I think this is the first one on the right track. Oh it still needs work, but it feels like tweeking work rather than ‘well that‘s not right, find a new direction’. Which is really good since I took it into work for the holiday luncheon party (yes, back in December). Yeah, there’s no after-hours company party, just the team bringing in dishes and having an hour long lunch together. Time we need to make up or use our PTO (personal time off) for. Whee. Food’s usually really good though. My poor colleagues, every time someone asked what type of pie it was, I responded “experimental”. And then explained what was in it and that I was developing the recipe. I experiment on and use people as guinea pigs with my food. BUT never without fair prior warning!
So, we’re still using William-Sonoma’s flaky pastry dough for the crust – I’m pretty sure this is a permanent feature. Even if it’s not close to Dangerously Delicious Pies’ version, a) we like it and b) the filling was what I actually remember from their pie. This time we didn’t par-bake the bottom crust (crust in the pan, layer of foil, pie weights on top, bake for 20 minutes to partially bake the crust) – par-baking usually keeps juices from fruits from soaking into the crust and making it soggy before the filling cooks. In this instance, since the filling was mostly jam (see next paragraph 🙂 ), the juice was already pretty cooked down and cooking everything together worked.
To continue the quest for non-soup pie, I thought turning most of the blackberries and blueberries into jam using the methodology from my Triple Berry Quick Jam ought to work. Plus, if I reserve some of the whole berries, I can mix them into the jam with the pear for the whole berry taste. This mostly worked – the jam, even with berries and pear chunks in it, wasn’t very deep and overall the pie wasn’t that tall, purely height-wise. Also, for the first time, I was under on the amount of sugar in the pie.
Adjustments for next time – more sugar overall and make less jam, mixing in more whole berries.
Winter Berry Pie the Third
- 6oz blackberries, 1 cup for the jam, reserving the rest
- 6oz blueberries, 1 cup for the jam, reserving the rest
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- pinch of kosher salt
- 1 medium comice pear
- 1 tsp ginger
- freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- Make your pastry dough and set-up the bottom crust in a pie pan.
- Wash all the berries and gently drain. In a pot, gently mix together 1 cup of blackberries and 1 cup of blueberries. Coat with ¼ cup brown sugar and stir; let sit for 10 minutes. Stir in a pinch of salt and 1 tsp lemon juice. Cook on the stove top on medium heat until the berries begin to break down. Blend until smooth and simmer, without a lid, on low for 12.5 minutes. Cooking without a lid allows the berries to cook down but will splatter.
- Wash, peel, and cut the pear into chunks, until have 1 cup – approximately one medium pear. In a large bowl, gently mix together the jam, reserved berries, and cup of pear. Add the ginger, nutmeg, and flour (to thicken pie even further). Gently stir until flour is incorporated.
- Pour filling into the pie crust. Top with the second pie crust and seal the edges. Cut a steaming slit in the middle of the pie.
- Bake in 375°F oven for 40-45 minutes. Transfer to cooling rack and allow to cool for about 15 minutes.
In case you’re wondering what happened to Winter Berry Pie #2, that was one of Adam’s experiments and involved using up some raspberry confit he just happened to have extra from making a two-layer chocolate cake. Also, hours of steaming the berries in a sifter to try and get them to break down (didn’t work so well). The end result of which, while I enjoyed eating it, is not really reproducible. At least by people with a reasonable sense of time and cooking and effort! Good thing I don’t know anyone like that 😉