Category Archives: Fruit Pies

Blueberry Sour Cream Torte

A week ago I was talking with a friend about pie and they mentioned a rather easy and super-tasty tort. It’s like a pie and a cheesecake and it has blueberries. I love blueberries. And of course I also love pie and cheesecake.

Today I added to my Sunday to-do’s the torte recipe that was sent special delivery by Edith. It was very easy and made the house smell great.

The crust:

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup sugar

2 egg yolks

2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

Pre-heat your oven to 400F. Combine the butter, sugar and egg yolks. Stir in remaining ingredients until it forms a dry, coarse meal. Press 2/3 of the mixture into the bottom of a 9 in. spring form pan. Bake for 10 minutes and allow to cool. Press the remaining mixture 1 inch up the side of the spring form. Reduce heat to 350F. Set crust aside.

The filling:

4 cups fresh blueberries

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup quick cook tapioca

1/2 tsp finely shredded lemon peel

1/2 tsp round cinnamon

1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

Combine ingredients and let stand 15 minutes. Cook in medium saucepan until bubbly. Pour into crust.

The filling:

2 egg yolks

2 cups sour cream

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla

Blend ingredients and spoon over blueberries. Bake in over at 35F for 45 minutes. Allow to cool for about an hour. Then chill for 4 hours.

I love the taste of blueberries and the consistency of a cheesecake with a graham cracker crust. I would suggest greasing the spring form before pressing the crust. Most of the crust for the torte I baked is stuck to the bottom of the pan. I liked it and Andre, my stepson, liked it enough to have 2 pieces. I might do that too.

blueberry sour cream torte2

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Filed under Bluberry Pies, Cheesecake, Fruit Pies

Mixed Berry Pie with Oatmeal Lattice Crust

2nd place on the least presentable list.

2nd place on the least presentable list.

 

The 4th of July has come and gone. We are half way through the year and it’s fairly hot in the state of Texas. Not 2011 hot mind you, but still very hot. It’s strange days when you consider the upper 90’s not-so-hot.

We went to friends for the 4th and had dinner and made our own fireworks show in their front yard. Dinner consisted of hamburgers, potato salad, beer or margaritas, and a bit of pie. Not necessarily in that order. This recipe was pulled from Epicurious circa 1997.  You don’t need a national holiday to make or eat this one. But it is certainly worthy of baking for such a day.

The crust!

4 1/2 tbsp. ice water

1 large egg yolk

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1/3 cup old-fashioned oats

1/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar

1 tbsp. grated lemon peel

1/2 tsp. salt

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into piece

Grease your pie plate. Whisk 4 1/2 tablespoons ice water and yolk in small bowl to blend. Blend flour, oats, brown sugar, lemon peel and salt in processor. Add butter and process until coarse meal forms. Add yolk mixture and process using on/off turns until moist clumps form. Gather dough together and divide into 2 pieces, 1 slightly larger than the other. Flatten into disks; wrap each in plastic and chill 1 hour or up to 1 day.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Roll out larger dough disk on floured surface (I use a floured baking cloth to make it easier to transfer to plate) to 12-inch round. Transfer dough to 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish. Fold overhang under (if you have any). Crimp edges.

Line your crust with foil. Fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake 10 minutes. Remove foil and beans. Continue to bake until crust is set, about 8 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

Roll out remaining dough disk on floured surface to 12-inch round. Cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips.

The filling!:

1 cup plus 1 tbsp sugar

2 1/2 tbsp. cornstarch

2 tsp. grated orange peel

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

1 3/4 cups fresh raspberries

1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries

3/4 cup fresh blackberries

1/4 cup blueberry preserves

1 egg, beaten to blend (for glaze)

Whipped cream (optional)

Mix 1 cup sugar, cornstarch, orange peel and nutmeg in large bowl. Add all berries and preserves and toss to blend. Pour filling into crust. Place dough strips atop pie, forming lattice; trim excess. Gently press strip ends to crust. Brush lattice with egg glaze. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar. Place pie on baking sheet. Bake until crust is golden brown and filling bubbles thickly in center, covering edges with foil collar if browning too quickly, about 1 hour. Cool on rack. Serve lukewarm or at room temperature, with or without whipped cream.

