Monday, January 30, 2012

Easy As Pie Pie

According to Wikipedia:

"As easy as pie is a popular colloquial idiom which is used to describe a task or experience as pleasurable and simple. The idiom does not refer to the making of a pie*, but rather to the act of consuming a pie ("as easy as eating a pie"). The phrase is often interchanged with piece of cake, which shares the same connotation."

In this case, though, making the pie is almost as simple (and pleasurable) as eating it.  Now I clearly have to figure out how to make a Piece of Cake Cake.



Easy (as pie) Rustic Berry Pie
We were having friends over for dinner, and instead of having all afternoon to cook and get ready, I was cruising Trader Joe's just a couple of hours before they arrived.  Inspiration struck! I grabbed a jar of jam, some berries, and a pie crust.  Within 10 minutes of getting home, I had the pie in the oven. Within one minute of taking a bite after dinner, I had a new favorite weeknight dessert.

1 unbaked pie crust (Trader Joe's has great ones in the freezer section)
1 pint fresh blueberries
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 jar of boysenberry or blackberry preserves
Cinnamon sugar

For finishing:
1 egg, lightly beaten
Raw sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 375.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.  Roll or pat out the pie crust onto the center of the baking sheet.

Clean and rinse the berries, and set aside.  Spoon the preserves into a small saucepan, and add the lemon juice.  Heat over medium heat, stirring frequently, until preserves have liquified, and mixture is warm, about 3-5 minutes.  Stir in the berries, and remove from the heat.

Sprinkle the center of the pie crust generously with cinnamon sugar, leaving about 2 inches clear around the edges.  Carefully spoon the berries on top of the cinnamon.  Gently fold over the edges of the pie crust, working your way around.  You will have overlapping parts, and it definitely doesn't have to be a perfect circle. This is a free-form pie.  But, if you want to avoid rustic spillage, try to be sure the filling's completely contained in there.


Lightly brush the crust with the beaten egg, then sprinkle the whole thing (crust and berries), with more cinnamon sugar.    If you want to get fancy, use raw or coarse sugar on the crust part, but still dust the berries with the cinnamon sugar.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until crust is golden brown, and filling is thick and bubbly. Parts of the filling may ooze out while the pie is baking, but don't worry about that.  That's the rustic part!

Cool for a bit, then serve warm or at room temperature, with vanilla ice cream on top.



If you have some caramel sauce hiding in the fridge, go ahead and break that out, too.


Click to print this recipe!

* True dat, Wikipedia. Last time I made pie, it took about a week.
** I keep a shaker of cinnamon sugar in the cabinet.  The kids use it to make cinnamon toast in the morning, and I use it all the time when I bake.  I use a ratio of 4 parts sugar to 1 part cinnamon.

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