Homemade pie, with all of its wonderful little imperfections, is pretty stinkin great. It doesn’t look like that oddly perfect-looking pie from Village Inn, Stepford Wife-esque with its unblemished crust and crimped edges. No sir. The homemade pie might have a little burnt spot on the edge. Maybe the fruit inside spilled through the seam a little. There could be a couple tears in the crust like this pie has. But unlike that store bought pie that was probably made completely by machine, this pie, the handmade pie, is baked by a real live person. Probably someone you know and love. They tended the crust (we all know pie crusts need a little TLC) and made sure nothing got too warm before baking time. They picked out the best fruit they could find. They turned on their oven in the middle of summer when the last thing anyone needs is a giant box filled with 375-degree air in their non-air-conditioned house, spewing the leftover heat into the kitchen like it’s a fire-breathing dragon. This person baked you a pie. And that, as my mom would say, is a beautiful thing.
This pie starts out, like most good things, with butter.
This crust is a little different because while the butter is still cold, you’ll roll it out so it makes little strips of butter. It’s kinda tricky but that’s cool cuz we’re going for the flakiness here.
Then it goes back in the bowl, and you’ll add buttermilk.
Then it’ll need some time to cool off in the fridge. It’s hot outside, and pie crust can feel it too.
Now, it’s berry time. These babies will get tossed with some lemon juice and sugar.
When the crust is finally done chilling, roll it out on a floured surface, gently lift it into your pie pan, sprinkle some breadcrumbs in there to help absorb all the berry juice, and pour in the berries. You can see a few spots where i had to patch the pie crust. No big deal. That’s what the homemade pie is all about!
Then, grab the other piece of dough from the fridge and roll it out, lift on top, and seal the edges. I won’t pretend I know how to beautify the edge of a pie crust, so I’ll tell you not to worry about it. No one will notice, and if they do, they’ll forget as soon as they have a bite, And if they don’t forget, take away their pie and give it to someone else. (Not that I want to deny anyone a slice of this…but still.) Make sure to cut some vents in the top so the steam from the fruit juice can escape.
I realize it’s a little late in the season for blueberries (where did you go, summer?), but if you can find them, this would be the perfect send-off for them until next year.
Blueberry Blackberry Pie
Makes 1 double-crusted 9-inch pie
For the crust:
1 cup (two sticks, 8 ounces) unsalted butter, cold
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (5-6 ounces) buttermilk, cold
For the filling:
2 pints fresh blueberries
1 pint fresh blackberries
1 cup granulated sugar, plus a little more for sprinkling on top
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
a big pinch of salt
zest of 1/2 a lemon
juice from 1/2 a lemon, or more to taste
1/4 cup plain breadcrumbs or crushed graham crackers
1 large egg, beaten with about a tablespoon of water
First make the crust. Cut the butter into 1-inch cubes and chill in the freezer for 15 minutes. Measure out your buttermilk and place it in the refrigerator so it stays cold.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, and salt. Grab the butter from the freezer and toss it with the flour mixture until all the butter is coated.
Dump the cold butter and flour onto a large, clean area of counter for rolling. Using a rolling pin, roll the mixture so that the butter cubes become flat, thin sheets. Work quickly – the butter should stay cold.
Gather the rolled butter and flour, but them back into the bowl, and refrigerate for 10 minutes. When the butter is cold, remove the bowl from the refrigerator and make a well in the center of the mixture. Pour the cold buttermilk into the mixture all at once. Using your hands, bring the dough together, breaking up any clumps of milk and flour that form. The dough will be shaggy, but all the flour should be moistened. If it isn’t, add another tablespoon of buttermilk. Once it’s all mixed together, divide the dough in half and form each half into a disk. Wrap them in plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour.
At this point, you can keep the dough in the fridge for 3 days or freezer for 3 weeks before using it. If you want to freeze it, roll the dough into sheets and wrap them in plastic wrap, then freeze.
While the crust chills, make the filling. Rinse the berries and place them in a large bowl. Add the flour, sugar, salt, zest, and juice to the bowl and stir it all together gently. Let sit for about 5 minutes, then taste it and add more lemon if needed.
After at least and hour has passed, remove one of the pie crust disks from the fridge. Flour your work surface and rolling pin, and roll the crust out into a circle. Lift it into the pie plate and trim the edges. Leave bout 1/2 an inch of overhand all around.
