Makes one 6” lattice top pie
For the pie pastry-
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons sugar
½ teaspoon salt
4 oz. (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
½ teaspoon cider vinegar
4 tablespoons ice cold water
In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar and salt. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar and water and set this in the fridge. Add the butter pieces to the flour mixture and incorporate using a bench scraper or your fingertips until you have irregularly sized crumbs. Gradually add the cold water and vinegar to the flour/butter, distributing the liquid evenly with your fingertips. If the pastry seems a bit dry, you can add an additional teaspoon of cold water. Gather the pastry together and shape it into two discs. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour before rolling. Roll one disc on a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper into a 9” circle. Fit the pastry into a 6” pie plate, tuck and crimp the edges; refrigerate while you prepare the filling. Roll out the second disc on the same lightly floured sheet of parchment into a 9” circle; cut into 1” strips. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
For the filling-
2 plums, halved, pitted and sliced about ⅓” thick (2 cups of sliced fruit)
1 cup of fresh blueberries, rinsed, picked over for stems and dried on a paper towel
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup (I use medium amber)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
½ teaspoons lemon juice
½ teaspoon lemon zest
⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
egg wash made from one egg white beaten with 1 teaspoon water
1 teaspoon sugar for sprinkling over the lattice
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest, cinnamon and salt. In a medium bowl, toss together the plums, the blueberries, the maple syrup and the lemon juice. Add the sugar/cornstarch mixture to the fruit and toss gently to coat using a rubber spatula. Turn the filling into the bottom crust and place the pastry strips over the filling to form a lattice. Trim, fold and crimp the edges then brush the lattice with the egg wash and sprinkle with a teaspoon of sugar. Place the pie on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake on the lowest rack of the oven for 15 minutes to set the bottom crust. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees, rotate the baking sheet, and bake for an additional 40 minutes or until the juices are bubbling thickly around the edges and from the center of the pie. Let the pie cool on a rack for about 2 hours before serving.
makes one 7” double crust pie
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
¾ teaspoon salt
5 oz. cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons non hydrogenated vegetable shortening, frozen, cut into pieces
¼ cup ice cold water + ½ teaspoon cider vinegar
Combine the cold water and vinegar in a liquid measuring cup and place in the freezer. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Using a pastry blender or your fingers, cut in the cold butter and frozen shortening until the mixture has mostly pea-size chunks of butter/shortening. Remove the water/vinegar from the freezer and pour about half of it into the flour/butter mixture using your fingers or a fork to distribute the moisture. Add a bit more of the water until the dough becomes shaggy and just pinches together. Do not overmix. (You may not need all of the water.) Scrape the pastry onto a sheet of parchment paper, divide it in half and shape each half into a disc. Wrap each half in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour before rolling. Roll out one disc on a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper and gently fit it into a 7” pie plate. Turn the edges under and flute the crust. Roll out the second disc of pastry on a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper, into a 9” circle. Refrigerate the top and bottom crusts while you prepare the filling. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries (fresh raspberries are fragile- if using fresh, I mix ½ cup in with the cherries and rhubarb and sprinkle ½ cup over the filling just before adding the top crust)
1½ cups sweet dark cherries, pitted (fresh or frozen)
1½ cups rhubarb, sliced ½” thick (about ½ pound)
¼ cup + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
¼ cup + 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon cornstarch
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of ground cardamom
zest of 1 small orange
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
egg wash made of 1 egg white whisked together with 1 teaspoon water
granulated sugar for sprinkling top crust
In a medium bowl, whisk together the granulated and brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, cardamom and orange zest. In a large bowl, combine the raspberries, cherries, rhubarb and orange juice. Add the sugar/cornstarch/spice/zest mixture to the fruit, turning gently with a rubber spatula to coat. Pour the filling into the bottom crust, (if you reserved ½ cup of fresh raspberries, add them now) and gently drape the top crust over the filling. Seal, fold and flute the edges. Brush the top crust with the egg wash and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Cut vents in the top crust to allow steam to escape. Place the pie on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 15-20 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees, rotate the pie, and bake for an additional 40-45 minutes, covering the edges with strips of aluminum foil to prevent overbrowning. The pie is ready when the juices bubble thickly around the edges and through the vents. Set on a wire rack to cool for at least 2 hours before serving.
