January 31st, 2010
This post could also be titled: “How to surprise and awe your wife on a lazy Sunday evening.” Rachel and I were sitting on the couch, enjoying the fire and reading. Like she does on many occasions, she asked me to get her some ice cream. (She’s always polite.) So I got up and went into the kitchen. About 45 minutes later I walked out of the kitchen with a fresh blueberry and raspberry pie in my mits. She was surprised. She was awed. I think she had a sneaking suspicion I was not bringing her ice cream after the first 10 minutes and I did not return.
I have had a craving for cobbler for a while now. Every night I come home I tell myself I am going to make it, but tonight I decided to actually do it. Here is a little story for you about my love of cobbler. First of all, I feel sad for you because you probably don’t have the same grandma I do.
My grandma makes the best berry cobbler. Every time I come to visit she tells the story about little Keith. When I was little my family and I would travel to Grandma’s for a vacation each summer. As soon as I arrived I would run straight to the blackberry or raspberry patch (whichever was in season at the time). I’d pick a bucketful of berries and run straight back to Grandma and beg her to make me a cobbler. Of course, being the world’s best grandma, she would oblige. Later that evening I would be in Heaven. At least I can truly say that I will enjoy Heaven when I get there full-time, but for now I just have those small moments to latch on to.
Unfortunately I cannot make quite the same cobbler my grandma does. I keep trying and she keeps telling me how to do it. It is never the same. Fast-forward to tonight. I whipped out Rachel’s “Pie and Pastry Bible” and searched for a new cobbler recipe. I did not immediately find one, but what I did find looked delicious. I found a recipe for Fresh blueberry pie. A side note about recipes: I’m one of those people that can’t take a recipe and just follow it. I have read some other blogs regarding this subject. I do believe it is ironic because I proceed to post my modified recipe for others to follow. Back to it then: All I really changed was to speed-up the crust-making time and added raspberries to make up for the no-cobbler. (We all know that cobbler must have more than one type of berry!)
I put my dream of cobber on hold for a bit longer in order to try something new. What is the recipe you ask? Good question, but before I serve this evening’s dessert course I must tell you about our friend’s amazing Valentine’s day special: A box of beef! How cool is that? Don’t tell Rachel, but I think I’m going to get her one! On with the show, Here’s what I did:
- 1 and 1/2 cup unbleached pastry flour
- 8 tablespoons of butter (1 stick)
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 4 tablespoons ice water
- 2 teaspoons of kosher salt
- Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit
- Cut the butter into 3/4 inch cubes and place in a small bowl in the freezer while you get the rest of the ingredients, measure them into small containers so they are ready when you are.
- Whisk the flour and salt together in a medium bowl
- Add the butter using a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles course crumbs
- Place the mixture into a gallon zip-lock bag, remove the air as you seal
- Roll the mixture with a rolling pin so that the butter and flour form a flaky crust
- Remove the flakes and scrape the bag, set the bag aside
- Add the water and vinegar and mix with a spatula
- Place the mixture bag into the bag and knead, using the bag as a “glove”, until it forms a ball.
- Place the ball on a floured surface, flour the top a bit and flatten it. Roll it out to fit your pie pan and then shape it into your pan
- Poke a bunch of fork holes in the side and bottom
- Bake it for about 20 minutes or until it is golden brown on the bottom. I covered my sides after about 15 minutes to keep them from over-browning.
- Let the crust cool a bit before filling it.
- 8 cups of fresh berries*
- 1 cup of water + 4 tablespoons of water
- 1 cup of sugar
- 6 tablespoons of corn starch
- 2 teaspoons of fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- Place the 1-cup of water and 2 cups of berries (I used 1 cup raspberry and 1 cup blueberry) into a saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Meanwhile, whisk the 6-tablespoons (each) water and corn starch together
- After the berries come to a boil, reduce them to a simmer and stir for about 5 more minutes.
- Add the corn starch mixture, sugar, and lemon juice to the simmering berries
- Stir for another minute or until the mixture becomes translucent. (I believe this step is important. My pie did not set because I doubled the recipe here, but forgot to double the corn starch and added it at the last minute, skipping this step for the second portion.)
- Add the rest of the berries, mix and remove the saucepan from heat.
- Pour the berries into the cooked pie crust and let it set for 2 hours. This is the hard part!
- Serve and enjoy a small taste of heaven in your mouth.
I hope you enjoy it!
*Since it is January, we don’t have fresh berries. Of course your could go to the grocery store and get frozen or unripe, tasteless, bitter “fresh” berries. I prefer to use our frozen summer surplus. Rachel picked berries until her hands fell off this summer, so we have a freezer full of freezer jam and whole berries. I like to rinse the frozen berries in cold water to remove the frost and make them soft again to use in recipes like this during the dead of winter.