Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Peach Blackberry Pie

I read an article recently on Mission Pie, a company based in the Bay area. They shared (some of) their pie secrets, some of which surprised me greatly. For instance: They use whole wheat flour for the pastry dough, claiming it imparts a "warm" flavor to fruit pies. Also, they suggested letting the dough chill for 3 days before using it to let the gluten relax.

I decided to use these suggestions when I made my dad’s birthday dessert, a peach blackberry pie using fruit I bought at farmer’s markets in summer and froze. I was afraid to use all whole wheat flour, as I feared this would produce too dense a product. Therefore, I adapted the crust recipe as follows:

Wheat pastry double crust :
1 ½ c. white flour
½ c. whole wheat flour
1 tsp. salt
5 T. chilled butter
7 T. chilled butter-flavored shortening
Ice water

Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Cut the butter and shortening into the dry ingredients. Mix in the ice water, a tablespoon at a time, until the dough clings together. Form into a ball, cover with plastic wrap. Let sit at least 24 hours. Cut dough into 2 equal pieces. Roll each out on a piece of wax paper. Fit one into a 9-inch pie pan, save the other for the top crust.

For the filling, I used:
2 lb. sliced peaches
1 c. blackberries
1/3 c. white sugar
1/3 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. tapioca ( I like the texture of tapioca)
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. nutmeg

Since I used frozen fruit, I let the mixture sit for about 30 minutes before putting it into the crust, placing the top crust over the filling, cutting 4 slits in the top crust, and brushing the top crust with water and sprinkling with turbinado sugar. I covered the edges with aluminum foil and baked at 375 for 50 minutes, removed the foil, and baked for another 30 minutes.

The top crust was absolutely perfect, the edges were wonderful, the filling was fresh and delicious. Just one problem: the bottom crust came out a bit soggy. I got online and found 2 things I could do next time to prevent this:

A good way to keep pie crust from becoming soggy is to sprinkle it with a mixture of equal parts sugar and flour before adding filling. You can also brush the bottom crust with an egg white before adding the filling.

Live and learn! I shall continue my experimentation.

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