Blackberry Pie

Who doesn’t love pie? There is something comforting and soothing about making pie. The methodical rolling out of the pie crust, the frustrations of daily life easing every time you put your weight into the rolling pin as you turn and re arrange your pie crust is very comforting to me- and of course the ultimate reward is sitting down and savoring a warm slice with a glass of cold milk. The rain was falling the morning I made this pie, and I had the window screens open letting in the morning breeze. The simple pleasures and joys of life are so important, so if that means making pie for your loved ones or maybe just lazing around a rainy Sunday morning sipping coffee- remember to take the time and find your joy.

I always make extra pie crusts and store them in the freezer. I highly encourage this practice of squirreling away pie crusts in your freezer to save time. Every time I make crust- I make a double batch and save the extra crust. Another tip I like to give is write the measurements down for pie crust on a little card or sticky note and secure it to the inside of your cupboard. Once you’ve made the pie crust and you have the technique down you will memorize the ingredients and method. See my recipe for fearless pie crust.

 

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Blackberry Pie

yield: one standard 9 inch pie

one recipe of my fearless pie crust

5-6 cups fresh berries or (24 oz. defrosted and drained frozen berries)

1 Cup sugar

3 Tbsp. instant (also known as quick-cooking) tapioca

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. lemon zest

1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

1/4 tsp. pure almond extract

 

1. Note: before rolling out pie crusts allow pie crust to rest for at least 30 minutes before rolling; this ensures that the crust does not shrink and is also easier to roll out. If making a standard pie top and not lattice make sure to pierce the top of pie crust a few times to allow steam to escape. Prepare one half pie crust in a 9 inch pie plate and set aside.

2. To prepare filling: In a bowl toss all ingredients gently until well coated and pour evenly in prepared pie crust. Dot with filling with about 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter. Top filling with second pie crust and crimp as desired.  Brush pie crust with milk, heavy cream, or half and half (whatever you have on hand), and sprinkle granulated sugar, raw sugar or coarse sugar over top of pie. Chill prepared pie for 30-40 minutes before baking.

3. Bake pie at 400° F for 30 minutes, then decrease oven to 350° F and cover edges of pie with a pie shield or tinfoil until crust has browned and filling is bubbly. Remove pie and allow to cool over a wire rack.


Raspberry Streusel Bars

You’ve probably figured that raspberries are one of my favorite fruit; since I have many recipes on the blog using them. I had to squeak in one more recipe before summer ends. I’ve been hanging onto this recipe from Cook’s Illustrated for a while now, but I tweaked the recipe slightly by using seedless jam instead as I can’t stand a ton of seeds in my filling. I also added a bit of cinnamon-I also do that when I make raspberry linzer tart as I find it adds a nice back note of warmth to the flavor. The third change I made is by using walnuts instead of pecans; so use pecans if you like. The bars are best served the day they are made as the crust and topping remain crunchy. They will soften the following day; but they are still delicious. Store in an airtight container.

raspberry streusel bars

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Raspberry Streusel Bars

recipe: adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

yield: 24 (2 inch squares) more if cutting into smaller bar shape.
2 1/2 Cups all-purpose flour
2/3 C sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 sticks (1 Cup) + 2 Tbsp. unsalted softened butter, divided
1/4 C packed brown sugar
1/2 C rolled “old-fashioned” oats
1/2 C finely chopped walnuts
3/4 C seedless raspberry preserves
3/4 C fresh raspberries
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 375° F with rack in middle position. Line a 9×13 inch pan with aluminum foil; both sides allowing about 2 inches overhand on all sides. Spray foil with baking spray.

2. In stand mixer mix flour, sugar, and salt a few seconds to combine. With machine running add the 16 tablespoons of butter; one piece at a time on low speed until mixture resembles damp sand. Measure 1 1/4 Cups of the flour mixture into a medium bowl and set aside; distribute remaining flour mixture into bottom of prepared pan and press evenly into bottom of pan. Bake until edges begin to brown; about 14-16 minutes.

