With the last batch of blueberries for this year, I couldn't resist picking another round of it yesterday and as usual, I ended up with more than I intended. The raspberries were beautiful, fully grown and plump and I couldn't resist picking a quart of them too!
As much as I love blueberries, I never thought of freezing them for future use. To me, when something is in season, you take and eat it instantly and sample other lovely things that nature intended for the next season. For this year, I am totally overloaded with anti-oxidants from blueberries and if I can keep myself healthy till next summer, I am on a good track!
To me, making pies can be complicated. Depending on the types of fillings and the amount of fat used in the pie crust, sometimes results can be disastrous. Despite being quite successful with tarts, pies are still half luck and half science to me. There were times I found that the base was not cooked while the top and side parts are evenly browned and the fillings soak to the bottom making the pie lumpy and cannot hold its shape. Most of the recipes uses vegetable shortening to produce the tender and flaky character that most sweet pies have. I find that using shortening solely lacks the "umph" factor in baked goods and it leaves a bland taste in the palate. I just had to use a combination of butter and shortening so that I don't feel like I am eating plastic and since both have different smoke points, I set the oven temperature to 375F for the first 25 mins of baking and reduced it to 350F for the remaining 15 mins.
I believe most people like raspberries for its color but nothing is spectacular about its taste when eaten raw. Compared to blueberries, raspberries lacks the juiciness and sweetness and my Aunt from Singapore said its texture is like snake skin! However, when baked or made into jam, raspberries exude all its liquid content and releasing all its seeds, making it irresistable. I added the chopped walnuts for a bit of crunch and a tablespoon of dessicated coconut to the berries prior to spooning them into the pie shell. Initially I did it for fun and curious about the tastes combination but I think it aided a bit in preventing a soggy bottom. And the amount was so small that I didn't even taste the coconut.
Pie Crust :
2 cups All Purpose Flour
8 tbsp butter (1 stick), cold
3 tbsp vegetable shortening, cold
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp cold water
1 egg, beaten
1 tbsp sugar for sprinkling
150 gm raspberries
300 gm blueberries
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp all purpose flour
2 tbsp chopped walnut
1 tbsp dessicated coconut
1)Sift the flour and salt together.
2)Cut the butter and shortening to little pieces and scatter all over the flour.
3)Using hands, rub the fat into the flour, coating all flour. Food processor can be used.
4)The batter will feel oily and slightly wet. Add the cold water at 1 tbsp at a time, till the flour & fat mixture gathers into a ball but not sticky. Gather into a ball and wrap in aluminum foil and let the dough rest for 45 mins in fridge. At this time, proceed to do the filling. (see below)
5)Preheat oven to 375F. Take out dough. Lightly flour the rolling pin and countertop. Roll out the dough to fit an 8 or 9 inch pie pan, with overhanging edges on the rim of the pan. Slowly pat and tuck the dough into the pan evenly with your fingers and cut off the extra overhanging dough. Poke the bottom with a fork.
6)Brush the inside and sides of the pie shell with the beaten egg.
7)Spoon in the filling and distribute evenly. Cut out extra dough with your favorite cookie cutter
and scatter all over the top of the filled pie.
8)Brush these cut out dough with the egg and sprinkle some sugar lightly.
9)Bake at 375F for 25 mins and lower down to 350F and complete baking for extra 15 mins.
10)Let the pie cool to room temperature and serve with whipped cream or your favorite ice cream.
1)Wash the blueberries and raspberries and soak dry with paper towel.
2)Combine the fruits with the flour, sugar, walnut and dessicated coconut. Mix thoroughly. The raspberries will start to mush as you stir.
Serves : 6 to 8 persons