Sunday, July 06, 2008

Lattice Crust Cherry Red Raspberry Pie

This is one of my favorite pies. I doubt you noticed, since you're not like around me and stuff, but posts like the last two about SERE and torture take a fucking toll on me.

I needs me some big time comfort food. Ain't kidding. I about capped on some poor slob in San Diego last Friday. My nerves are frayed and my temper's short. That can be fucking dangerous for innocent bystanders. When Ranger, who stalked the same jungles as I did, notices that my language has gotten decidedly salty, it's time to calm the fuck down and shit.


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cake flour (when a recipe calls for pastry flour use this 2 to 1 mix)
2 tablespoons super rich butter powder, optional* (You can usually find this at a Cake decorating store and, while optional it makes a huge taste difference)
1 cup shortening (or if you're like me and don't give a fuck use Lard)
1 whole egg
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup ice water

I use the stand mixer for the initial mixing. It's easier and more thorough. First the shortening (this time it's Crisco Butter flavor) and the flour are cut into one another for a full mix.

Now, I switch to hand mixing because a lot of this goes by pure feel. This is where cooking becomes art, a lot of the texture of the crust depends on things like the barometer and relative humidity. A crust that will be flaky and crisp but still tender just has an indescribable feel when it's in the dough stage. The only way to get that feel is to make a lot of pies. Now the liquid ingredients, the egg, the ice water (ice water is important, no substitute or shortcut will do) and the salt are all working into the dough. When it is done, you will have a smooth, mostly elastic dough. It looks like this:

Separate the dough into two discs and wrap one closely with plastic. Put that into the fridge and roll the other one out, put it into a pie pan.

Trim the excess crust to about 1/2", cover closely with plastic and put that in the fridge too.

Now, on to the filling.

Ingredients for Pie filling

10 ounce package of frozen red raspberries, thawed
2 cups pitted canned pie cherries in juice
1 1/4 cup baker's sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Drain the thawed raspberries, reserving the juice. Add enough juice from the cherries to make 1 cup.

In a sauce pan mix the sugar, cornstarch, salt, cherries and the cup of juice. Over a medium heat bring to a simmer and hold for 5 to six minutes. The mixture should be somewhat thick and clear. It will burn like hell itstelf if you get any on you so be carefull. You can add up to another tablespoon of cornstarch a teaspoon at a time (3 teaspoons=1 tablespoon) to thicken the mixture more according to your own preferences. If you add cornstarch be sure and simmer the mixture at least two minutes to keep that nasty library paste aftertaste from happening. When the juice returns to thick and clear, remove from the heat, stir in the butter until it is well incorporated, set aside and allow to come to room temperature.

Put that into the bottom shell and set aside. Now, take the disc in the fridge out and roll it flat and thin. Cut that into 1" strips. Lay the strips across the pie so that they are almost but not quite touching. Starting from the center, fold every other strip back halfway, lay a strip down crossways.

Repeat this until the pie has a nice, woven lattice all the way around. Trim off the excess and crimp.

Shield the edge of the crust by cutting a circle of foil enough to cover the pie, fold that in half, cut out all but about an inch and a half from the center, and shield the edge with that.

Bake on the center rack at 400° for fifteen minutes. Remove the foil, and reduce the temperature to 350°. Bake for another 40 minutes. Note: Be sure to have a foil covered cookie sheet or something beneath the pie while it's baking to catch any drips and bubble overs. When the top crust is golden brown, remove and cool completely (overnight is best, but four to six hours should do well enough).

Remember to try to pretend humility and be gracious when you accept your acclaim for serving this wonderful pie. False humility is its very own fulfulling pride.



Blogger Lisa said...

Do you know what a joy it is to read the breadth of your activities?

Baking seems the proper antidote to the unsavory issues we address. It fills every sense, nourishing body and soul. It calms you, while honoring the fruits of the earth.

Thank you for sharing your artistry.

9:57 PM  
Blogger Sherry Pasquarello said...

mb, that is truly beautiful.

cooking and baking , i've always known them as arts. baking is the harder of the two.


4:49 AM  
Blogger pissed off patricia said...

A dude who can blister verbally and bake a pie that looks like that, is a treasure

5:32 AM  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

MB, don't sweat my cmts since your female readers are so loyal. i'm constantly called a disconnected dude but it's working for admiration goes out to you.i never get warm cmts- guess i need to start baking.what i don't do for.......:)
i suspect that we both are under a lot of pressure from trauma which works it's way to the surface in stressful times. recently i feel extremely wrapped or more so than usual. Lisa always accuses me of being too tight but i'm a marvel compared to years ago.
as for hancock i met him here in quincy fl and he works as a carpenter. when he told me his story i blew him off since i've heard this storey way too often. all rvn vets are sog/sf/seal/ranger/sniper and i just tune em out. i'm actually adverse to say i'm a sf vet and my experience with all the junior jumpers at socnet and soforp bear out my and i were qualified BEFORE THERE WAS AN O in sf. anyway hancock made it a point to bring his dd214 with navy cross and pow stamped on it AND he did have a personal relationship with Denton who was a senator at that time.
sorry if i'm rambling but my anxiety level is also high lately. jim

7:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting. When I make a lattice crust I always leave a lot of gaps.

8:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

cooking and baking , i've always known them as arts. baking is the harder of the two.

It's the more exacting because the chemical processes involved are more particular. In its way it's not unlike candy making (even more exacting), where the temperature of the melted sugar and its moisture content must be very carefully monitored or the final result may be dramatically unlike what is wanted.

9:02 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I am a littlel suprised that you don't say to make the crust a few hours earlier and put it in the fridge for a while. That usually makes it a little easier to roll out. I have never had any luck with making lattice crusts. Thanks for the instructions on laying a piece across it and folding the other strips over it. I may try it with some peaches I scored at the farmer's market.

11:11 AM  
Blogger Ghost Dansing said...

have you ever tried those frozen pies? you just have to put them in the oven and follow the instructions for the heat and everything..... american pie

4:15 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

ghost dansing,

Saying that here is sacrilege! Those and Jiffy Pop and t.v. dinners in the little metal trays ushered in a sad trend in society. Everything quick, quality be damned.

4:26 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...


I just noticed your closing comment on false humility, so the logical title for this piece is "humble pie"!

4:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Found your pie while doing a google search on lattice design. Looks great! Found another one where you twist the strips as you're laying them to look like weaving spirals. Cooking/Baking is good for the soul.
Thanks for the post,
Stationed in Bangor, WA

9:37 PM  
Blogger Veronica Miller said...

LOL--might I have something to do with you making this again (and posting all those pics??). :)

10:21 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

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11:48 AM  

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