3. To make streusel; while crust is baking, add brown sugar, oats, and nuts to reserved flour mixture; toss to combine. Work in remaining 2 tablespoons of butter with a fork and set aside.

4. Combine preserves, raspberries, lemon juice and cinnamon in a small bowl; mash with fork until combined but some berry pieces remain.

5. Spread filling over hot crust and spread evenly using a small offset spatula. Sprinkle the streusel over topping; DO NOT press streusel into filling. Return pan to the oven and bake for about 22-23 minutes until filling is bubbling and topping is golden brown. Cool to room temp on a wire rack; about 1-2 hours.

6. Remove foil sling from pan by lifting with extensions. Use serrated knife to cut into squares or bars.


Raspberry and Rose Muffins

I got the inspiration for this recipe by the leftover rose sugar that collects on the bottom of a bag of Turkish delight. Typically you will see both lemon and rose flavored candy in one bag of Turkish delight, and the rose flavor is what I usually pick out to eat. I love anything rose flavored when it comes to sweets. The powdered sugar that coats the candy gets permeated from the rose flavored candy and usually there is quite a bit of it leftover in the bottom of the bag. It’s like a little present waiting for you once you finish your candy. The smell of the sugar is amazing. I certainly did not want to throw it away so I got inspired when I had some fresh raspberries to make muffins. When I’m coming up with new recipes, it usually comes from something in my daily life that awakens my senses or tastes. If you have access to organic roses you can make your own rose infused sugar. Here is a great link I found on how to do that.

 

 

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Raspberry Rose Muffins

yield: 12 muffins

 

2  3/4 C all purpose flour

1 C sugar

1 Tbsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

2 Cups (about 12 oz. or 2 pints) fresh raspberries

1 Cup milk

1 Cup sour cream

2 eggs

3/4 Cup melted unsalted butter

1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. rose water

3/4 tsp. vanilla

Rose Sugar (optional)*

*To make “fast” rose sugar in a food processor place 1/3 cup granulated sugar and scant 1/3 cup organic dried small rose buds (you can usually find the rose buds in tea shops that sell loose tea) and process until sugar turns into powder. Store leftover sugar in a ziplock baggie or airtight container.

 

1. Preheat the oven to 375° F. Spray a non stick muffin tin with baking spray. (I used a tall European style muffin tin for tall muffins- but you can use a standard American muffin tin-adjust the baking time as needed). If you have a mini popover pan that works too.

2. In large bowl whisk together the dry ingredients. Gently add the raspberries and gently toss with the flour mixture to coat.  In a measuring cup whisk the milk, sour cream, eggs, butter and flavorings. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and gently fold together being careful not to break the berries. Using a ice cream style scoop divide the batter evenly into each muffin well. If you have any extra berries- top the muffins with a berry. Sprinkle granulated sugar over each muffin.

3. Bake muffins at 375° for 10 minutes then DECREASE the oven to 350° F and bake for an additional 10-12 minutes, or until a wooden skewer comes out clean.

4. Let the tin cool over a wire rack and after 5 minutes remove the muffins and let them cool the rest of the way on the rack. Once cool dust over a little rose sugar if you like right before serving.


Sugared Raspberry Popovers

You may notice that the breakfast category has a high count when it comes to my lists. I LOVE breakfast. It is hands down my favorite meal. I love nothing more than going out with friends to a wonderful breakfast spot and lazily enjoying a delicious breakfast while languidly sipping coffee and easing into the day. Some days you just want that special feeling but you don’t want to get dressed, quite frankly. You know that feeling. One of those days you try to convince yourself, “Do I REALLY need to get dressed today?” Perhaps its a Sunday and you don’t REALLY have anywhere to go. Nobody is coming over. Your favorite show is on tv. The couch is calling you. It’s freezing outside. Screw the polar vortex!! When it is the dead of winter and you have not shaved your legs in God knows how long. I hear-by give you permission. (to not get dressed-not the shaving part). Your secret is safe with me. Nobody has to know….

