7/22/2009

#10 A Berry Minty Pie Wins 1st Place

Posted by Chrisi

Each day my husband battles a 55 mile commute between Orange County and Los Angeles (110 miles roundtrip) so it’s understandable that he refuses to drive to L.A. during the weekend. In fact, he hates L.A. traffic so much that if we want to see a concert that is playing in L.A. and Vegas, we drive to Vegas. So image my surprise when hubby says, “We are so there,” when I tell him about a Pie Swap sponsored by Slow Food LA at 2 pm on a Sunday. He must love me… or maybe it’s the pie?

I had never been to a pie swap before and this one was located in a West Hollywood, mid-century modern-style apartment, one block off Sunset Strip. I was just as intrigued by the locale as I was by the pie… and there was pie. Lots of pie. Sweet and savory pies such as deep-dish apricot pie, peach mascarpone pie, Meyer lemon pie, lemon meringue pie, cream cheese and fruit pie, savory lamb pie, green chili stew hand pies, and two bought Whole Foods pies. (I know there were more).
 
To adhere to Slow Food principles, I baked a Berry Minty Pie with strawberries, blackberries and mint purchased from the Irvine Farmer’s Market. The mint really set off the berries and took everyone by surprise. The pie was voted as a clear winner and I walked away with first prize. Well, no prizes were actually given but I have bragging rights… which includes out-baking a pastry chef!

Pie Filling:
  • 2 pints of fresh strawberries, cored and sliced (about 4 cups)
  • 2 cups of fresh blackberries
  • 2/3 cup of organic raw cane sugar
  • 1/4 cup of tapioca
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons orange liqueur
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Small handful of fresh, chopped mint leaves (about 1/4 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter cut into pieces

    Crust: Double 9” crust made with 50:50 Spectrum shortening-Plugra (butter)

    Directions:
    Combine the pie filling ingredients, mix and let stand while you prepare the pie crust (a minimum of 15 minutes). Assemble the pie. Be sure to carefully seal the top crust and cut vent holes. Bake at 400⁰F for 50 minutes or until the pie is bubbly. Allow to cool near room temperature before serving.


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