Sprinkle the breadcrumbs or crushed graham crackers over the bottom of the unbaked pie crust. Slowly pour in the berries and spread them evenly with the back of a spoon. Have your egg wash ready and moisten the edges of the crust.
Place the pie plate with the bottom crust and filling in the fridge while you roll out the top crust. Make the top crust into a 12-inch circle. Remove the pie plate from the fridge and drape the top crust over the filling. Trim it back tuck the two crusts under so the dough is flush with the edge of the pie plate. The egg wash will act like a pie crust glue, keeping them together. Crimp with your fingers or the tines of a fork to seal. Cut 4 slits in the top crust to act as vents. Place the pie in the fridge to chill while the oven preheats.
Place a rack in the lower third of the oven, and a cookie sheet on another rack below to catch any juice that bubbles over. Preheat the oven to 425 F.
Brush the top and outside edge of the pie with the egg wash. Generously sprinkle granulated sugar over the top. Bake the pie at 425 F for 30 minutes. Then, reduce the oven temperature to 375 F and bake for another 30 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling up through the vents. If the crust starts browning too quickly, cover the pie loosely with foil while it bakes (the steam will still need to vent).
Remove from the oven and let cool for at least 30 minutes before serving. Don’t worry about it getting to cool. I brought my pie to a barbecue, it sat outside for about an hour and a half, and it still steamed when I cut into it. Enjoy and give yourself a pat on the back!
I’m definitely not one of the neatest people in the world. I don’t always do my dishes right away (and by ‘not always’ I mean ‘basically never’). My bedroom floor is a mess of books and socks and shoes. My purse is a mess of hair ties and receipts. And don’t even get me started on my laundry situation…who needs to fold clean clothes when you can just keep them in the hamper until they’re all dirty again?
So the first time I saw a picture of a galette, I was pretty excited. It’s just like a pie, but a little messy! You don’t have to worry about rolling the dough out to fit the pie pan, or rolling the top crust to the perfect size to fit the bottom crust. No need to secure the two crusts together and make it all fluted and pretty around the edges. All you have to do is roll out the dough to a mostly-circular shape, put the fruit on top, and fold over the edge. It’s as pretty as pie in a messy kind of way and tastes just the same. Perfect for those of us who can’t be bothered with too much neatness.
A galette begins just like a pie does, with a nice buttery crust. We roll it out and drape it over a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Then the fruit! I’ve never made anything with rhubarb before. I think it’s one of those things that you don’t like as a kid and then you forget about it until you see it at the store years later and think, “Huh. That looks good.” So I decided to give it a try. (Good decision, obviously).
This galette is perfect for spring. It’s mostly sweet, with a little tartness from the rhubarb. Some slightly sweetened whipped cream gives it the perfect finishing touch.
Strawberry Rhubarb Galette
From Food and Wine
For the crust:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks, 5 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
5 tablespoons ice water
Place the flour and salt in a medium bowl and blend with a fork. Scatter the butter on top. Cut the butter into the flour with a pastry cutter or your hands until the pieces are the size of small peas. Sprinkle the water on top and toss with the fork.
Use your hands to press the mixture into a dough. Pat the dough into a 6-inch disk. Wrap it in plastic and chill for at least 30 minutes and up to overnight.
For the filling:
1 pint strawberries, thickly sliced
1 pound fresh rhubarb, cut crosswise 1/2 inch thick
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons whole milk, or 1 beaten egg
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
While the dough chills, preheat the oven to 400 F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. On a clean floured surface, roll the dough into a 16-inch round 1/8 inch thick. Work quickly to keep the butter cold. I also found that I needed to use a little more flour than I normally do for dough, so don’t be afraid to overdo it. Transfer the rolled-out dough to the baking sheet and chill 10 minutes.
Toss the strawberries, rhubarb, sugar, flour, lemon juice, and vanilla in a large bowl. Spread the fruit over the pastry to within 2 inches of the edge. Fold the outer edge of the dough over the filling, pleating it every 2 inches or so. Brush the dough with milk or egg. Sprinkle some extra sugar on the dough if you want. Dot the filling with the 4 tablespoons butter.
Bake the galette for one hour in the center of the oven, or until the fruit is bubbling and the dough golden brown. Let cool slightly before cutting.
For the whipped cream:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon sugar, or to taste
1 teaspoon vanilla
Beat the cream, sugar, and vanilla on high until soft peaks form or until your desired consistency.
Serve aside the galette.