Monday, June 14, 2010

The Ideal Summer Pie: Mixed Berries with a Streusel Topping

If you make this pie, your friends and family will love you. Well, hopefully they do anyway, but they'll love you even more after you give them some of this heavenly dessert.

This is easy to make, partially because the recipe for the crust is fabulously easy to work with, and it's the perfect summer pie because you can use whatever bounty the season of summer happens to be sharing with you at any given moment. For example, I used blueberries, blackberries and strawberries this time because that's what happens to be yummy right now. But you could use raspberries, mulberries, and even diced peaches. 

The buttery, crumbly, slightly crisp streusel topping is always a crowd-pleaser, and if you serve this with some home-made maple ice cream, your loved ones will love you even more. You'll just be burgeoning with love, but the maple ice cream is another post.

Mixed Berry Streusel Pie
(Adapted from Epicurious)
-2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
-1 tablespoon sugar-1 teaspoon salt
-7 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
-1/3 cup chilled solid vegetable shortening, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
-6 tablespoons (about) ice water
-6 tablespoons (packed) golden brown sugar
-6 tablespoons whole almonds
-6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
-4 1/2 tablespoons old-fashioned oats
-4 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour

-1 cup sugar (less if your fruit is very sweet)
 -scant 1/4 cup quick-cooking tapioca
-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
 -5 cups assorted fresh berries (such as strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries; about 8 ounces of each)

For crust:

Blend flour, sugar, and salt in processor. Add butter and pulse about 4 times until the butter is broken into pea-sized lumps.

Add the shortening and pulse about 6 times until mixture resembles coarse meal.
Turn the mixture out into a large bowl. Sprinkle with 5 tablespoons ice water and mix with a spatula, using pressing motions, until moist clumps form, adding more water by teaspoonfuls if mixture is dry. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic and chill at least half an hour.
For topping:

Combine all ingredients in processor. Process until moist clumps form. (Dough and topping can be made 1 day ahead. Cover topping and chill; keep dough chilled. Soften dough slightly at room temperature before rolling out.)
For filling:

Mix sugar, tapioca, and lemon juice in large bowl. Add berries and toss gently to combine. Let stand until tapioca softens slightly, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes.
In the meantime, preheat oven to 350°F. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to 15-inch round. Transfer to 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish. Trim dough overhang to 1 inch. Fold overhang under and crimp decoratively, forming high-standing rim. Freeze crust 20 minutes.

Spoon filling into crust. Crumble topping evenly over filling. Bake pie on a foil-covered cookie sheet until crust and topping are golden brown and filling is bubbling, covering loosely with sheet of foil if topping browns too quickly. This will take about an hour and 10 minutes, maybe longer. The pie is finished when the crust and topping are golden brown and the filling is bubbling.
Transfer pie to rack and cool at least 2 hours. (Can be made 8 hours ahead. If it's humid where you live, cover and refrigerate the pie.) Cut pie into wedges and serve.

(The Bay Bridge on the way home from enjoying the pie.)

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