Mountain Berry Pie with Flakey Butter Crust
Today, I'm adding a personal touch to a homemade berry pie and delivering it to our favorite neighbor. And I'm wearing the kind of dress you want to live in.
This Fall season, turning pies into an artsy craft project seems to be the trend. A well deserved trend, being that pie making from scratch is quite the labor of love. It's only fitting to make the finishing touch to a homemade pie something personal. A message, a pattern, anything that makes you and others smile. After all, that's what sharing desserts is all about. The smiles.
My message: "The mountains are calling and I must go," quoting the ultimate mountain-man, John Muir.
Lately, as the seasons change, I've been inspired by the Grand Teton mountain range. They literally call to me, making me feel powerful and vulnerable at the same time. I long to conquer them, but also deeply respect the dangers they hold...meaning I have bear spray with me at all times.
The receiver of this treat, my neighbor and friend, shares my love for the mountains. I know she'll appreciate the extra effort I put into this berry pie, which I've newly named Mountain Berry Pie.
Rather than finishing the pie edges with a braid or doing simple cutouts, I carved out a mountain range. A grand (Teton) finish, that's both rustic and personal. I was nervous to attempt a free-hand art project in my pie dough, I'll be honest. But it was surprisingly easy. I used a small pairing knife and chilled the rolled dough just before. Next time I'll carve out smaller pieces, as the dough separated quite a bit while baking. But that's what getting crafty is all about; trying new things and seeing what works.
I delivered the pie, and the pie delivered a smile. A smile that made my day.
Fresh berries, a touch of lemon, and the BEST flakey butter crust in the world...yep, I said it. The whole world. If you're looking for a berry pie recipe, this is it. It's delightfully sweet and tangy, a gorgeous, vibrant color, and is so light it can even be eaten for breakfast. If you want to get crafty, as I did, try something different with your top layer. And if you're making a special pie delivery, be sure to include vanilla ice cream.
Pyne & Smith Clothiers
Before we binge on pie, let's talk about this dress...
From baking to delivery, this linen dress was my best friend. It was handmade by my dear friend, Joanna, of Pyne & Smith Clothiers, in California.
Joanna and I have been friends for 15 years. We have something very unique in common: we're both inspired everyday to create. Taking pride in our craft, you'll find pieces of our personalities in our work. Joanna started Pyne & Smith Clothiers to share her European heritage and love for the art of dress making. Each piece is handmade, and sustainably crafted in California, from natural fabrics. They're the kind of dresses you want to live in. And I absolutely do. Simple and casual, I pair this dress with a pair of boots and, with the Fall season, a cozy scarf. Visit the Pyne & Smith collection here.
Mountain Berry Pie with Flakey Butter Crust
* Makes filling for one 9" or 10" pie
- 6 cups of fresh berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, or a mix)
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
- 3/4 cup of granulated sugar
- 5 tablespoons of cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small cubes
- 1-2 tablespoons of heavy cream (for brushing the pie)
- One batch of Flakey Butter Crust
- Preheat your oven to 375°F.
- In a large bowl, mix the berries with the sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and cornstarch. Set aside.
- Generously dust a work surface with flour. Roll out one disk of dough till it's 1/4" thick and wide enough to cover the bottom of your pie dish.
- Fold the dough in half and transfer it to a 9" or 10" pie dish, then unfold. Lightly press the dough into the corners and tear off extra dough to leave 1/2" overhang.
- Fill the dish with the berry mixture and scatter the top with 2 tablespoons of cubed butter. Set aside.
- Roll out the top layer of dough to 1/4" thick and roughly 14" in diameter.
- Fold the dough, place on top of the pie, and unfold. Trim the edges to leave 1/2" overhang.
- Take the overhanging edges of top and bottom layer and tuck into a roll, crimping them together. You can use your finger or a fork to create a decorative edge.
- Cut some decorative vents on the top layer. This is your chance to get crafty!
- Brush the top with heavy cream and dust with sugar.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350°F and bake for another 20 minutes. Cover the edges of the pie with foil (to prevent over browning) and bake for another 30 to 35 minutes till the juices bubble and thicken.
- Allow to cool on a wire rack. Best served warm with vanilla ice cream.
Flakey Butter Crust
* Makes enough dough for a bottom and top layer for 9" or 10" pie
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 7 tablespoons ice water
- extra flour for rolling dough
- In a large bowl, mix the flour and sea salt.
- Add the cubed butter and, with a pastry blender or your fingertips, blend until the mixture begins to resemble small peas.
- Mix the apple cider vinegar with the ice water. Drizzle a few tablespoons over the flour and butter mixture and mix with a fork. Add more water till the dough begins to come together. Once the dough becomes moist and clumps together, it's hydrated enough.
- Divide the dough into two balls. Flatten them into disks and wrap in plastic. Chill for 1 hour and up to 2 days.
- Remove the dough 30 minutes before you're ready to use so it will roll out easily.