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Raspberry Sugared Popovers

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Sugared Raspberry Popovers

yield: 6 large popovers

3 large eggs

1 1/2 Cup whole milk (2% is fine)

3/4  tsp. vanilla bean paste (or 1 tsp. vanilla is fine)

1 1/2 Tbsp. sugar

pinch of salt

1 1/2 Tbsp. melted butter

1 1/2 Cups all purpose flour

fresh raspberries, rinsed and dried

granulated sugar for serving

1. Preheat the oven to 425° degrees. Have baking non stick spray available.

2.  Blend the eggs, milk, vanilla, sugar, salt, and melted butter. Add the flour and whisk to combine; about 1 minute; mix just til combined but okay if visible lumps of flour remain. Pour batter into a 2 Cup glass measuring cup. Set aside.

3. Place the popover pan in the oven and heat the pan for about 10 minutes. Remove the pan carefully and spray generously with the non stick spray; make sure to get the tops of the wells.

4. Carefully pour batter into each well to 3/4 full. Top with about 6-7 raspberries. Bake the popovers at 425° for 20 minutes. DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DOOR!

5. After 20 minutes, reduced the of the oven to 350° and continue baking for an additional 20-25 minutes. After 20 minutes check the popovers; insert a bamboo skewer and the popovers are done when the skewer comes out clean; if not done continue baking for a few additional minutes. Once they are done; insert a sharp paring knife into each popover to release the steam (this will ensure they keep their shape) and let the popovers cool in the pan on a wire rack until cool enough to touch. Toss in granulated sugar.

*Can I just say:  I like to rip them open while warm and eat them by sprinkling on additional granulated sugar inside. Yum!


Happy Valentines Day: White Chocolate and Raspberry Pudding Parfaits

White chocolate and raspberry are a classic combination. The slightly tart but still sweet raspberry plays well off of the sweet mellow white chocolate. I love this combination for a pudding. I layered the flavors in dessert shooter glasses for a sweet looking parfait.  If you don’t have access to fresh raspberries you can use frozen for the raspberry layer; just thaw and drain the berries first.

H♥ppy V♥lentines D♥y!

White Chocolate Raspberry Pudding Parfaits

 Valentines White Chocolate Rasp Pudding Parfaits

White Chocolate Raspberry Pudding

yield: 4-6 servings

Raspberry Layer:

12 oz. fresh raspberries, rinsed and let dry (if using frozen; let berries thaw and drain first)

1/4 Cup granulated sugar

2 tsp. corn starch

1 tsp. water

1. In a small saucepan (2 Qt.) combine the raspberries and sugar over low heat and heat until sugar starts to dissolve. Increase the heat to medium and stir until berries until they break up and bring to a boil. Boil gently for 5 minutes.

2. Remove from the heat and with a rubber spatula press the berries through a fine mesh sieve placed over a small bowl. Scrape the bottom of the sieve to make sure you get the thickened puree into the bowl. Return the puree to the saucepan and begin to heat again over low heat. Meanwhile; stir together the corn starch and water in a small cup to form a slurry. Add the slurry to the pan and increase the heat to medium high and bring to a boil. Let the mixture boil until it becomes thick. Pour the mixture into a bowl and place a piece of plastic wrap over the surface and refrigerate until ready for assembly.

White Chocolate Pudding:

1/4 Cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch

pinch of salt

1 Cup heavy cream

1 Cup milk

3 egg yolks, lightly beaten

3/4 tsp. vanilla

3 oz. white chocolate, finely chopped

1. In a heavy saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch and salt. Gradually add cream and milk. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat; cook and stir with a wire whisk 2-3 minutes more or until thickened.

