Mixed Berry Jalapeño Pie

It seems only fitting that I should be writing a post about pie, as today marks the 100th birthday of the queen of all things delicious.   She taught so many of us control freaks to step outside of our comfort zones, and to be creative.  Happy birthday, Julia!  Thank you for inspiring us to love being in the kitchen — and for showing us that it’s okay to take risks! 

This little creation required a bit of experimentation, as I found myself with an abundance of summer berries, and….jalapeños.   While I love the sweet and spicy combination in jams, I had never really thought about using it in a pie.  After a little encouragement from my sweet friend, and goddess of all things pastry, I got to work.

I should probably preface this by stating that pie dough scares the crap out of me.   Seriously.  Maybe it’s the science that intimidates me, but I always feel like I’m doing it…wrong.  Then I hear Julia whisper, in the back of my brain somewhere, that “the only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”   And  I remind myself that anything with an abundance of flour and butter can’t be that bad, so…what the hell?!  For this pie, I referred to the basic pie dough recipe in my Bible of baking.  My main take away is to chill the pie dough thoroughly….and…use butter flavored Crisco for the shortening.  Lots of buttery goodness = delicious pie crust.

It must have gone well, because this is what the pie looked like 4 hours after coming out of the oven:

Just follow the directions for the dough, and while it is chilling in the fridge, toss together the following in a bowl:

Mixed Berry Jalapeño Pie Filling:
3 Cups Blueberries
3 Cups Blackberries
1 SMALL jalapeño pepper, seeds and ribs removed, finely FINELY minced (seriously, NO chunks!)
1 Cup Sugar, plus extra for dusting
2 Teaspoons juice plus zest from one LIME
3 Tablespoons Minute Tapioca
2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, cut into pieces
1 Egg White

1.  Adjust the oven rack to the lowest position, with a baking sheet on it, and preheat the oven to 500 degrees.  Roll the bottom layer of dough into the pie dish, then let it rest in the refrigerator while you mix the berries and roll out the top sheet of dough.
2.  Toss together the fruit, pepper, sugar, lime, and Minute tapioca.  *I actually used half of a pepper because my jalapeños are melt-your-face-off hot.  Let it sit while you roll out the top layer of dough.
3.  Roll out the top layer of pie dough.  Take the pie dish out of the fridge, fill it with the berries, scatter the 2 tbsp of butter over the top, and roll the top layer of dough over the filling.
4.  Trim the edges to about 1/2 inch, and tuck the dough underneath itself, so the edges are folded and flush with the pan.  You can then use your thumb and index finger to make a nice pretty edge.  Cut a few holes in the dough to allow for ventilation.  Brush with egg white, and sprinkle a little sugar over the top.
5.  Place the pie on the baking sheet in the oven, and turn the temp down to 425 degrees.  Bake for about 25 minutes.  Turn the oven down again, to 375, rotate the pie, and continue to bake for about 30 minutes more.  If the edges start to burn, you can take a long sheet of foil, and cut a hole out of the middle, to protect the edges only.  Let the pie cool completely on a wire rack, as it will take time to set up.  

adapted from Baking Illustrated

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Filed under dessert, sweets

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