Time doesn't stop - or even slow down - around here. Surprise, surprise, I know. Yet sometimes, when I look back over this blog, I get the impression that things have progressed at a very leisurely, civilized pace.
Yum, we ate an apricot galette. We celebrated the Fourth of July with the best brownies ever. Oh look, that time we went to the beach and got ice cream - that was fun. And then we enjoyed ourselves at the Folk Festival.
It all looks so genteel!
And yet things really seem quite whirlwind, most of the time. Even when I talk, in this space, about how busy we are, the essence of that busyness doesn't translate. Things here still look very calm and collected. But real life? Oh my.
I take photos of lots of blog-intended food, and never get around to telling you about it. Is it really horrible of me to mention that we've recently enjoyed pulled pork sandwiches with broccoli-carrot-cucumber slaw, fried haddock with aioli, and broccoli-ricotta pizza, all gluten-free and fabulous? Seeing as time keeps marching forward, with new meals to be had every day, it's unlikely that I'll ever have a chance to circle back around and fill you in on all the lovely details. I'm so sorry, it's not intentional; I just can't keep up with my own life!
This constant, possibly faster-each-year forward progression means that I inevitably end up forgetting things. Take this week, for example. Meetings and appointments have been scheduled and rescheduled all week. The whole family has been valiantly battling a head cold-type thing. In just a moment we'll be headed to central Maine, to attend the Common Ground Fair this weekend. I spontaneously invited dear friends over for dinner the other night. And I got all caught up in the whirlwind of support for Shauna and Danny's new cookbook. (Which, by the way, has been wonderful to be a part of. So many lovely, sweet bloggers pitching in to help! So many heartwarming stories coming out of it - pasta-making parties, first forays into non-mix brownies, cultivating new shrimp and anchovy lovers, simple awe at discovering how easy and delicious made-from-scratch food can be. Good stuff. If you haven't already, take a moment to check out the list of participating blogs, and read some of these for yourself. It's such a great community.)
So I've been busy and distracted. And I've forgotten to do things. Like finishing mowing the lawn, which I started doing five days ago. Scrubbing the blackened splatterings out of the slow-cooker from the last batch of apple butter. Putting the new rear wiper on my car, the wiper that's been waiting in the front hall for a week and a half.. And I forgot to give you the recipe for Wild Berry Pie, the one that I dangled in front of you nine days ago! My apologies! Thankfully, a reader pointed out my oversight, and I am here to make amends.
Berry season is, sadly, pretty much over around here. But you can still have this pie. As long as the blueberries are wild - not the cultivated, high bush variety - you can make a perfect pie using frozen blueberries, year-round. I might not have said the same thing about blackberries, except that the ones I used for this pie were frozen, and worked great. So if you, like me, froze bags and bags of fruit this summer, and are now wondering just what you'll do with it all, you can at least take comfort in knowing fabulous pie is possible.
And this pie is fabulous. The crust, oh the crust! I don't need to keep telling you how flaky and buttery it is - you can read my gushings here and here. But the filling is also important in a pie, and this one doesn't disappoint. It's hard to go wrong with blueberry pie (and hard not to channel Bette Midler singing the its eponymous song while making it), but by adding a small amount of intense, somewhat astringent wild blackberries (conventional ones will do in a pinch), the pie becomes deeper, and richer, and more nuanced. It's good after-dinner pie, when you want dessert but a syrupy-sweet filling would be too much. This is grown up pie. By which I don't mean pie just for grown-ups, mind you, but pie that has itself grown up and wizened and matured, and has a bit of sass to show for it. This pie has absolutely "come out of its shell." You're going to love it.
In fact, I think you should make pie this weekend. For one thing, baking something as homey and comforting as pie seems like the perfect way to mark the change of seasons. But also, things come up, schedules change, life goes on. And soon those bags of fruit get covered up by yet more bags and containers - of veggies or chicken stock or dinner rolls or cranberries - and your berry-pie-making intentions get buried right alongside the key components.
So quick - do it now, before you forget. Bake a pie.
Happy weekend, everyone!
Deep Dish Wild Berry Pie
yields one 9-inch deep dish pie
One double recipe Best-Ever Gluten-Free Pie Crust, or your favorite crust, in two discs, cool but not too cold
5 cups wild blueberries, fresh or frozen (not thawed)
2 cups wild blackberries, fresh or frozen (not thawed)
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup tapioca starch
4 tsp lemon juice (Meyer lemon juice is especially good here)
zest of one lemon
pinch of cinnamon
1 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 Tbsp egg white for interior egg wash (white reserved from egg before making egg-water wash), whisked until slightly frothy
1 egg mixed with 1 Tbsp water for egg wash
turbinado sugar, for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 425º. Have ready a 9-inch deep dish pie plate.
In a large bowl, combine the blueberries, blackberries, brown sugar, granulated sugar, tapioca starch, lemon juice and zest, and cinnamon. Stir gently to combine. Set aside.
Roll out one disc of pie dough into a circle approximately 15 inches across. I've found that if the dough is too cold (as in straight from the refrigerator), it's difficult to roll and cracks a lot. Letting it warm slightly results in a more pliable dough that's easier to roll out (just be sure to dust it with gluten-free flour, or do it between two pieces of parchment or plastic wrap), and it doesn't compromise the end goal (a tender, super flaky crust) one bit. It's a great thing about gluten-free pie dough; you don't have to be so neurotic about keeping it cold when you're working with it! (Thanks so much to Jeanne for her guidance on this point!) Gently ease the dough circle into your pie plate, letting the edges hang over the lip of the plate. If the dough's gotten so warm that it's becoming too sticky, pop the pie plate in the fridge just long enough for the dough to regain some of it's integrity. Brush the dough with the egg white wash (any leftover wash can be added to the egg-water wash).
Roll out the other disc of dough into a circle approximately 11 inches across. Refrigerate it for just a moment, as you fill the pie plate. I like to use a very small cutter to cut decorative shapes out of the dough, instead of cutting the more-traditional slashes into the top, to allow for steam to escape.
Pour the berry mixture into the pie plate, and dot the top with pieces of butter. Gently lay the dough circle over the pie and trim any excess dough. Press the top and bottom crusts together to form a seal, fold the edges over and decoratively crimp them, if desired. If you didn't already cut out some shapes in the dough, use a paring knife to cut several slashes in the center of the crust. Brush crust with egg-water wash, and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. (Regular granulated sugar can be substituted.)
Place pie plate on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes. Check the pie - the crust will be getting golden brown, so cover it with a foil collar. Continue baking for 55 minutes, or until crust is a deep golden brown and juices are bubbling and thickened.
Cool completely on a rack. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, if desired.
Posted by Tara Barker at 4:27 PM