Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Naomi's Masterpiece

While Sam was whipping up his salmon and corn chowder, Naomi spent the hour making and baking a pie for dessert.

The first thing Naomi learned how to make as a child was pie dough - her mother taught her. Her mother must be a wonderful woman, as Naomi's piecrust is, hands down, the best I've ever tasted. It is very short and buttery with a little hint of sweetness, tender as a love poem and flaky as a teenager.

Into the pie shell, she put blackberries and golden raspberries, gently suspended in a delicate custard. If there is a better berry for pie than blackberries, you'd have to convince me of it, and the golden raspberries added a bright note of color to the wonderful flavor of ripe, jammy berries.

Naomi has shared her recipe with me and given me permission to share it with you. Make your own masterpiece while the wild berries are still ripe on the canes around here. And don't forget to thank Naomi's Mom.

Naomi's Berry Pie

Pastry:
8 Tablespoons all-purpose flour* (*Note: Naomi uses a regular table spoon, rather than a measuring spoon, also heaping the spoon, so it works out to about 1.5 cups flour)
3/4-1 stick unsalted cold butter, cut into pieces (use the rest to butter the pie dish)
A sprinkling of brown (or white) granulated sugar (hers was "hippie sugar," the coarse kind)
1 egg

Measure the flour and sugar in a bowl. Add the butter and work it quickly with your fingers until it looks like crumbs. Whisk the egg and add it with few strokes to the butter/sugar/flour mixture. After mixing, wrap in plastic and put in the fridge for 30 minutes or freezer for 10 minutes. Roll out to line a pie plate. Blind bake by pricking the bottom of the crust with a fork in several places and bake for about 15 minutes at 400 degrees F. Turn the oven down to 375 degrees.

Filling:
1 egg
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup heavy cream
Sugar (the amount depends on the sweetness/tartness of the berries, roughly 2 teaspoons over the fruit and 1 Tablespoon in the custard mixture. Less for strawberries or sweeter fruit)
Cinnamon to taste
Lemon zest

Fill pie base with berries (blackberries and raspberries, or other combos as you wish). Mix custard mixture and pour over and around fruit.

Bake at 375 degrees F until it smells ready and pie crust is browning, about 25-30 minutes more. Remove from oven and let rest for a few minutes until the custard is well set. Serve warm, or at room temperature. It's swoony-delicious either way. I speak from experience.


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5 Comments:

Blogger Greg said...

Wow!! That is a work of art.Almost a shame to eat it. Almost.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

I have never heard of an egg in a piecrust recipe! I must experiment.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Greg, and the photo doesn't really do it justice since the plate has a busy pattern. Scrumptious to look at and even better to eat.

Cookiecrumb, I think the idea of adding egg is to keep it from getting soggy in the bottom.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011  
Blogger Kinda Like a Chef said...

Oh my goodness, looks and sounds delicious! YUM!!!

Thursday, August 25, 2011  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Kinda, it really was! I thought English desserts would be too sweet but they really aren't. Just sweet enough.

Friday, August 26, 2011  

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