When it comes to quintessential summer desserts, my mind immediately jumps to pie. Full of fresh, seasonal fruit that turns deliciously soft and juicy, encased by a flaky, buttery pie-crust, what better way is there to end a barbecue? Or a picnic?
None! So we make pie. We make it sweet and simple, with hints of ginger, nutmeg and lemon as a foil for the berries sweetness, and we top it with vanilla ice cream, for the ultimate dessert.
Oh, and this pie crust? It’s a recipe I created, a compilation of all the best crusts I’ve ever tried. Using frozen butter, vinegar, and folding it like puff-pastry is a sure guarantee for flakiness, and even if you’ve never made pie before, making this will be a breeze.
So go ahead. It’s summer. You deserve some pie. And this one, if I may say so myself, is the best pie ever.
Yield: 1 double crust pie
Why I love this recipe: this pie crust, a recipe I created, has a 3 fold method for ensuring flakiness (frozen butter, apple cider vinegar and folding like puff-pastry), that practically guarantees a perfect pie. The filling is made with 3 types of berries that are tossed with sugar, vanilla, ginger, nutmeg and lemon juice for a pie that’s sweet + a little tart, and that lets the berries shine with minimum distraction.
For the pie crust:
- 2 1/4 cups flour
- 2 sticks butter, one frozen, one cold
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 4 ounces ice cold water
For the pie filling:
- 2 cups blueberries
- 2 cups blackberries
- 1 cup raspberries
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- sprinkle of ginger
- dash of fresh nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- egg, for egg-wash
- turbinado sugar, for sprinkling
- To make the crust, combine the flour, sugar and salt in a bowl. Use your fingers to cut in the stick of cold butter until it is the size of peas. Then cut in the frozen butter, leaving it in bigger, visible pieces.
- Add the apple cider vinegar to the water and make a well in the center of the flour and butter mixture. Using a wooden spoon, mix the water into the flour until just combined.
- If the dough seems dry, add more water a couple of teaspoons at a time. Press the dough together, split it in half, form into discs and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill the dough overnight in the fridge or in the freezer for an hour, minimum.
- Preheat oven to 425º. In a large bowl, rub the nutmeg and ginger into the sugar to evenly distribute. Add the blueberries, blackberries and raspberries, cornstarch, vanilla and lemon juice into a large bowl with the sugar and gently toss to combine evenly. Be careful not to crush the fruit.
- On a lightly floured surface, flour one disk of dough and compact it into a little rectangle. Roll it out a little, lengthening it a bit. Fold it over 3 times, like a business letter. Then roll it out into a rectangle again. Repeat this process 2 times.
- Now, roll the rectangle into a 12” circle and place it in a pie pan. Fill with the fruit filling. Place in the freezer while you prepare the rest of the pie.
- Repeat step 5 with the second disk of dough. Then, roll out the dough into a 12” circle about 1/8” thick and cut it into strips for a lattice, about 1 inch wide.
- Remove the filled and prepared pie shell from the freezer and top with the lattice crust. Crimp the edges together (mine was a bit…rustic), brush with an egg wash and sprinkle liberally with turbinado sugar.
- Put the pie on a baking sheet to catch any drips and bake for 15 minutes. Then lower the oven to 400º and bake for 40-50 minutes, until the juices bubble. Cool before serving. Top with vanilla ice cream.