Sunday, May 3, 2015

Raspberry Picnic Pie

Pie is one of those things that makes me think of picnics, family reunions and outdoor get togethers. Usually in the summer, berry pies find their way to the weekend table. I created this pie with my first thought being strawberry lemonade. However, the idea of "cooked" strawberries was unappealing. That is when the flavor idea shifted to raspberries.  Raspberry pie may not be the most favorite berry for pie, but I am more fond of raspberries than any other berry,  in spite of all the seeds.

This pie makes use of fresh and frozen berries. Also, it does not have the tapioca ingredient that you find in some pies. The fresh raspberries are layered on top of the crust first. Then it is filled with a cooked mixture of frozen berries, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice and zest. Since raspberries are pretty tart, the crumbly, sweet topping is the offset to the tartness.  In addition, I used a dairy/egg mixture prior to the layer of crumbs in order to seal the surface of the pie.

Creating the pie is fairly easy. There is no fancy lattice top nor is there prep work on cutting and peeling fruit. Definitely good reasons to try a berry pie if you are short on time. However, bear in mind if you bring it to the family reunion this year, consider that you are starting a tradition. Something this tasty will have your family will be expecting it every year! This recipe makes one 10 inch pie.  

Raspberry Picnic Pie
by Flourtrader

Ingredients/Bottom Crust
1/2 cup refrigerated shortening
1/4 cup cubed cold butter
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
Ice water

5 cups frozen raspberries (thawed until still icy but pliable)
1 tbs lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 cups sugar

Ingredients/Top Crust
2 1/4 cups sugar, divided
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup half and half
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup or 1 1/2 sticks butter, room temp

Prepare a baking sheet by lining the interior with foil, making sure all sides and corners are covered.  To create the crust, sift together flour, baking powder and salt into stand mixer bowl. Then add the sugar, butter and shortening. Beat on medium speed until mixture resembles coarse, small clumps. Slowly sprinkle a 1/2 tsp of ice water into the batter and beat. The dough is the right consistency when it comes together on the beaters instead of clinging to the edge.

Lay a piece of plastic wrap on a flat surface and empty dough onto plastic. Flatten into a disc and cover with the wrap. Place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes. Once the chilling step is completed, lightly dust a flat surface with flour. Remove the disc from the refrigerator and place on the floured surface and roll out to 12 inches in diameter.

Roll dough over rolling pin and then unroll dough over pie pan and release. Lightly press dough, making sure all the interior of the pie pan is covered. There should be no air pockets. Fold the excess dough under the part of the dough that touches the top outer edge of the pie pan. Then crimp the top edge of the dough. Place in freezer until ready to use.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Fill a medium size saucepan with the slightly frozen berries, cornstarch and sugar. Place over medium heat and stir, blending ingredients.  Mixture will come to a boil, but continue to stir and cook for about 2 minutes after it has reached a boiling point. Remove from heat and stir in lemon zest and lemon juice.

Remove frozen pie crust and place fresh raspberries evenly on the bottom of the crust.  Pour the cooked raspberry mixture on top. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, half and half, 1/4 cup of sugar and vanilla extract. Then slowly pour the mixture over the top of the filling. Start pouring on the outer edge, moving toward the center until bowl is empty.

For the crumb mixture, sift together the flour and the salt. Add the butter and remaining 2 cups of sugar.  Combine by using a pastry blender until it becomes a crumbly sandy mixture. Sprinkle crumbs on top of pie, again starting with the outer edges and moving toward the center.

Place pie on prepared pan and transfer pan to oven. Bake for about 45-60 minutes. Pie is done when you see the filling bubbling over and the crumb surface has turned a deep golden brown.

Let cool to room temperature and then cut and serve.
                           **LAST YEAR:Vienna Chocolate Bars*