Friday, December 21, 2012
what better way to celebrate the turning of the sun's journey through the season than by baking a lovely raspberry pie! the berries, picked fresh in the fullness of summer and frozen until this morning, remind us of warmer days beneath a redolent sun. nestled deep in a flaky crust and bubbling happily from the oven, this is sure to please the mouth and warm the belly. a truly wondrous break from the day's activities!
now, raspberry pie can be a dicey proposition when keeping others in mind. some think of a jammy, super sweet concoction, while others, like me, long for a summery pucker! but since this pie is being baked with myself in mind (anyone else dipping into it will just have to enjoy it or leave it behind for the rest of us) i've opted to pucker the palate.
classic raspberry pie
1 recipe pie pastry, enough for double crust
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons minute tapioca
1/2 lemon, rind and juice
4 cups raspberries, whole (fresh or frozen and un-thawed)
1 tablespoon butter
preheat oven to 425°F and place a rack on the bottom of the oven. line a 9-inch pie plate with your favourite pastry and pierce in several places with a fork. instead of a top crust, you can use a small cookie cutter and cut out shapes to be placed on top of the filling before baking, but i like a nice, full crust myself.
combine sugar, flour, tapioca and lemon rind in a large bowl. add the raspberries and toss gently, being careful not to squash the berries. spoon the filling into the pie shell and sprinkle with lemon juice. dot with butter (please, oh please, use butter! margarine has no place in the kitchen). place the pastry top (or cutouts) over the filling and flute the edge (unless using cutouts). don't forget to pierce or cut the top.
bake the pie on bottom rack of the oven for 40 to 45 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly. allow pie to cool. serve warm or room temperature with vanilla ice cream. i recommend you eat this pie the day it is made...like that’s gonna be an issue!
perfect pie pastry
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
3 tablespoons granulated white sugar
1/4 cup vegetable shortening, cold
12 tablespoons butter, cold and cubed
1/4 cup to 1/2 cup ice water
in a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, salt and sugar. add the shortening and break it up with your hands as you start to coat it all up with the flour. add the cold butter cubes and work it into the flour with your hands or a pastry cutter. work it quickly, so the butter doesn't get too soft, until the mixture is crumbly, like very coarse cornmeal. add the ice water, a little at a time, until the mixture comes together forming a dough. bring the dough together into a ball.
when it comes together, stop working it otherwise the dough will get over-worked and tough. divide the dough in half and flatten it slightly to form a disk shape. wrap each disk in plastic and chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. on a floured surface roll each disk out into a 10 to 11-inch circle to make a 9-inch pie.
of course, you may use your own favorite pie pastry recipe (just don't tell me if you buy that frozen, pre-made stuff...i'd rather not know!)