Bright Triple Berry Pie

Triple Berry Pie

My daughter Lucy sat and read the whole pie section of America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook on Saturday in order to pick which pie we should make for fireworks that night (in addition to the already decided key lime pie), and we both settled on this one. I thought it sounded fine, good even, but when we sat to eat it, I was way more excited by the flavor than I thought I would be. This pie is better than all the parts, and a really nice alternative to all the cream pies, which I have a soft spot for, but can be a little too rich after a big grill. So, this is an easy, bright alternative that is a delicious pie, and actually flew off the table faster than the key lime. How did that happen?! Happy Fourth!

Bright Triple Berry Pie

Graham Cracker Crust
9 graham crackers, broken into rough pieces
2 T sugar
5 T unsalted butter, melted and warm

 

Berry Filling

2 c raspberries (about 9 ounces) (I used strawberries, which were great!)
2 c blackberries (about 11 ounces)
2 c blueberries (about 10 ounces)
1⁄2 c granulated sugar (3 ½ ounces)
3 T cornstarch
1⁄8 t salt
1 T lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
2 T red currant jelly

 

Whipped Cream

1 c cold heavy cream
1 T sugar
1 t vanilla extract

For the crust: Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 325 degrees.

In a food processor, process the graham crackers until evenly fine, about 30 seconds (you should have 1 cup crumbs). Add the sugar and pulse to combine. Continue to pulse while adding the warm melted butter in a steady stream; pulse until the mixture resembles wet sand and then transfer the crumbs to a 9-inch glass pie plate. Using a ½-cup dry measuring cup, press the crumb mixture into the plate.

Bake the crust until fragrant and beginning to brown, 15 to 18 minutes; transfer to a wire rack and cool completely while making the filling.

For the filling: Combine the berries in a large colander and gently rinse (taking care not to bruise them); spread the berries on a rimmed baking sheet lined with paper towels and gently pat dry with additional paper towels.

In a food processor, puree 2 ½ cups mixed berries until smooth and fully pureed, about 1 minute. Strain the puree through a mesh strainer into a small nonreactive saucepan, scraping and pressing on the seeds to extract as much puree as possible (you should have 1 ¼ to 1 ½ cups).

Whisk the sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a small bowl to combine, then whisk the mixture into the puree. Bring the puree to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon; when the mixture reaches a boil and is thickened to the consistency of pudding, remove from the heat, stir in the lemon juice, and set aside to cool slightly.

While the puree is cooling, place the remaining berries in a medium bowl.

Heat the jelly in a second small saucepan over low heat until fully melted.Drizzle the melted jelly over the berries and toss gently with a rubber spatula to coat. Pour the slightly cooled puree into the cooled pie shell and smooth the top with a spatula. Distribute the glazed berries evenly over the puree and gently press them into the puree.

Loosely cover the pie with plastic wrap; refrigerate until chilled and the puree has set, about 3 hours or up to 1 day.

For the whipped cream: Just before serving, beat the cream, sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer on low speed until small bubbles form, about 30 seconds. Increase the speed to medium; continue beating until the beaters leave a trail, about 30 seconds longer.

Increase the speed to high; continue beating until the cream is smooth, thick, nearly doubled in volume, and forms soft peaks, about 30 to 60 seconds.

Cut the pie into wedges and serve with whipped cream.

Triple Berry Pie 2

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Zucchini Country Bread

Zucchini Country BreadI’ve been on this kick to bake bread daily (which means it happens about 3-4 times a week, because anything I try to do daily usually only happens 3-4 times a week), so I’ve been going through my bread cookbooks. This recipe comes out of Beth Hensperger’s Bread for All Seasons, which I recently gave to my sister, and I remembered how much I love this book. I was so happy to find a recipe that uses zucchini but isn’t sweet, just to give me another option for all the zucchini that is starting to appear.  This loaf is great to accompany salad or soup, or we had it with a homemade boursin (goat cheese with a little minced garlic, chopped basil, parsley, and rosemary), and an array of fresh fruits and vegetables for dinner. Perfect summer meal. Note that one batch will make two long loaves.

Zucchini Country Bread

1 T. active dry yeast
pinch of sugar
5 to 5 1/2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour (I substituted 1 c. whole wheat)
1 1/4 c. warm water
4 or 5 medium zucchini (or one baseball-sized one!)
1 T. olive oil
1 T. salt

In a standing mixer, sprinkle the yeast, sugar and 1 1/4 cups of the flour over the warm water. Beat well until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until bubbly, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, coarsely grate the zucchini to make 2 packed cups and drain in a colander set over a plate (with a little sprinkle of salt) for 30-60 minutes.

Add 1/2 c. of the remaining flour, oil, salt, and grated squash, and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 c. at a time, until a soft, sticky dough is formed that just clears the sides of the bowl.

Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead vigorously until smooth and springy, about 2 minutes, adding 1 T. flour at a time, if necessary. The dough will be soft and smooth. Place in a greased deep container, turn once to coat the top, and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled in bulk, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Turn the dough onto the work surface and divide into 2 equal portions. Form each portion into a 10-inch cylindrical log with tapered ends, dusting the entire round of dough with a bit of flour, and place seam side down on a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature, about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

With kitchen shears, snip the top of each loaf on the diagonal 3 or 4 times. Brush the top of the loaf with olive oil, if desired. Place the loaves in the center of the preheated oven and bake 40-45 minutes or until crusty, brown, and sound hollow when tapped. Remove to a rack to cool completely.