a pie tin or pan. Using the wooden spoon, spoon the berry mixture into the pie crust. Take a knife and cut the 2 tsbps. of butter into small cubes or pieces, and add randomly to the top of the berry mixture.
To prepare the top crust, after it’s rolled out and ready, you are going to want to vent it. Normally I cut hearts out of it with a sharp knife once it’s on top of the pie, but you can also do as I did in this picture. Using a cookie cutter, cut a shape out of the middle – or, if it’s a smaller cookie cutter, cut several shapes out – you just want to make sure that your pie has enough room to vent properly and allow the steaming air to escape. If you would like to stick the cut out shapes onto the pie crust, wet your fingers with water, and channeling your inner child that loved finger painting, with your fingers wet the back of the shape and stick to the pie crust.
Place the top crust on top of the berry mixture, and using your fingers or a fork, crimp the edges together with the bottom pie crust to prevent escaping berry juice!
In a small bowl, with a fork, whisk the egg white together. Using a pastry brush, or again your fingers, cover the top of the pie with the egg white. Sprinkle granulated sugar on top.
Place the pie in the oven. Bake in the oven for 50 minutes, or until the pie crust is golden brown and you can see the berries bubbling up through the vents in the pie. Allow to cool slightly, and then eat and enjoy!