Distraction Pie (inspired by Darren, adapted from Amanda Clarke)
Makes one 9” pie
Graham Cracker Pecan Pie Crust
1¼ cups graham cracker crumbs
½ cup pecans, chopped
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
generous pinch of salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a 9” pie plate and set aside. In a large bowl using your fingers or a whisk, combine the graham cracker crumbs, pecans, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Thoroughly combine the melted butter with the crumbs. Spread the crumbs evenly in the pan, pressing them into the bottom and up the sides. Refrigerate for 10 minutes. Place the pie plate on a baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes. Cool completely on a rack before filling.
½ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cold water
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon molasses
1½ cups cold milk (you will be using ¾ cup at a time)
¼ cup cornstarch
½ teaspoon kosher salt
3 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons whiskey
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
To prepare the caramel base, place the sugar then the water in a heavy bottomed pan, tilting the pan to moisten the sugar. Cook over medium heat until melted and deeply amber colored. (Err on the side of caution- the sugar continues to darken and you don’t want it to burn.) Carefully add half of the heavy cream; the mixture will splatter. Stir with a wooden spoon to dissolve the caramel. Add the remainder of the heavy cream and the molasses, stirring to combine. Remove from the heat and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the cornstarch, salt and egg yolks with ¾ cup of cold milk until smooth. Heat the remaining ¾ cup of milk in a microwave until hot. Gradually add a few tablespoons of the hot milk to the yolk mixture to temper it, whisking constantly. Continue to add the rest of the hot milk, whisking, and then slowly (still whisking) add the caramel/cream/molasses mixture. Pour the filling mixture into a heavy bottomed saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a rubber scraper. Make sure to keep an eye on the heat- if the mixture starts to become lumpy, reduce the heat slightly and continue stirring, especially in the corners of the saucepan. It should take about 8-10 minutes for the mixture to thicken sufficiently. Remove from the heat, stir in the vanilla and the whiskey. Add the butter pieces, a little bit at a time, stirring with a rubber spatula until the butter is completely melted and incorporated.
Set a fine mesh strainer over a medium bowl and pour the filling though the strainer. Gently transfer the filling into the prebaked and cooled pie shell. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until completely cold, about 3 hours. Garnish with freshly whipped cream and pecan praline.
½ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon corn syrup, dark or light
generous pinch of salt
1 tablespoon water
⅓ cup pecans
Generously butter a sheet of aluminum foil and place the foil on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle the pecans on top of the foil. In a heavy bottomed pan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt and water. Cook over medium heat until the sugar melts and the mixture turns deep amber. Immediately pour the sugar over the pecans onto the buttered aluminum foil. Let the praline cool completely, then break it into pieces and sprinkle it over the whipped cream topped pie.
Freshly Whipped Cream
In a chilled bowl, whip one cup of heavy cream until it holds soft peaks. Add one teaspoon of vanilla extract and if you wish, 2 tablespoons of confectioners’ sugar. Whip on medium until thick but not overly so. Spread over the top of the pie.
(If you have no objections to serving dairy after your Passover meal, this is great with the ice cream and whipped cream; otherwise you can opt for simply cherries or berries.)
Generously fills one 8” pie plate
4 egg whites (½ cup) room temperature
pinch of salt
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup granulated sugar (give it a spin in the food processor to make it superfine)
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon Dutch process cocoa
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Butter the bottom and sides of the pie plate. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
In a clean bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites, salt and cream of tartar on high speed until they are foamy. Gradually add the sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, allowing the sugar to dissolve before adding more. Beat on high speed until stiff peaks form, add the vanilla extract and rub a bit of the meringue between your fingers to make sure it doesn’t feel gritty. If it does, beat it for another minute or so. Sift the cocoa powder into the meringue mixture and using a rubber spatula, gently fold it through leaving streaks of cocoa. Do not fully incorporate the cocoa- you want it to have a swirl of cocoa running through the white of the meringue. Turn the meringue into the pie plate, using the spatula to build up the sides, creating a rim. Place the pie plate on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 50-60 minutes, until the meringue is crisp. Turn off the oven and let the pie cool in the oven for 1 hour, then transfer to a rack and let cool completely.
Fill with ice cream, top with freshly whipped cream and serve with fresh cherries or berries. Store leftovers covered in plastic wrap in the freezer; it will lose some of its crispness, but will still be delicious.