I scorched the crust as you can see but the sugar, glaze and berry mix did a nice job of taking that away . It was a bit messy to serve up but tasted very good and was a good way to end the evening. Onward to Labor Day…

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Filed under Blackberry Pies, Bluberry Pies, Fruit Pies, Homemade Pie Crust Pies, Lots O' Butter Pies

Pie #46 – Pear and Apple Pie

Yesterday was my birthday so please forgive me if this is a day late. My wife and I spent the weekend in San Antonio as gadflies on the River Walk. There were lots of drinks and laughs and just all-around good times. I also enjoyed the salutations from a bunch of my friends and family via Facebook. Those were like a bunch of little presents. They were very much appreciated.

However, my week has been tinged with a bit of sadness as well. As I wrote in my earlier blog, our cat Fuzzle has gone missing. And now, a week to the day after she disappeared, our other cat, Ginger, has also disappeared. I’ve spent the week wandering our neighborhood calling out to both cats and even wandering into the wooded areas that we have around our house and in the neighborhood. There is no sign of them and I can already tell this is going to be one of those life mysteries where we will probably never know what happened to either of them. It’s sad. They were beautiful and awesome cats. After I got home today, I put away their food and water dishes. And we’ve already moved their cat perch into the garage, along with their toys. *Sigh*

Pie number 46 is a basic Pear and apple pie. I didn’t want to go through the effort of making pie dough today so I just bought a couple of ready-made crusts.

The ingredients:

Pear and apple pie

4 peeled, sliced and cored pears (or 1 can pear quarters)

4 peeled, sliced and cored apples (or 1 can sliced apples)

½ cup of brown sugar

¼ cup of granulated sugar

¼ cup of flour (preferably all-purpose)

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

¼ tsp. ground nutmeg

a pinch of salt

2 tbsp. unsalted butter

1 tbsp. light cream (or you can use half and half)

1 tsp. granulated sugar

Pre-heat oven to 325F. Thaw your ready made crusts. One will be the top of your pie.

Combine the sliced apples with the sliced pears, brown sugar, and one-quarter cup of sugar in a large bowl. Also throw in the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.

Pour the apple and pear mixture into pie pan. Dot the top with butter.

On a floured surface, roll out other dough into a 12 inch circle and transfer to top of the pie. Seal the crust and cut slits into the top. Brush the top with cream. Sprinkle a bit of sugar on top.

Bake for 50 minutes and cool for an hour. At 30 minutes you may want to check on the pie as the cream and sugar on top will darken the dough considerably. I recommend covering the top in foil after 30-35 minutes.

It’s an easy and quick recipe and tastes pretty good. I recommend a scoop of vanilla ice cream with it.

Good night girls. I miss you both:(

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Filed under Apple Pies, Fruit Pies, Pear Pies

Pie #37 – Peach and Blackberry Pie

I’ve had a few distractions today in getting this posted. First, I started on this post while waiting for pizza delivery from Hill Country Pizzeria. They got lost so I began to work on my sunday posting for pie 37, a simple peach and blackberry pie. They showed up in the middle of my masterpiece of type. So I broke for dinner – pizza and wings. As I started to motivate so I might finish this, I had a certain cat named Ginger stand, or I should say lay on my way:

When cuteness lays in the way of discipline

The base recipe for this comes from the bon appétit Desserts cookbook by Barbara Fairchild.  This recipe calls for double crust but I just made it single crust. I also changed the cook times based on a single crust. The edited cook times are listed below.

This selection comes from my wife, Tammi. It’s two very good choices in a row. Why, thank you!

The crust!:

1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 1/4 tsp. sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

1/4 cup non-hydrogenated solid vegetable shortening or lard, frozen, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

2 1/2 tbsp. (or more) ice water

Blend the flour, sugar and salt together in a food processor. Add butter and shortening using on-off turns until mix resembles a coarse meal. Transfer to a large bowl. Add ice water and combine. Form dough into a ball and flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill at least 20 minutes.