2. Remove from the heat. Stir about 3/4 Cup of the hot mixture into egg yolks; return to saucepan. Stirring constantly, bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir 2 minutes more. Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla and chocolate until melted. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly over surface of the pudding and chill in the refrigerator until ready ready for assembly.

For Assembly:

Alternate pudding and raspberry filling layer in decorative glasses. Serve chilled.


Walnut Crisps and Blackberry Jam Cookies

I was very bummed when Gourmet magazine stopped producing its magazine. For years I always looked forward to their recipes and the amazing travel articles in each issue. It took me a while to get over it, but the good news is you can find recipes through their app called Gourmet live, as well as through Epicurious.com. I came across this recipe, and being the jam hoarder that I am and having a jar of blackberry jam in pantry I thought it would be a good way to put it to use. Enjoy~

walnut crisps with blackberry jam cookies

Blackberry Walnut Cookies

Walnut Crisps & Blackberry Jam Cookies

Recipe: Gourmet December 2008 issue

yield: 20 cookie sandwiches

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

1/4 Cup packed light brown sugar

1/4 Cup granulated sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

3/4 tsp. salt

1  3/4 Cups all-purpose flour

1 Cup walnuts, toasted, cooled and finely chopped

About 1/2 Cup seedless blackberry jam

Garnish: confectioners sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F with rack in the middle position. Cream together butter, sugars, vanilla, and salt. Stir in flour and nuts by hand. The dough will be sticky.

Form level tablespoons of dough into balls (total of 40) and arrange 2 inches apart on 2 ungreased baking sheets. Flatten balls to 1/3 inch thick using the bottom of a glass dipped in flour. Bake, 1 sheet at a time, until edges are golden, about 16-20 minutes. Cool cookies on sheets 5 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool completely. Sandwich flat sides of cookies together with about 1 teaspoon of jam. Dust with powdered sugar if desired.


Blackberry-Apple Hand Pies

Last week Seth and I went to the farmers market for a fruit run, and also to have a quick Sunday breakfast. The market has quite a gathering of food stalls. I was in the mood for something savory, and Seth was in the mood for something sweet. Seth decided to wait in the line for a Belgium waffle. While Seth was waiting in line for his waffle, I quickly grabbed a mushroom empanada at a nearby stall and joined Seth again while he waited patiently in line.  As I was munching on my empanada, it got me thinking about hand pies. I love to make hand pies. These blackberry-apple hand pies would be perfect for a Spring picnic. Gather your posse, pack some fried chicken, potato salad, iced tea and these sweet little pies. They are the perfect end to a great picnic.

Blackberry-apple hand pies picnic

Who’s ready for a Spring picnic?

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Blackberry-Apple Hand Pies Collage copy

Blackberry-Apple Hand Pies

recipe adapted from fine cooking

yield ~ 1 dozen (3 inch) hand pies

One recipe of my “fearless pie crust” or pie crust of your choice

6 oz. container fresh blackberries (washed, dried) and cut in half

1 Lg. pink lady, fuji, or gala apple, peeled, cored and diced small

1/2 Cup lightly packed golden brown sugar

1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/8 tsp. nutmeg

1/2 tsp. salt

For egg wash: Mix 1 lg. egg yolk + 1 tsp. water in a small bowl

For sprinkling: coarse sugar

1. Prepare pie crust ahead of time and let it rest (by chilling in fridge) at least 30 minutes before rolling out.

2. In a medium bowl combine all of the filling ingredients except the egg wash and coarse sugar. Roll out pie crust until thin. Using a 3-4 inch cutter, cut out rounds of crust. Place about 1 heaping tablespoon of filling onto each round and brush along outer edge lightly with egg wash. Try not to get the edges too wet or the crusts will not seal. Place another round on top and crimp with a floured fork to seal. Brush with egg wash and cut 3-4 vents in top of pies.

3. Bake pies in a 400 degree F preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes or until crusts are golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.