All-the-Berries-Berry Pie

Some days just call for pie. They really do.

The morning was slightly overcast, and Mother Nature was starting to hint that fall is coming. So naturally with the grey clouds and cooler temperatures, I woke up craving pie. What, that’s never happened to you? Well, morning pie cravings happen to me more than I’d like to admit, but rarely do I give in to them. This time, however, I couldn’t resist. It was just one of those days that called for pie. I wanted the comfort of flaky crust, sweet berries, and fluffy whipped cream paired with a warm cup of coffee while I curled up in my reading chair. Now you see where I’m going with this. Sounds pretty good, right? I know. That’s why I made pie.

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You may have heard of berry pie or even a triple berry pie, but get ready, this pie has ALL the berries in it. Okay, not literally all of them, but it does have four different types: strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries. It’s like one big berry dance party in your mouth.

And for the crust, oh man, this recipe delivers 100% flaky, buttery, golden goodness. I’m a pretty harsh critic when it comes to crust, but will definitely bookmark this to use for future pie endeavors.

Finally, top your pie with homemade whipped cream and voila, pie perfection. Enjoy!Pie_good

Pie Crust
2 and ½ cups all purpose flour
1 and ¼ teaspoons salt
6 tablespoons butter, chilled and cubed
¾ cup vegetable shortening, chilled
½ – ⅔ cups ice water
1 egg, beaten (for brushing the crust)

Berry Filling
½ cup sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
2 cups strawberries, halved (fresh or frozen)
2 cups mixed berries (fresh or frozen, I used frozen blackberries, blueberries, raspberries)
¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Whipped Cream
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla extract

Directions
Begin by preparing your pie dough at least 1 hour before you plan on baking your pie; the dough needs time to chill. You can find step by step instructions here at Sally’s Baking Addiction.

After the dough has chilled for nearly an hour, you can prepare the filling. To make the berry filling, first mix sugar and cornstarch together in a medium bowl; set aside 1 tablespoon of this mixture (it will later be sprinkled on the pie dough). Next, add in berries and cinnamon then stir until well combined. Let the berry mixture sit for 10-15 minutes.

While the berry mixture rests, preheat the oven to 375ºF and then roll out your pie dough. Remove one of the dough disks from the fridge and, on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to form a 12-inch circle (mine was a little closer to 14-inches; just make sure the rolled dough will cover the bottom and sides of the pan. You will want a little bit of excess hanging over the sides which will be helpful when connecting the lattice pieces). To easily transfer the dough to the bottom of the pie pan, roll the dough around the rolling pin and then unroll into the pie pan. Once transferred, gently press the dough into the corners of the pan. Next sprinkle the remaining tablespoon of cornstarch and sugar on top of the rolled out dough; this will help prevent the bottom of the pie from becoming soggy. Next pour berry filling into pie pan. Finish your pie by rolling out the second dough disk into a 12-14 inch circle and then cut into 1 inch strips to be used as the lattice. For further detailed instructions on preparing your lattice top, you can check out this overview.

Once you’ve finished your lattice, brush the dough with egg and then sprinkle with granulated sugar. Bake for 20-30 minutes until edges are golden brown, then cover edges with foil and continue baking for an additional 20-30 minutes until the center is bubbly and has thickened.

To make the whipped cream, add the heavy whipping cream to a chilled mixing bowl. Whip on medium-high speed until stiff peaks are about to form then add in sugar and vanilla. Continue to beat until stiff peaks form; be careful not to over-whip or the cream will become too thick and lumpy.

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Blueberry Coconut Bread

One of the things I look forward to most during summer, other than replenishing my body’s Vitamin D levels, are fresh berries. Berries on berries on berries. While recently telling my friend how excited I was for blueberry season, she brought up that her family faces a dilemma each year. A dilemma? Wait, I thought we were talking about berries. The only berry problem I could think of was having no berries. Intrigued, I asked her to explain what she meant. She told me that her family has a blueberry bush at their house and each year they don’t know what to do with all the berries. As she said this, my jaw literally dropped, and I started to feel like a little kid in school waiting to be called on by the teacher. Ooo, ooo. Me! Pick me! I nearly had to sit on my hands to contain my excitement. While attempting to regain composure, I told her I would gladly take some of those fresh, juicy, blueberries off her hands.IMG_1184

Thinking of the blueberry harvest I was about to come into, my mind started to dance and skip around the endless recipe options. My first thought was bread. Yes, bread. Don’t give me that look. A moist loaf of bread with a slightly crunchy top that perfectly balances sweet and savory and would be oozing with fresh berries, how could I resist? Well, I couldn’t.

While perusing one of my trusted recipe sources, Smitten Kitchen, I came across an easy Coconut Bread recipe. Eager to bake, I quickly scanned the ingredients. Flour, check. Milk, check. Baking powder, check. You get the idea. Luckily it looked like my pantry was stocked and just waiting for me to make this bread. Reading the recipe, you might be wondering what happened to those berries we were talking about. Oh, don’t you worry. Knowing that coconut and blueberries pair nicely, I decided to load this loaf with berries. Lots and lots of berries. For the complete recipe check out the amazing step by step post from Smitten Kitchen. Before I leave you, three things to keep in mind:

  1. To make this a Blueberry Coconut Bread, simply add berries! I added about 2 cups.
  2. I’d highly recommend making the Salted Honey Brown Butter Spread. Don’t be intimidated by how fancy it sounds, it’s really easy, and you know you want it.
  3. Heed her warning when it comes to cinnamon. I’m a cinnamon fanatic and opted to add the full amount. However, I think the flavors of the coconut and blueberries are better enhanced when they’re not fighting for the spotlight.

Buttered Popcorn & Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hiding my love of popcorn has never really been an option. First there’s the audible click, click, click of kernels as they fall from the jar and then bounce around atop the pot on the stove. Then of course there’s the freshly popped buttery smell that permeates the apartment. My roommate can attest that popcorn is often my go-to snack (like every night often). So when I found this recipe, my mind was slightly blown.popcorn

Are you ready for this? My popcorn loving self and I weren’t, so I want to give you fair warning. Okay, here it goes. As the name suggests, these cookies have buttered popcorn swirled into the batter and are topped with sea salt. Oh and don’t forget there are also dark chocolate pieces swimming in every bite. I’ve made dessert popcorn in the past (aka a bowl of popcorn with chocolate chip pieces mixed in…. hello melty, salty, chocolatey goodness!) BUT I never thought to take this idea to the next level and create a cookie. Joy and Deb, hats off to you. Thank you for helping me step up my popcorn game.

You may be wondering what in the world does popcorn in a cookie taste like. Well, friends, let me tell you. It tastes a little bit like heaven. The popcorn gives the cookies a slight chew factor, in the best possible way, which is balanced by the ooey gooey center and crisp edges. I went ahead and made these bad boys with stovetop popcorn, but you can also use microwave popcorn, which the recipe actually recommends. Okay, I think that’s enough talking for now. Grab a glass of milk and your favorite movie and get ready to treat yo’ self.