DOG DAYS BERRY RIOT PIE
‘Dog Days’ Berry Riot Pie makes one 9” pie (adapted from The Farm Journal Cookbook and The Times Picayune)
Hazelnut Crumb Crust
(you can substitute a fully baked 9” pie crust of your choice if you prefer)
1⅓ cups vanilla wafer crumbs
⅔ cup hazelnuts, toasted and skins removed, coarsely chopped
4 teaspoons sugar
generous pinch of salt
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon cardamom
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade attachment, process the cookies, hazelnuts, sugar, salt, spices and melted butter until you have medium crumbs; do not over process. You can always give it an extra pulse or two if you want a finer crumb. Lightly butter your pie plate and then use your fingers to press the mixture into the bottom of the pie plate and up the sides. I like to use a small ¼ cup measuring cup to smooth and distribute the crumbs evenly. Chill the crust for 15 minutes before baking. Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 5-8 minutes, just until set. Cool completely before filling.
Berry Riot filling
This is a classic stove-top, ‘ice-box’ pie recipe.
5 cups assorted fresh berries (choose from strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries*) lightly rinsed and patted dry
⅓ cup cornstarch
⅓ cup water
1 cup sugar
generous pinch of salt
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
½ teaspoon vanilla
1¼ cups heavy cream
(* if using raspberries in the mix, add them at the very end, after the berry mixture has cooked and cooled slightly so they retain their shape and don’t break down too much.)
In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and water until smooth. In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, salt, orange and lemon zest. Place the berries in a heavy bottomed saucepan, then add the sugar/salt/zests and combine gently using a rubber spatula. Cook over medium heat until the berries start to soften and give off a good bit of juice. Scrape the cornstarch/water mixture into the berries and cook until the mixture comes to a boil. Reduce the heat, scraping the bottom of the saucepan with a rubber spatula to prevent scorching and cook for an additional 5-8 minutes, until the berries thicken and the mixture is translucent. Remove from the heat and add the butter and vanilla. Scrape the mixture into a bowl and set aside to cool, (add the raspberries now if you are using them as part of your 5 cups of berries) then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold. (You can refrigerate the filling overnight and finish the pie the next day.)
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the 1¼ cups of heavy cream until thick. Remove from the mixer and finish whisking it by hand until it is firm but not overly so- you don’t want to overbeat it. Scrape the chilled berry mixture into a large bowl and then carefully fold in the whipped cream until combined. Scrape the mixture into the prepared pie shell and smooth the top. Cover the pie with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before slicing. The longer it is refrigerated, the easier it is to slice. Serve with additional berries.
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