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Monday, May 23, 2011

It's time for pie!
























As spring and summer approaches the first thing that comes to mind is fruit, fresh, ripe and sweet berries. Drool.  I love berries of any kind, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries. I just can't get enough.  They are so bright, colourful and sweet, not to mention packed with tons of nutrients, vitamins and antioxidants.  One of my stranded island foods would be yogurt and berries.  I eat it almost every day.
One of the sweetest ways to enjoy fruit is pie.  Wonderful fruit combination nestled in between a flaky buttery crust.
I first saw this recipe on Diners, Drive in and Dives and though it was so interesting.   There are so many fantastic recipes, people and places on that show I just had to try one of them.







Blueberry Goat Cheese Pie
(adapted from Food Network)

INGREDIENTS:


Crust:
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (97 grams) cold lard, 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup (68 grams) butter, cold, 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 4-6 tbsp ice water
  • 1 egg - for the egg wash



Filling:

  • 1/2 cup soft cranberry goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup half and half ( 10% cream)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • Pinch salt
  • 4 cups fresh blueberries







INSTRUCTIONS:

1) Make the crust:  Combine the flour, salt and sugar in a food processor or large bowl if you don't have one.   If using a food processor add the lard and run until the mixture resembles a course sand.  If you are not using a food processor cut in with a pastry blender.


2) Add the butter cubes and pulse about 10 times until butter is about pea sized.  Or use your pastry blender to cut in the butter into small pea sized shapes.




3) Remove the mixture from the processor and place into a large bowl.  Add 4 tablespoons of the water pressing into the dough using a spatula or your hand to combine to bring the dough together, being careful not to melt the chunks of butter.  Add the remaining water if needed.


4) Separate the dough about 60-40.  Flatten into 1 inch disk and wrap in saran wrap.  Let cool a minimum 1 hour or overnight.


5) When you are ready, remove the dough from the fridge and make the filling: Mix the goat cheese, cream, egg, sugar, flour, salt and blueberries together in a bowl until everything is incorporated together. Set aside.




6) Unwrap the dough and lightly flour a clean dry surface and your rolling pin.   Roll out the dough into a circle to fill a 9 inch pie tin.   Place the dough into the pie tin.   To avoid tearing the dough roll it back over the rolling pin and unwind over the pie tin.   Cut off any loose edges and poke the shell with a fork on the bottom a few times.


7) Add the blueberry mixture on to the pie shell.
8)  Roll out the remaining dough.    You can roll out another circle and place it on top or grab your favourite flower/cookie cutter and cut out shapes to cover the top of the pie.   I like daises, as shown.


9) Combine an egg and 3 tbsp of water.  Using a pastry brush, brush the top crust of the pie.  Bake for for 15 minutes at 425F and reduce hit to 375F baking another 40 minutes until top is golden and filling is set.


Isn't pie crust so much prettier this way?  When you first think of adding goat cheese to a pie it might seem a it odd but this pie was great.   Goat cheese is tangy and creamy and it balances well with the acid and sweetness from the blueberries.  The egg, cream and cheese hold the pie together almost like a custard pie would.   This was a perfect pie to kick off the warm weather.

MEG's RATING: D-EEEE-LICIOUS






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