Out of all the projects I missed, I had already halfway begun the Black and Blueberry Pie so that is what I chose to finish. I had made the pastry then got pretty sick so I froze the dough for another time. In the meantime, the bakers had some problems with this pie so in retrospect I'm glad I got to bake it at a later date when I can benefit from all of the others experiences. (Thanks, guys!)
So here's a recap of the shenanigans: some of us lamented baking a summer berry pie in the dead of winter when fresh berries were hard to come by and in poor quality. Rose chimed in that we could use frozen berries no problem, just leave them frozen and bake for a longer time, tenting the pie with foil once the crust browns. So we all said, "hooray" and then things unraveled. Most bakers had very runny pies with unthickened juices, ack! Those that did not, were those that had defrosted their berries. Rose chimed in again, reminding us that we would have needed to bake the pie for longer and to tent the pie with foil once the crust was browned, and added that the cornstarch in the filling wouldn't activate until the filling had reached 212°F. Then a day or two later she suggested next time to defrost the berries, reduce the juices by half, then mix in all the cornstarch and stuff and then bake the pie. Vicki made a second pie and tried this method, with winning results.
Rose said she based her "frozen berries are ok" on her Blackberry Pie in The Pie and Pastry Bible, which she recommends baking frozen as frozen blackberries tend to be sweeter and have softer seeds. I went back and looked at that recipe, and there again she mentioned if baking with frozen berries the pie would need as much as 25 extra minutes to bake thoroughly, plus the foil tent and the 212°F. So I decided to try to bake the pie with frozen berries as she had intended and see if it could be done. Why not.
The cornstarch, sugar, and lemon zest and juice are mixed together then the frozen berries are tossed in. This sits for about 10 minutes to let the berries juice out a teeny bit, then they are tossed around again to evenly distribute the cornstarch and stuff. Then the filling is dumped into the pie, the top crust is laid on, and the pie rests for 1 hour in the refrigerator. Then the pie is baked, and after about 35 minutes as the crust is browned, a large piece of foil with a vent cut in the top goes over the whole pie and now you wait until the juices are bubbling thickly at 212°F. My oven must be low because this took almost another hour!
|focus on the perfect filling! not the lack of flaky pastry!|
Well, it did work! However there was some spilling over of about 1/4 cup of juices due to my poorly crimped pie crust, and I don't know if that influenced my filling results. My pie crust overall was very sad as I lost my patience rolling it out and all the butter softened and my crust was 100% NOT flaky. The filling? Perfect! The crust? Sigh. I am not a very patient person, and this is why pie crust and me are not friends yet. But let's focus on the filling. It worked! Hooray!
|look at the ooze :( you should see the bottom of the pie plate!|