03 April 2011

Double Crust Cherry-Blackberry Pie

Just to be clear: "double crust" is usually code for "extra calories." Especially when using a from-scratch crust. (I've found that the refrigerated crusts are fewer calories than the homemade ones). And especially when that crust is a 'Tender Cream Cheese Pastry' which includes two sticks of butter and an entire brick of full-fat cream cheese. Oof.

Inside the pie, the nutrition is pretty good - two pounds of berries sweetened with only a half-cup of sugar. The recipe calls for an even mix of sweet cherries and blackberries. The berries are frozen - the recipe calls for them to be partially thawed before baking - which is a very convenient and perfectly passable way to make berry pies in the 11 months of off-season. It would be a gut-busting shame to have to eat all your berry pies ever during the month of July.

I used tart cherries and most of a pound of blackberries, with an ounce or two of raspberries tossed in to make up the weight. I would definitely recommend you go with the sweet cherries, as the blackberries provide tartness enough for the pie.

A word of caution about the cream cheese pastry crust (which, like the pie, is also from Ken Haedrich's Pie): the double crust recipe makes a lot of dough, probably enough for three crusts. I didn't realize this until too late, but it rolls out very thick if just making two crusts, thick enough that I suspect it insulated the filling and prevented it from thickening properly. The crust also came out a bit on the greasy side, but it has promise.

Also on the subject of thickening, I would probably toss in some quick-cooking tapioca the next time. There was a significant quantity of juices inside the pie (but it helped the too-thick crust with a delicious berry juice soak!).

This was the first pie that I've used pie shields on. I added foil strips about 10 minutes before the end of a 60-65 minute bake time and was pleased with the result.

All in all, I don't think this is a bad pie at all; I just think I could do a few things better next time.

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