Patriotic Pie

Michal Levison Issue: Section:

Eons ago, or so it seems, I made my first pie. I had never made one before, nor did I particularly like to eat pie. However, it was Memorial Day 2003, and I wanted to bring dessert to my in-laws’ BBQ. Pie seemed easy. It also screamed, “America! BBQ! Patriotism!” Especially to an Israeli like me.

So, I set about making a red, white and blue pie. I figured I’d use all the berries I could find. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. That took care of the red and blue. I figured the crust could count as the white. Sure, it was more tan than white, but semantics…

I used all fresh ingredients and a Julia Childs crust recipe (which I have since changed a bit and made my own). It was a hit. So much so that my husband felt the need to give it a name, in case I turned into a pie seller and needed to market the product. “Triple Berry Threat” was the result. Sure, I used four berries, but the name was too good not to use.

Now, it has become a tradition. I make a Triple Berry Threat every Memorial Day. I’ve gotten so good at it that I can whip it up in about an hour from start to finish. Make this a new tradition in your home. Go ahead, it’s THAT easy and people sure dig pie.

Triple Berry Threat

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees

Crust

Ingredients

2 cups all purpose flour

1/3 cup sugar

½ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

1 stick (4 ounces) cold unsalted butter (or 4 ounces Crisco) cut into 8 pieces

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

 

You will need an egg white and some sugar at the end, after you filled the pie

Put the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Pulse a few times to mix. Add the butter and pulse 20 times or until the mixture looks like fine cornmeal. With the machine running, add the eggs and process until the dough forms into a ball on the blade. Remove the dough and knead it until it’s smooth. Wrap the dough in plastic and set it aside for 30 minutes or refrigerate until needed. You can keep it in the fridge (well wrapped) for 3 days or freeze it for up to a month. If you freeze it, thaw it in the fridge (still wrapped).

Filling

Ingredients

 

½ cup strawberries

½ cup blueberries

½ cup raspberries

½ cup blackberries

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon jam or preserves (any jam you want – I like apricot)

Zest of a lemon

Juice of half a lemon

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon of flour or almond meal (to thicken it all up)

In a medium pot, add all the berries, honey, jam, zest and lemon juice. Stir until cooked down. Stir in the vanilla. Finish with the flour to thicken it all up a bit.

Put it all together:

Knead the dough a little bit. Roll 2/3 of the dough into a 12 inch circle. Transfer it to the pie dish and gently press it into the bottom and sides. Trim the excess dough to be even with the rim. Add the filling. Roll out the rest of the dough and cut into 12 even strips (I use a ruler!). Make a lattice by crisscrossing the strips. Trim the ends again. If you have dough remaining, you can make a nice little edging: roll out the dough and cut out leaves (or hearts or any shape you want). Press the leaves into the edge. Then, brush on some egg white and sprinkle the whole thing with sugar.

Bake the pie for 35-40 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.

 

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