Monday, April 7, 2014

Berry Apple Crumble Pie

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Pie has always been my first choice when it comes to dessert! There's something about decadent and delicious fillings encased in buttery pastry that appeals to me like nothing else. And when I make pie, I always overeat. Which is why I don't make them often. 

This pie was born of nagging. My four year-old was fixated on making this pie ever since she heard me mention to my husband that 'these blueberries would make an awesome pie'. And since that day, I heard the words 'strawberry blueberry pie' at least 10 times a day. Well, it worked! The pie got made. And it got eaten. The pie lasted only a few hours. That's how much we loved it.

This is kinda a long recipe, but the process isn't long. The crust takes the longest to make, but of course, if you wanted to skip that, you could just use a ready-made pie crust, if available. I prefer to make mine at home because I want it to be all-butter. 

Berry Apple Crumble Pie
Recipe Source: Crust & Crumble: Allrecipes.come, Filling: The voices in my head
Pie Crust 
250g (2 cups) all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp granulated sugar
180g (3/4 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes 
1 Egg yolk (optional)
Iced water, as needed

Pie Filling
5 cups mixed berries (I used 2 cups each of frozen blueberries and fresh strawberries, and 1 cup of frozen raspberries)
1 Granny Smith Apple, peeled, cored and chopped 
Zest of 1 orange 
1 tbsp orange juice
4 tbsp cornstarch 
1/2 - 3/4 cup granulated sugar, depending on how sweet your berries are (I used 3/4 cup)
1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter

Crumble topping

1/4 cup cold unsalted butter
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional) 1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon


For the pie crust  
1. If making in a food processor, add all the ingredients except the water into the processor and pulse until you achieve breadcrumb-like texture.
2. Transfer to a bowl or your counter and add a couple of tablespoons of ice cold water and form the dough.
3. If making the crust by hand, mix the flour, salt and sugar together in a large bowl.
4. Add the pieces of butter and mix into the flour using only your fingertips, until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.
5. Add the egg yolk and 2 tablespoon of water and mix lightly until incorporated.

6. Add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough just starts to come together. (I needed only 3-4 tbsp of water in all.) Do not over-work the dough.
6. Shape into a thick disc and wrap in clingfilm.
7. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before rolling out and lining your pie tin. Once the crust is in the tin, prick all over with a fork.
8. Preheat the oven to 200.
9. Line the pie crust with baking parchment or aluminum foil, fill with baking beans or uncooked rice, and bake for about 10 minutes until set.
10. Take the crust out of the oven, remove the beans and foil, and brush the inside of the crust - bottom and sides - with the egg white.
11. Bake for 2-3 more minutes.

For the pie filling 
1) Combine the berries, chopped apple, orange zest, orange juice, cornstarch and sugar in a large bowl. Mix gently until well combined.  Do this when you're almost ready to bake.

For the crumble topping 
1) Combine all the ingredients and mix using just your finger tips until you have a crumbly mixture. You don't want to knead it. Chill until you're ready to use.

1) Roll out the dough for the pie crust on a well floured surface using a floured rolling pin, and line your 9 inch pastry tin. Chill until you're ready to bake. Reserve the remaining dough for decorating the pie.
2) Pour the filling into the prepared pie tin. Spread evenly in the pie tin.  
3) Break up the chilled butter with your fingers and dot around the pie.
4) Sprinkle the crumble mixture evenly over the surface of the pie. 
5) Decorate the surface of the pie with the remaining pie dough.
6) Bake in an oven preheated to 180C/350F until your pastry is golden and your filling is bubbling and thick - almost 'jam-like'. This takes about 45-60 minutes.
7) Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 1-3 hours. This allows the filling to set properly.
8) Serve at room temperature with whipped cream or with your favorite vanilla bean ice cream. I like eating it as is!

I personally like to use the egg yolk in my pie crust. I feel it adds a lovely rich flavor to the crust. But I have made it without the egg yolk and it is still awesome. If you want to save time, the blind baking of the pie crust could be avoided, but this step ensures your crust doesn't get soggy from the filling juices. 

This pie was such a hit! Everyone loved it - even my super fussy one year old. But with such amazing berries and real butter every step of the way, how could it not be absolutely delicious?! :)

Until next time... <3 
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