Sunday, June 19, 2011

Mixed Berry Crumble Pie

Last night was presumably the last Saturday night that JiT and I will spend alone as a couple before we become parents (my momma comes next weekend). So, did we paint the town red, exploring Miami's best restaurants and clubs? Of course not. We went to Publix, picked up $60 worth of goodies and got to work making dinner. We even broke out our fancy wedding china and crystal for the first time ever. We split a strip steak, grilled pink shrimp (a Florida specialty), baked potatoes, corn, and a tomato basil salad. All were delicious but far and away the absolute highlight of the night was the PIE.

It was sweet, it was juicy, it was crumbly. It tasted like SUMMER. Actually, it tasted like summer back home in the midwest, on a night when you can hear the crickets and see the lightning bugs flashing and hear a little rumble of thunder off in the distance and smell the rain coming and know that everything is right in the world (okay....we might still be a tad bit homesick).

But back to the pie. It was warm and perfect with a scoop of vanilla ice cream melting in perfect contrast alongside the sweet, slightly tart berry goodness. It was so good we each had two slices -- no shame, no apologies.

I'd pulled the recipe from the new July issue of Bon Appetit, but we ended up making some changes. First off, that's a store-bought frozen pie shell because...well, because I'm 9 months pregnant and I didn't feel like making pastry. So sue me, okay?

Second, the original recipe called for a TON of fresh blueberries....nearly two pounds of them. Even though blueberries were on super-sale at Publix, I couldn't bring myself to dump the entire stash into one pie. Plus, raspberries were also on super-special at Publix, so we figured it would be nice to mix the two together. It turned out to be a genius stroke! We used a ratio of about 2/3 blueberries, 1/3 raspberries. Since our blueberries were incredibly sweet they set the perfect rich, sweet, yummy tone. But our raspberries were relatively tart so every now and then you get this little pop of tanginess mixed in. Utterly delicious.

Then there's the crumb crust -- insanely easy to make and the perfect, crunchy, spicy accent to the berries.

But perhaps the true beauty of this pie is how insanely easy it is to prepare. The filling takes just minutes to mix. The crumb crust even less time and the store bought get the idea. But it just tastes like...well, it tastes like the perfect way to end the last Saturday night you'll ever spend with your husband before your first child arrives. That's how it tastes. And that's pretty damned good.

Mixed Berry Crumble Pie
8 servings

1 frozen deep dish pie crust, thawed and unbaked

2/3 cup sugar
3 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries
2 1/2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice (about 1/2 a lemon)

Crumb crust:
3 Tablespoons white sugar
3 Tablespoons light brown sugar
3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine berries, sugar, flour, lemon juice and zest and toss gently with a rubber spatula. Set berries aside to macerate for approximately 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until berries have released their juices.

Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, whisk together the sugars, flour, cinnamon and salt for the crumb crust. Stir in the melted butter and use fingers to blend to a crumbly consistency.

To assemble the pie, pour the berry mixture into the pie shell. Sprinkle the crumb mixture evenly over the top of the pie. Place pie on a foil-lined cookie sheet (the bottom of your oven will thank you, trust me) and place in the center of your oven. Bake for an hour and 10 minutes, or until filling is bubbling and topping is golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

Pie can be served slightly warm or at room temperature. Preferably with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! This has me very excited about a summer filled with fresh berries :) My sister made a strawberry pie yesterday that was delicious and now I just want berries, berries, and more berries! :)



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