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For flour I always use King Arthur Flour, it is far superior to any flour I have ever baked with. For my liquid, I use buttermilk. Most recipes call for water, I however am hooked on buttermilk. I was a little hesitant the first time I tried it.... but it's the best! It gives the crust flavor. I can thank Joy the Baker for that little tip. For my butter.... I am now hopelessly hooked on Vermont Creamery's Sea Salt & Maple Butter, my good lord.This butter is so creamy, slightly sweet with a bits of sea salt. I am so head over heals in love with it. WHAT kind of weirdo am I? I could go on and on about the butter. I obviously have butter issues.
To start the dough, I always start by measuring the dry ingredients and butter according my recipe directions. I keep a little extra flour on the side for my counter, rolling pin and extra in case my dough is too moist. The temperature and humidity in your kitchen can greatly affect the outcome of your dough. I find it works best when my butter is super super cold, so I chill it in the freezer for 15 minutes before I am ready to work. I also think working on a cool surface is great. Some people use marble, I find that my counter top works the best for me.
Some people prefer to use their food processors or mixers for this next part. I however think it is too easy to overwork the dough which will result in a crunchier cookie like crust. I think with a little patience doing it by hand is THE way to do it. Plus... working butter into the dough with your finders is relaxing and fun. (again...I have butter issues) Toss your butter in the flour, work it just enough forming small butter disks and pea sized bits. Slowly pour in your liquid while tossing the mixture. Once it is shaggy, give a couple kneads, wrap and refrigerate for an hour or more.
I make my batches in bulk, and freeze. It is so nice to have it on hand at all times. I don't just use it for desserts, it's great for savory dishes as well. Nothing compares to flaky, buttery homemade crust. It's too easy and too good to buy store bought or to use a mix. Give it a whirl!
Once you make some bad ass buttery crust, it's time for the filling. Now for me, I am all about the pastry. The filling is always second best. However, this Summer Sangria filling is amazing. It's so good I made extra filling to use as an ice cream topping.
Most fruit pies consist of raw fruit tossed in sugar and a thickening agent. You fill your crust with it uncooked. It works. It's delicious and it's simple. Sometimes however.... you want to dress it up a tad! For this particular filling, I cooked my fruit and reduced it down in white wine, brown sugar, and some of my favorite pie filling thickener, King Arthur Flour's Pie Filling Enhancer. This stuff is so good, it thickens your pies perfectly without gelling up.
With BBQ's and pot lucks coming up with the 4th of July, a good berry pie recipe is a must! Be sure to treat your family and friends to this fun twist! To top it off... instead of whipped cream try using Vermont Creamery's Madagascar Vanilla Crème Fraîche.
Summer Sangria Pie
For the crust:
2 - 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour (more if needed)
3/4 cup of cold Vermont Creamery's Sea Salt & Maple Butter
1/3 buttermilk (more or less if needed)
For the filling:
6 cups of your favorite summer berries, peaches, apricots or nectarines.
1/2 cup of a fruity white wine ( I used a Riesling)
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup King Arthur Flour Pie Filling Enhancer
For the topping:
1 beaten egg for brushing
2 tbs raw sugar for dusting
Vermont Creamery's Madagascar Vanilla Crème Fraîche
To start your crust, measure your flour into a medium mixing bowl. Cut your cold butter into small pieces and toss in your flour until coated. Gently but quickly work the butter into the flour. I press the bits of butter between my index finger and thumbs forming thin butter disks. (this is the key to my flaky crust) When the mixture looks a tad crumbly add in your cold buttermilk slowly just until it starts to come together. Once it is shaggy looking, give it a couple kneads and form it into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least one hour. Will store for 2-3 days in the fridge.
To start your filling, mix all of your ingredients into a medium sauce pan bring to a boil, and reduce heat and allow to simmer for up to 15 minutes or until it has thickened it will coat the back of a spoon.
Set filling aside and allow to cool a bit while you roll out your crust.
Preheat oven to 375.
On a lightly floured surface, using floured rolling pin, roll out your pie crust for the bottom layer until it is 1/8 thick.
Transfer into the bottom of a 9 inch pie plate.
Roll out your second piece of pie crust. Once it is 1/8 thick cut 1/2 inch thick pieces for your lattice (or keep it as a single crust pie and use extra dough for something else) Lay the strips across you pie weaving them in a pattern to create the lattice look. (Someday I will post a tutorial!) Crimp the edges, and place on a baking sheet to bake. You will probably have some extra dough left over. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar and bake it as cookies. My kids go nuts for pie crust cookies!
Bake for 30 minutes, then using foil cover the top and return to the oven for another 20-30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. I like to use a clear glass pie plate because I can see the bottom of the pie crust to see if it is cooked through.
Allow the pie to cool for 4-6 hours or overnight. Enjoy with a dollop of Madagascar Vanilla Crème Fraîche.
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(Disclaimer: I was compensated for this post with free product from Vermont Creamery. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.)