My brother arrived to our parents with his family sometime in the night last night (at least that was the plan). Today is the planned day for dinner at our home (and the only available one!). I had some blueberries in the fridge and I was thinking about making a blueberry pie. Then I read a post by Anna of Cookie Madness talking about being in a "recipe rut" and mentioning being overwhelmed by all the blueberry/strawberry/whipped cream creations. Her mention of the 4th of July treats brought immediately to my mind the Red White & Blueberry Pie that I used to make from Pampered Chef. Since strawberries are in season here (and I was able to buy a quart for only $2.50 from the Amish!) I decided that was the pie I was going to make for dessert today!
My next dilemma was the pie crust. I had gotten into the habit of buying the Pillsbury crust and taking the easy way out, but I don't want to do that anymore! So, I decided that since I have the Baking cookbook by Dorie Greenspan, that I would make an another attempt at a homemade pie crust.
My butter was cold and I put my shortening in the fridge to firm it up more. Dorie states that the butter and shortening should be as cold as possible and that frozen is best. Well, she also tells you to use a food processor which I mentioned in my last post that I do not have yet.
So, I just made sure my butter and shortening were really cold and made the pie crust very early in the morning before it got too warm. I used my pastry blender (gee, I just realized my pastry blender, pie recipe, and deep dish pie plate all were from Pampered Chef also!) and the flour combo mixed beautifully. I made sure I used iced cold water to mix the dough and it turned out wonderful. Back into the fridge to chill some more before rolling, however, since I did great with it not melting on me, I didn't leave it in the fridge for the full 30 minutes. I rolled the crust out, again, still doing great, and put it in the pie dish.
Terrific! It looked great and I thought I was gold. Mind you I said I thought I was gold.
See that photo above? Sigh. Up until now I had listened to all of Dorie's instructions. The one thing she said that I did not listen to was to put the pie plate on a baking sheet. I thought, since I was using stoneware, I wouldn't need to do this. Two minutes into baking I saw smoke. I opened the oven door to see the source of smoke (I did have tarts in the oven from left over crust) and lo and behold the butter in the crust was melting and hitting the bottom of my oven! I quickly slid a baking sheet in below to stop anymore burning of butter. A few minutes later when I looked in my oven window I was deflated. My pie crust was melting right in the dish. What looked beautiful before baking, no longer was so pretty and my pie crust shrunk. I'm sure its because the butter was melting so fast in the hot oven..so afterward I was thinking maybe my crust wasn't cold enough before I put it in??
I had no choice but to accept the fact that I would not have a beautiful looking pie crust. But, I don't stress too much over that - as long as it is only my family eating it! (or close friends!) My only concern at that moment is that the pie crust taste great. Nobody is going to care too much that the crust shrunk on me as long as it tasted great!
In the meantime, my tarts came out of the oven and sat on the cookie sheet to cool.
While making these tarts I again thought of my Nanny. She always made tarts with her left over pie dough (actually, so did my mom). I "patiently" waited for the tarts to cool enough so I could try one to see how the crust tasted. SUCCESS! The pie crust is awesome as far as taste goes. The crust practically melts in your mouth, and not surprising since it also melts in the oven. (he he). I hate to admit it, but the tarts were so good (I only had 4) that they were gone by noon...and I was the only one here....
So, although I was mostly successful with this recipe, I have decided that the next time I need a single pie crust, I probably won't use this recipe in particular. But, when needing a double crust, I will definitely use it. It is one of the best tasting crusts I have ever made and according to Justin, the Groom come Saturday, the pie crust was the best part of the pie! However, nobody had any trouble eating the extra chocolate dipped strawberries.....oh yeah, the finished product of course, is at the top of the page. It doesn't look half bad considering the crust shrunk!
Red White & Blueberry Pie
1 quart fresh strawberries, divided
4 squares (1 oz. each) white chocolate for baking
1 package (8oz.) light cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup cold milk
1 package (3.3oz) white chocolate instant pudding
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed and drained
1 cup thawed frozen light whipped topping
Rinse Strawberries and carefully pat dry on paper towels. Select 8 uniformly sized strawberries for garnish. Slice each strawberry in half using 3" paring Knife, leaving stems on each half. Set aside. Hull remaining strawberries and slice. (I didn't listen to this - I had enough berries to dip whole berries and have sliced ones for the bottom of the pie)
Melt white chocolate in covered micro-cooker, uncovered on High 1 minute, stirring after each 10 sec. interval until chocolate is melted and smooth. Dip strawberry halves in melted chocolate; place in refrigerate until set.
Scrape remaining melted chocolate over bottom of prepared pie crust, spreading evenly to coat entire bottom and sides of crust. Layer sliced strawberries over bottom of crust.
Beat cream cheese in 2-QT. bowl with 10" whisk until smooth. Gradually beat in milk until well blended. Add pudding mix; beat until mixture begins to thicken. Spread mixture evenly over strawberries.
Arrange blueberries evenly over top of pie filling. Fill a decorator with whipped topping . Pipe rosettes evenly around edge of pie. Place dipped strawberry halves on whipped topping border. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Cut into slices.