Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Black and Blueberry Pie

Just a health warning - this post is not going to be funny, especially not as funny as last week's guest blogger.  Reading Chris' post whilst I was waiting for my connecting flight in Kuala Lumpur definitely helped pass my five hour wait.  I think I may have inadvertently unearthed a baker.  We need a bigger kitchen.  Win:win.  How lucky am I that the long haired youth I fell in love with twenty odd years ago would continue to turn out so great?

There were so many Facebook posts about the Golden Panettone (GP), that I thought for sure this was the week of the GP and I would have to skip baking.  After all, there is no way that Panettone is going to pull together in a day.  Fortunately for me it was only early skirmishes on the process to produce the GP.

I am not sure if the Black and Blueberry Pie is on the Quick and Easy list, but it should be.  I think Rose may need to add a recipe listing called Maximum Wow for Minimum Swearing.  This pie is seriously impressive, and I don't think that was my jet lag talking nor was Chris reflecting his deep appreciation that Malaysia Air returned me home in one piece.  I think the only pies I have made before now were all of either apple or savoury persuasion.  Pies are a bit like cookies - more of a North American speciality, rather than something I would bake with any regularity.  Rose is turning me into a North American, more surely than my youthful addiction to Days of Our Lives and the litany of other American shows that aired on Australian television.

So, what about the pie - enough dirty confessions to DOOL.  As I alluded to earlier, this is simple.  Simple with a couple of caveats.  The caveats being a food processor, a decent rolling pin, pastry wands and a ready supply of blueberries and blackberries (preferably fresh).

Cream cheese mixed in until sandy
Butter mixed in until pea size bits
Then process liquid until pea size bits
The Perfect Flaky and Tender Cream Cheese Pie Crust may not roll off the tongue as easily as it comes together.  There is a UK saying, "it does exactly what it says on the tin" which basically means that there is no false advertising in the title.  Definitely Rose's motto.  There are a couple of tricks introduced in The Baking Bible - roll pastry between two sheets of plastic wrap, roll and cut the pastry to the right size before putting it into the pie dish and the upside down on a cake tin trick.  This week we just did the cutting to the 12 inch template.  I rolled my pastry to 1/8th of an inch which barely gave me two 12 inch disks.  No idea why this was a everyone else seemed to have acres of pastry left over.  Rose instructs you to refrigerate for 30 minutes before rolling - I only refrigerated the top layer before rolling, and just immediately rolled the base layer.



The filling comes together in about three minutes flat.  Sugar, corn starch, lemon zest and juice as well as the fruit are gently mixed together and put into the lined pie dish.  This is then covered with the top layer of artfully decorated pastry before resting in the fridge for an hour - this is to prevent shrinkage and maintain the flakiness of the pastry.



I suck at any sport that requires hand eye coordination (well, any sport really) and I think this is why I also suck at the nice pretty edges.  And I couldn't get onto You Tube to see a demonstration.  You Tube is just for home made lego animations and mind numbing minecraft videos and bow ties.  I tried the pinch method but in the end opted for a haphazardly welded fork.


Baking is recommended to be on a baking stone to prevent the dreaded soggy bottom.  Pies are a challenge I think - get the bottom cooked but don't burn the top (the perpetual conundrum of the tanning set).  Rose suggests a foil ring, which I duly modelled and tentatively placed on top.  But my life is devoid of a baking stone - not sure I need it just yet, because I was okay with the bottom of my pie.

Forty five minutes later, the pie sailed forth from the oven.  Some bits slightly darker than desired, but we value diversity in this house.  It cooled on the bench, but unlike all those cartoons of my youth nothing bad befell the pie. 

Our equal opportunity pie.  Unconditional love is offered to all pie, irrespective of attractiveness.

There was a bit of ooze on cutting, but it was a definite "ooze" and not a "flood".  I think the fresh berries helped.  Rose has suggested draining the frozen berries and thickening that liquid before adding back into the pie mix.  Given the UK is the land where no fruit or vegetable will be thwarted from the shelves due to the season, I will probably always use fresh.  Mine were sporting only marginally more food miles that I was this weekend.

Love the "tangy recipe variety" label


This pie is sensational.  It was marred only a little by the undercurrent of bitterness from the lemon.  I think this was from the lemon zest.  My scales are a bit flaky.  If I zest two lemons, my scales will always register it as zero weight - the recipe says 6 grams.  I stopped at two lemons.  Next time I will not even start.  Lemon zest is staying out of my next pie. 


This was a resounding success with all who have eaten it (not with those who have just looked at it), and by day 3 I am hardly noticing the lemon zest, especially when paired with ice cream.  Eating too many pies may result in people asking me when my next child is due.  Sigh.  How come this book doesn't come with a gym membership?  Or a muzzle?

Next week the infamous Golden Panettone.  And maybe a gym membership?  And maybe I will post within the deadline...

8 comments:

  1. Incredibly impressive to come back from jetting around the globe and pulling this out of the oven! "Maximum Wow for Minimum Swearing" ~ totally concur and I second the vote for gym membership and/or muzzle. I confess I"m turning the filling into jam as per Jennifer's instructions. I figure it is downright healthy with all the berry antioxidants and without crust.

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  2. Hi Nicole! Mine was burnt along the sides..but because I had a lot of crust, so i scraped them off..
    I tot your pie looks great! :) LOL! I laughed when you said eating too many pies may result in people asking you when your next child is due...

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  3. I'm happy to adopt any nationality with a decent range of baked goods. Several nationalities at once if necessary.

    Very nice pie and I'm impressed by your jet lag cooking.

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  4. P.S. That Malaysia Airlines?!? You are one cool cookie! Did Chris kiss the tarmac when you landed safely?

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  5. Great post! Still laughing at how you suck at any sport lol.

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  6. Nicola, you are definitely one of the bloggers i look forward to reading the most. Equal opportunity pie, LOL! I was also a DOOL addict as a teen. I loved me some Steve and Kayla.

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  7. Nice work. Maximum wow for minimum swearing. MWMS!

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  8. MWMS! Equal opportunity pie! I think I might start a post on the all the terms you coined (you get 100% full royalty of course).

    I too suck at sports. Glad to know I'm not the only one - and we are not in a sporting club.

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