This week for the Tuesday’s with Dorie Bake, Amy of South in Your Mouth selected…. Double Crusted Blueberry Pie on pages 361-363 from Dorie Greenspans- Baking From My Home To Yours.
I was surprised when I went to find blueberries, they were 60CZK or $US 4 for 150g and they were shipped in from England. Although mixed berries are in the frozen section blueberries all on their own were not. After my use fresh,local, seasonal reminder from the La Palatte Strawberry Tart, I turned to the cherry tree in full fruit just outside the kitchen window. Here it is a couple of weeks ago before the cherries turned deep red.
Above is a photo of my mother picking the cherries (and my father supervising- pointing out the fruit she missed). The tree hasn’t been pruned in years so was a bit tricky to get fruit from.
The cherries I get in Australia are fairly tart and not super ripe. I was surprised at just how sweet these were. My cherry pie filling was pretty simple. For every one cup of pitted cherries I boiled them in 1/4 cup of water for 10 minutes then I added 3 tsp of cornflour and 1/8 cup of sugar and heated until thickened and glossy. (I made gallons of filling which is now in the freezer in 4 cup lots, just enough to fill a pie).
Dories pie crust is really nice to work with and delivers a really flaky lovely pastry. Like some of the other Dorie bakers I wondered about the proportions. However, 3 cups of flour gives you enough dough to play around with. I found working with pastry here in Europe to be so much easier than at home. Even though it is summer here it was only 24C. Year round we only get that as an overnight temperature. Even though I have air conditioning and granite benches which I pre chill before working with pastry it is so much easier here. I think also that because this crust makes a bit more dough I wasn’t tempted to roll it out too thinly. This was the first time ever I had been able to fold the dough over the rolling pin to put in the pie dish.
Mum doesn’t have food processor so I rubbed the butter and shortening (well I think that was what is was, it was a white solid sold next to the margarine and butter and seemed to do the job) by hand. I froze the bowl with the flour, sugar, salt and fats and worked quickly. When it started to feel a bit sloppy I popped it back in the freezer and let my fingers warm up. I tried the 2 knife thing but it just wasn’t working for me.
I made a couple of pies using this crust and filling. The first had a lattice top as per the Perfect Pie Crust 101 on Zoe Bakes.
It was my first attempt at a lattice top and I wish I could say I cracked it. However, to be honest Matthew my husband, demonstrated it so quickly I was well impressed. Among other talents, the man has spatial intelligence.
My second pie had a full crust with a cut out centre for steam. I was more generous with the sugar sprinkle after the egg wash on the second pie. So good.
I do want to try this with blueberries. There is something about fruit pies which makes you feel they are healthy choices (lets just not think about the 10 oz of better in the crust…). I am also interested in how this crust behaves when I am home
As my trip is winding up, I have been engaging in a bit of reflection. I feel really lucky to have been able to continue with the challenges even though I have been traveling. I learned a lot more about Czech food and culture because I had to interact on a much deeper level than ordering from the English menu in a large city. (Traveling with children also means you end up interacting much more with locals, even if it is just trying to return the toy your little darling snatched on the play ground). I also spent some time thinking about what it is like to not able to read labels or understand spoken word.
I’m not sure I will be able to post on time for next weeks challenge. Perhaps once I get back to Australia next week I will try for a slightly later posting.