Written by Carolyne McIntyre Jackson
As the Founder of Crave Cupcakes, I’m a baker at heart! I’m happiest when I’m in the kitchen, baking for family and friends. After a cool start to the spring, we’re heading into the warm summer months and with summer comes the abundance of fresh fruit at Farmer’s markets and in grocery stores. Seeing baskets of fresh fruit, I start thinking about the beautiful pies I will make each weekend of the summer.
I encourage you to bake a pie or a fresh fruit crisp this summer. Following are a few of my favourite tools, essential ingredients and the base recipes which can be used to create delicious fruit pies and crisps all summer long!
ESSENTIAL PIE TOOLS
1. Glass Measuring Cup | Pyrex 2 cup is my favourite.
2. Emile Henry Pie Plates | Emile Henry Pie Plates are my favourite! I have several colors and styles and love how my pies look in them. The Pie Dish or
The Ruffled Pie Dish. Find these pie plates locally in Calgary at Britannia Home.
3. Food Scale | All our store recipes are created using weights for ingredients, therefore we use scales instead of traditional cups. I do the same in my kitchen at home and will only make a new recipe if the ingredients are listed with weights. Weighing ingredients takes the guesswork out of a heaping or level cup, how much brown sugar is in 1 cup of packed brown sugar etc. Honestly once you start using a scale to bake, you
will find it faster and makes for easier clean up.
4. Small Paring Knife | Used for prepping fruit and trimming pastry.
5. Wood Spatula | You always need a good spatula - this is my favourite!
6. Solid Wood Rolling Pin with Handles | I love the feel of a large solid wood rolling pin with handles. It is the surest way to evenly roll out pastry with the fewest number of strokes creating perfectly flaky pastry.
7. Cuisinart Food Processor | Although not essential to make pastry, it does make the job easier!
The key to great pastry is very cold ingredients and light hands (or using a machine) when mixing the ingredients together. The following method uses a food processor.
If you do not have one you can easily make the pie dough using a pastry blender or your hands. Because making dough feels like the most daunting task, I like to double the recipe, so I always have a disc of pie dough waiting for me in my freezer.
YOU WILL NEED:
1/3 cup (80g) cold water
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3⁄4 tsp salt
2/3 cup (160g) Tenderflake Lard *** cut into
1” pieces and place in the freezer until needed 1/3 cup (80g) Foothills salted butter cut into
1 “ pieces and place in the freezer until needed 3 cups (375g) flour
*Vegetable shortening or butter can be used in place
of the lard, but you will not get the same flaky texture.
1. Measure the water, sugar and salt into a glass measuring cup. Mix the ingredients together until the sugar and salt dissolve. Set in the freezer until needed.
2. Place the flour into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Add half the lard and half the butter to the food processor and pulse machine until blended. Add the remaining lard and butter and continue to pulse until flour and fat mixture resembles a coarse cornmeal consistency.
3. Turn the processor to “on” and add the water mixture in one steady stream through the opening of the food processor. Turn the food processor off once all the flour is absorbed and a dough begins to form.
4. Place dough onto a floured surface. Gently work in the scrappy bits of dough and divide into two 350g balls. Place the balls of dough on saran wrap and shape into a disc. Wrap tightly and chill for at least 1 hour.
Pie dough can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 days and in the freezer up to 6 months.
HOW TO ROLL THE PIE DOUGH
1. Place well-chilled dough on a floured surface and sprinkle the top with flour. Place your rolling pin in the middle of the dough and roll outward from center to edge applying even gentle pressure.
2. After a few rolls, lift and turn the dough. Roll outward again from center to edge. Repeat rolling and lifting until dough reaches your desired thickness. Lightly flour underneath and on top of dough as necessary to prevent sticking.
BROWN SUGAR CRUMB
Depending on how much time I have or who is coming to dinner, I’ll top my pies with pie dough (my favourite is making a lattice top) or with a brown sugar crumb. Here’s the recipe our mom used for years to top pies or make fresh fruit crisps when there was not enough time to make pie.
YOU WILL NEED:
1⁄2 cup (113g) butter
1⁄2 cup (100g) brown sugar 3⁄4 - 1 cup (140g) flour
Place all ingredients in a bowl. Using your hands or a pastry blender, mix together until the butter is evenly dispersed through the sugar and flour.
STRAWBERRY RHUBARB PIE
This is usually my inaugural pie each summer and is always on our table at our Father’s Day celebrations. You can switch up the ratio of fruit to more suit your flavour palate (our mom would prefer straight rhubarb) however, I prefer the sweetness of strawberries to mellow the tartness of the rhubarb! We use brown sugar in this recipe but feel free to swap with white sugar if you prefer.
YOU WILL NEED:
9” pie plate lined with pastry
Single batch of brown sugar crumb
2 cups (340g) strawberries stemmed and cut in half 2 cups (300g) rhubarb cut in 1⁄4” pieces
150g brown sugar
1. Turn the oven to 400°F. Place the flour and sugar in a bowl and mix together. Place the fruit in the bowl and gently mix until all fruit is evenly coated with the flour sugar mixture.
2. Place the mixture into the prepared pie pan ensuring the fruit is level throughout. Top fruit with the brown sugar crumb. Place the pie in the oven for 20 minutes at 400°F. Turn down the oven to 325°F and continue to bake for 40–60 minutes.
3. The crumb should be a deep golden brown and the fruit lightly bubbling on the outer rim. Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack.
Fruit pies can be kept at room temperature for up to two days or in the fridge up to 5 days.
DID YOU KNOW?
You can also buy frozen or baked pies at your closest Crave location or online? Available in Strawberry Rhubarb and Raspberry Sour Cream. Even if you are short on time you can pick up frozen pie dough to roll out yourself or put in the freezer for later!