Strawberry & Blackberry Pie

I really love baking with berries. Not only do they taste fabulous in all baked fruit desserts, but they also add a wonderful pop of color in your kitchen.

Blackberry & Strawberry Pie
This pie recipe is pretty simple: the flaky and buttery dough is combined with a lightly sweetened filling of fresh strawberries and blackberries, then baked in the oven until bubbly and golden brown.

Blackberry & Strawberry Pie
I used the same dough recipe in my Apple Tart post before, and I basically doubled it to create a beautiful and elegant lattice top for the pie. The strawberry and blackberry filling can be varied or adjusted. Instead of the granulated sugar, you can use ½ a cup of honey, or add ginger, pecans, cinnamon… You can totally get creative! All of these ingredients only intensify and enhance the berry flavor. The addition of the cornstarch to the filling thickens all the juice oozing out of the berries when baked.

Blackberry & Strawberry Pie
I definitely recommend serving this pie with whipped cream or vanilla bean ice cream – seriously, this is so easy to make and a very impressive dessert to whip up in a few hours.

Blackberry & Strawberry Pie

Ingredients:

Berry Filling:
3 cups fresh strawberries, cut into quarters
3 cups fresh blackberries
1 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Extras: (at the very end of the recipe)
1 egg
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
50 grams butter (about 4 tablespoons) cut into small cubes

Pie Dough:
Double this pie crust recipe. Cut the dough in half and shape into two disks before refrigerating.

Directions:

1. Prepare the pie dough, and refrigerate for at least an hour.
2. In a large bowl, toss all the ingredients for the filling together. Let stand for 20-30 minutes, mixing occasionally.
3. Preheat oven to 190ºC or 375ºF and place a baking sheet in the oven.
4. Take the first dough disk out of the fridge, unwrap it, and roll into a 25 cm (10 inch) circle on a floured working surface using a rolling pin.
5. Transfer to a 22 cm (9 inches) tart pan, and trim edges. Work quickly to keep the dough cold and to avoid stickiness.
6. Pour the berry mixture into the pie shell.
7. Roll out the second disk into a circle and place over the filling. Fold the top layer of dough under the edge of the bottom layer and press the edges together to form a seal. Flute the edge as desired and pierce the top of the dough in several places to allow steam to escape while baking. (To create a lattice pattern, simply cut the round dough into strips and arrange them on top of the filling – here’s a good tutorial).
8. Lightly beat the egg and brush on the top and edges of the pie (to get a golden crust).
9. Dot the top of the pie with the small butter cubes.
10. Place the pie on the hot baking sheet in the oven and bake until the filling is bubbling, 45 minutes to 1 hour. If the crust browns too quickly, cover it with foil and continue baking.
11. Cool on wire rack for 2-3 hours or the pie will fall apart when serving.
12. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla bean ice cream.

For storage, refrigerate the pie for up to 5 days.
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Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

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I never really thought about making homemade ice-cream until I came across a superb book called The Chocolate Bible. After going through the whole book over and over again (it never gets boring) I decided to try the custard based vanilla bean ice cream recipe – as well as other chocolate recipes.

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Custard based ice cream is also known as French-style ice cream; it’s thick, silky, and very scoop-able because of the addition of egg yolks which thickens the mixture. American style ice cream is not as dense, and it’s far quicker to prepare since it doesn’t require cooking a custard base; it is simply a combination of milk, cream, sugar, and flavoring.

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For the custard, you first start cooking the milk, vanilla, and egg yolks over low heat for a few minutes and add the whipping cream at the end. After chilling the mixture for two hours, you pour it in an ice cream maker which will simultaneously freeze the mixture while churning (to aerate it and avoid ice crystals to form). The result was so wonderful: the ice cream was rich and creamy, it tasted exactly like Häagen-Dazs! Can you imagine how impressed everyone would be when they find out that you whipped out a delicious traditional vanilla bean ice cream from scratch?! You will feel special, I’m telling you ;).

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Serve this ice cream with Fudgy Brownies, Chocolate Ganache, Apple Tart, or chunks of chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies… My mouth is watering while writing this post, so I’m going to jump right ahead with the ingredients and instructions.

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Ingredients: (from The Chocolate Bible)
• 5 egg yolks
• 125 grams (½ cup+2 tablespoons) granulated sugar
• 500 ml (2 cups) milk
• 1 vanilla pod, split
• 50 ml (¼ cup) whipping cream

Instructions:
1. Beat the egg yolks and 60 grams (5 tablespoons) of the sugar until pale, yellow, and creamy.
2. Pour the milk into a saucepan; add the remaining sugar.
3. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod – using the point of a knife – into the milk. Add the pod in the saucepan and slowly bring it to the boil.
4. Whisk 1/3 of the hot mixture into the eggs and sugar mixture, stirring well to combine. Then pour this mixture into the remaining hot milk.
5. Stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, cook over low heat until the mixture is thickened and coats the back of the spoon. (~10 to 15 minutes. Do not allow to boil).
6. Stir in the whipping cream and remove from the heat immediately; strain into a bowl.
7. Stand a bowl in crushed ice and place in fridge for two hours until the mixture is cold.
8. Pour the mixture into an ice-cream maker and churn for 30 minutes.
9. Remove the ice cream from the machine and transfer it to the freezer before serving.