Strawberry Balsamic Pie and Super Bowl Sunday

I don’t want to watch football
I don’t want to watch puppies
I don’t want to watch ex-jocks in suits
I don’t want to watch stop motion beer bottles run down a field
I don’t want to watch chicks in lingerie
I’m not into Bruno Mars
This day has nothing for me

Do you feel the same way?
Do you like pie?

Wanna come over?

Strawberry Balsamic Pie from Four and Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book

Have ready and refrigerated your pie crust in a 9-inch pan and lattice strips to top.
Recipe for crust follows at the bottom.

  • 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 pounds fresh strawberries, rinsed and quartered (5 to 6 cups)
  • 1 small baking apple
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 3 tablespoons ground arrowroot (Substitute options here)
  • 2 grinds fresh black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • Egg wash (1 large egg whisked with 1 teaspoon water and a pinch of salt
  • Demerara sugar for finishing (I use Sugar in the Raw.  I steal packets from Starbucks)

Sprinkle 3 tablespoons of the sugar over the strawberries. Stir gently to combine and allow the fruit to macerate at room temperature for 1 hour.

Peel the apple and shred on the large holes of a box grater. Drain the strawberries of excess liquid and combine with the shredded apple. Sprinkle on the balsamic vinegar and Angostura bitters.

In a separate bowl, mix together the remaining 1/4 cup of granulated sugar, brown sugar, arrowroot, black pepper and salt. Gently fold the sugar mixture into the strawberry mixture. Pour the filling into the refrigerated pie shell, arrange the lattice or pastry round on top, and crimp as desired.

Chill the pie in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes to set the pastry.

Meanwhile, position the oven racks at the bottom and center positions, place a rimmed baking sheet on the bottom rack and preheat to 425˚ F.

Brush the pastry with the egg wash. If your pie has a lattice top, be careful not to drag the filling onto the pastry or it will burn. Sprinkle on the desired amount of demerara sugar (about 1 Starbucks packet works for me).

Place pie on the rimmed baking sheet on the lowest rack of the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the pastry is set and beginning to brown. Lower the over temperature to 375˚ F, move the pie to a center oven rack and continue to bake until the pastry is a deep golden brown and the juices are bubbling throughout, 35 to 40 minutes longer.

Allow to cool completely on a wire rack, 2 to 3 hours. Serve slightly warm.

All-Butter Crust (for Double Crust Pie)

  • 2 1/2 cups AP flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 pound (2 stick) cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 cup ice
  • Butter for buttering your pie pan
  • 1 egg white for egg wash (to be mixed with about a teaspoon of water)
  • Tin foil and pie weights (or dry beans) to pre-bake your crust

Stir the flour, salt and sugar together in a large bowl. Add the butter pieces and coat with the flour mixture. With a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour mixture, working quickly until mostly pea-size pieces of butter remain.

Combine the water, cider vinegar, and ice in a large measuring cup or small bowl. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the ice water mixture over the flour mixture, and mix and cut in with a bench scraper or spatula until it’s fully incorporated.

Add more of the ice water mixture, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time, using a bench scraper (or, as I did, human hands) to mix until the dough comes together in a ball. Divide the dough in half and shape into two flat discs, wrap them in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (Four and Twenty prefers overnight to give the crust more time to mellow, but an hour worked just fine for me).

When ready, roll one disc of dough out until it’s 2 to 3 inches larger than the pan you’re using and about 1/8 of an inch in thickness. Fold the dough in half and lay it across one side of a well-buttered pie pan, positioning the seam in the center. Unfold the dough and gently slide and fit the dough into the pan. Try not to pull. Make sure there are no gaps between the dough and the pan. If there are air bubbles, burst them with a fork.

Trim the dough overhang to allow 1 to 1 1/2 inches of excess, measuring from the inner rim of the pan. Crimp the crust and then cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least a half-hour, preferably up to an hour or more.

Pre-bake the crust: One chilled, remove crust from refrigeration and use a fork to prick the bottom and sides of the crust (“docking” – helps eliminate air bubbles when the crust is exposed to heat).  Place the crust in the freezer for about 10 minutes while pre-heating the oven to 425˚ F.

Position your oven racks in the bottom and center positions, and place a rimmed baking sheet on the bottom rack.  After removing the crust from the freezer, line completely with one or two pieces of aluminum foil and make sure there are no gaps between the foil and the crust.  Pour your pie weights or beans into the covered shell and spread them so they are concentrated more around the edge of the shell than the center.  Place the pan on the pre-heated baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until the edges are set but not browned.

Whisk together one egg white and a teaspoon of water.  Set aside.

Remove the pan and the baking sheet from the oven, lift out the foil and the pie weights (or beans), and let the crust cool for just about one minute.  Using a pastry brush, coat the bottom and sides with a thin layer of the egg wash to moisture-proof the crust.  Return the pan, on the oven sheet, but this time to the center rack.  Continue to bake for 3 more minutes.  Then remove and cool.

For the lattice, roll out the other disc of dough in the same manner as above.  Using a pizza cutter or knife, trim one inch of dough from either side of the disc to square off the circle.  Save the trimmings for any patching of the bottom crust that might be necessary.

Cut the remaining shape into 8 inch strips of equal length.  Transfer the lattice to a parchment-lined (or flour-dusted) baking sheet and chill for a minimum of 30 minutes.  Brush with eggwash after assembling lattice on top the filling and just before refrigerating

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