This post has been months in the works! Here's what happened: I was watching an episode of Top Chef when contestants had to make pies and tweeting at the same time. Many of my fellow twitter-ers were flabbergasted that some of the Top Chef contestants have never made pies in their lives. I twitted (tweeted?) back saying that although I'm not a Top Chef contestant, I don't remember the last time I made pie and could use a lesson. That's when Domenica Marchetti tweeted back and one thing led to the next, and last Sunday I ended up in Domenica's lovely home for a great barter deal: she would teach me how to make pies and I would share with her my knowledge about photography!
You see, Domenica is a cookbook author, freelance writer and contributor to Washington Post. I knew I was in good hands. She was also super friendly, patient and fun. I'm afraid I might have gotten a better deal out of this barter agreement ;)
But back to the issue of pies.
We decided to follow a recipe adapted from Betty Crocker for one of the pies, and make another with a recipe adapted from Jacques Pepin. One crust was made in the food processor, and another I made by hand.
This post will cover the Betty Crocker recipe I made in the food processor. Stay tuned for an apple pie with dough made by hand!
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 to 5 tablespoons ice-cold water
1. Cut the butter into small cubes.
2. Put the flour and salt into a bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine.
3. Distribute the butter around the work bowl and pulse until the mixture is crumbly.
4. While the motor is running, drizzle the water through the feed tube and process just until the mixture begins to come together.
5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and pat into a disk. Domenica said she always uses wax paper for wrapping the dough because that's what her mom does. Wrap the dough in wax paper and let it sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
For this pie we decided to use peaches (3) and frozen berries: blueberries, raspberries and blackberries (about 1 cup each).
I know this photo below looks horrid, but just use your imagination: the frozen berries were gorgeous. They reminded me of Christmas ornaments.
Unfortunately, we did not have an hour, and so when we took the dough out of the refrigerator, it was still a bit too soft. Still, we managed to roll it out and fit it into a pie dish and crimp it.
We then combined peaches and berries with 1/4 cup flour, 3/4 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg.
Domenica taught me how to make lattice to top the pie, and I think I did pretty well for my first time.
Are you ready for some pie!?
The entire house smelled like butter, sugar and fruit. It was magical.
I had to take my pie on the Metro and felt bad for other riders who stared lovingly at the pie but could not have it! (Evil laugh!)
Of course the best way to serve a berry/peach pie is with fresh vanilla ice cream.
Although the filling was runny, the flavor more than made up for it! The crust was flaky and buttery.
Big THANK YOU to Domenica for a great afternoon. Please check in next week to see a beautiful apple pie we made.
What's YOUR favorite pie filling?