The filling!:

1 1/2 lbs. ripe peaches (about 6 small ones)

3 cups fresh blackberries

2/3 cup plus 1 tbsp. sugar

3 tbsp. unbleached all-purpose flour

Vanilla ice cream

Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Drop the peaches into the water; cook 30 seconds. Remove with slotted spoon and drop into a strainer. Rinse peaches under cold water to cool. Slip skins off peaches. Note: this is known as blanching:) So today, I blanched. Halve, pit and slice peaches

Peach and Blackberry Pie

( your yield should be 3 3/4 – 4 cups)

Position rack in lower third of your oven and pre-heat to 400F. While you await the heat, mix the peaches, blackberries, sugar and flour, tossing to blend. Set aside.

Roll out dough on lightly floured surface or baking cloth to 13 inch disk and transfer to pie plate. For this pie, my first crust transfer became a wreck, so I re-chilled the dough and tried again. I didn’t roll it out large enough so I removed the crust edge from the top of the pie plate. Thus, it looks like a pie plate of baked fruit:)

Spoon the filling into the crust. Place cookie sheet under pie and transfer to oven. Bake at 400F for 20 minutes. Open oven and cover pie with foil so the fruit doesn’t dry out. Reduce heat and bake for another 30 minutes or until the peaches are soft and tender when cut with a knife and the juices bubble thickly.

We had some fruit left over so my wife took the remnants and turned it into a topping for the ice cream.

It’s very sweet and the peach flavor really stands out. I’m not too happy with the crust and don’t think I want to use vegetable shortening in the crusts I’ll make down the road. It tastes great with the vanilla ice cream and the sauce my wife made is a very nice touch. Overall, it’s pretty basic but a perfect pie for this time of year.

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Filed under Blackberry Pies, Fruit Pies, Homemade Pie Crust Pies, Peach Pies

Pie #21 – Shimmering Strawberry Pie

It’s a beautiful day here in Austin. It’s not too hot but not chilly either. There was a long list of to-do’s around the house and I got a few things done. Among them, pie.

I wanted to make a fruit pie this week. My list of options for this seems to be getting more limited. I’m not a huge fan of peaches.  I’ve done apple and blueberry pies. I’ve done bananas. Rhubarb makes me skeptical. Strawberry pie sounded like a good one take make so this is number twenty one.

The crust!:

1 1/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 stick chilled unsalted butter cut into 1/4 inch cubes

2 tbsp. sugar

pinch of salt

3 tbsp. or more of ice water

Blend the flour, butter, sugar and salt in a food processor using on/off turns. Add 3 tablespoons of water and mix until moist clumps form. Add additional water by teaspoon if the mix is dry. Remove from processor and form into a ball. Flatten and wrap in plastic wrap. Let set in the fridge a minimum of 3o minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and remove the dough after half hour. Roll out on lightly floured surface into a 13 inch circle. Transfer to a 9 inch pie dish. Trim the dough and use the remnants to patch any holes you might have around the crust edge or in the dish.

Line crust with foil and add dry beans or pie weights and bake for about 15 minutes until the sides are set. Remove from oven, remove beans and foil. Heat oven to 350 degrees F and bake an additional 10 minutes until crust is a light brown.

The filling!:

6 cups strawberries, halved

1 cup water

1/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

Few drops red food coloring (optional – I opted out)

Light frozen whipped dessert topping, thawed (optional – I opted in)

In a food processor or, using a blender and large bowl combine 1 cup of the strawberries and the water. Cover and blend or process until smooth. Transfer to a small saucepan. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 2 minutes.

In a medium saucepan stir together sugar and cornstarch; stir in berry mixture. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Remove from heat. If you want the red of the strawberries to pop, stir in enough red food coloring to tint a rich red color. I’m a naturalist. I opted out to the food coloring. Cool to room temperature.

Fold remaining strawberries into cooled mixture; transfer mixture to pastry shell. Cover; chill for 3 to 4 hours. If desired (oh yes I do), serve with whipped topping.

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Filed under Fruit Pies, Homemade Pie Crust Pies, Strawberry Pies