Today Rose's Alpha Bakers share our 7th selection as we bake our way through The Baking Bible. As a reminder, the recipes made during this project are not being shared, but I will share my commentary about each recipe, followed by a full photo tutorial.
This week's selection - Black and Blueberry Pie, a mix of berries in a cream cheese enriched crust.
Special ingredients and/or equipment needed - large baking stone, 9-inch pie plate (I used Rose's Perfect Pie Plate), optional metal (not silicone) pie shield, microplane zester, digital scale, digital instant read thermometer, nonstick foil, expandable cake ring.
How does it taste - It's good. Admittedly, I would have preferred a pie made of only blueberries (my favorite), but this mixture, which is mostly blackberries, is very nice. The lemon juice and zest really add a nice touch. I should mention that all of my tasters commented that they liked the pie, but didn't care of the large blackberry seeds. I agree.
How does it look - Not the most beautiful pie I've ever made, but it looks very nice. The cream cheese crust is very easy to work with, which is half the battle when you make a pie.
Level of difficulty - The filling for this pie is very easy to make. The crust can go one of two ways, if you use a food processor, it's pretty easy. If you follow the directions given to make the crust by hand, you might want to pull your hair out by the time you're done. Not only does making the crust by hand take longer, but I found the directions to be overly fussy and incomplete - and don't get me started on the mess. More on all that later.
Were the directions clear - Yes and no.
Some of the Alpha Bakers mentioned concern on our facebook page about the cost of buying fresh berries in January, but Rose chimed in that frozen berries would be fine to use, and that they should be used while still frozen which would extend the baking time a bit.
Slowly, one baker after another reported ending up with sloshy, soupy pies - some with burnt crusts, and some with raw cornstarch in the filling. Rose then suggested that it might be helpful to thaw the berries first, then drain and reduce their juice by half before adding the reduction back to the berry filling mixture. She also commented on one baker's blog that the internal temperature of the pie should reach 212F for the cornstarch to reach its full thickening potential. I found this info to be very helpful, but it would be more helpful if it were listed in the book.
Also, something I just noticed - Both the "food processor method" and "hand method" directions for making the crust are followed by their own "divide the dough" section, but only the one following the food processor method includes a paragraph that gives tips for creating an extra flaky pie crust (page 190, second paragraph). Since I used the "hand method", I didn't read the food processor section so I completely missed the tips for making an extra flaky pie crust. Major bummer.
What would I do differently next time - First, I'd definitely make the crust in a food processor. Second, I prefer the flavor of an all butter crust so I'd use that in the future. I'd also brush the crust with milk or cream and sprinkle with sugar before baking. That's my usual pie crust treatment and I think it really enhances a crust's appearance and overall flavor.
Next up - Golden Orange Panettone with Chocolate Sauce, Jan 19, 2015. It's going to be a challenge - I've looked over the recipe several times and my head is spinning (which isn't helping my headache). Stay tuned.
Okay, here's my photo tutorial.
links to more alpha baker photo tutorials
- Nov 20, 2015 The Hazelnut Praline Cookies that Never Were
- Sep 1, 2015 TBB - Flaky Cream Cheese Scones
- Aug 24, 2015 TBB - Woody's Black and White Brownies
- Jul 2, 2015 TBB - Praline Meringue Ice Cream Sandwiches
- Jun 23, 2015 Ricotta Loaf - The Bread Bible
- Jun 4, 2015 TBB - French Orange Cream Tart
- May 20, 2015 TBB - Double Chocolate Oriolos
- May 16, 2015 Touch of Grace Biscuits - The Bread Bible
- May 8, 2015 TBB - Blu-Rhu Mini Pies
- Apr 27, 2015 TBB - Lemon Jammies
- Apr 2, 2015 Pita Pizzas - The Bread Bible
- Mar 23, 2015 TBB - Luxury Oatmeal Cookies
- Mar 16, 2015 TBB - Sour Cherry Pie (Pi Day)
- Mar 9, 2015 TBB - Caramel Buns
- Mar 4, 2015 TBB - Hamantaschen (Purim)
- Feb 23, 2015 TBB - Lemon Posset Alma
- Feb 16, 2015 TBB - Chocolate Pavarotti with Wicked Good Ganache
- Feb 11, 2015 TBB - Golden Orange Panettone with Chocolate Sauce
- Feb 9, 2015 Panettone Delay
- Feb 2, 2015 TBB - Swedish Apricot Walnut Bread
- Jan 26, 2015 TBB - Gingersnaps
- Jan 19, 2015 Biga Fail
- Jan 13, 2015 TBB - Black and Blueberry Pie
- Jan 6, 2015 TBB - Chocolate Cuddle Cake