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Sunday, January 11, 2015

Alpha Bakers: Black and Blueberry Pie

For Christmas, my husband surprised me with several things from Anthropologie home/kitchen section. One of them was the rolling pin in the above photo. When I opened the nicely wrapped rolling pin on Christmas morning, I hold the handle on each hand and made the motion in the air as if I'm rolling a dough. He looked at me and said in a serious tone "I didn't intend for you to use it for baking. I thought you can use it for pictures." Well, he is right, the pin is made from ceramic so I suppose pressing on it is probably not a good idea, :).

I am not very excited about pie but I love Rose's cream cheese pie crust. I think it's the best pie crust. I have made other pie crust (Rose's flaky pie crust and also recipes from other authors). The cream cheese pie crust wins every time. So even though I am not a huge pie fan, I am looking forward to this because of the pie crust. Also, I get to use my new 4 inch ruffled pie pan and take photos of the new for-photography-only rolling pin.

I made 1/4 recipe of this pie. This time I remembered to measure in volume my 9 inch pie pan vs. the 4 inch pie pan. By volume the 4 inch pie pan is 1/4 the 9 inch. So all set to divide everything by 4.

Making the crust.

I froze the leftover cream from the Frozen Pecan Tart. Do you know that you can freeze heavy cream and use it? It won't whip but you can use it for another tart dough or for ganache. The other frozen things in this picture is lemon juice! I am trying something new since I bought too much lemon a few weeks ago. As it turns out it was possible to freeze and defrost lemon juice. The small cube in the below photo got defrosted and used as the lemon juice ingredient for this pie filling.

1 cube of previously frozen heavy cream.

The texture looks a little funny when it's defrosting. Like the liquid and cream are separating, but all you need to do is mix it with a spoon and they combine and become heavy cream liquid.

Dry ingredients: flour, salt, baking powder.

Add cream cheese.

Rub cream cheese and dry ingredients until it's coarse meal.

Add butter.

Disregard instructions to use zip lock and mix it with the cream and cider vinegar by hand. The dough then went into a tupperware container to rest in the fridge for 2 hours.

Rolling the dough.

I think it's odd that such a small pie pan has very deep ruffles. It is cute, no doubt, but I find it makes it a bit hard to drape the pie dough evenly.

Making the filling.

Sugar, cornstarch, and lemon zest.

Pause for a second and take pretty photos of the berries...

Add blackberries.

Action shot of adding blueberries.

Mix and mix.

Add to the pie plate.

Add the dough hat.

Tuck the hat border underneath the bottom border and crimp the edges with a fork.

Add 5 slashes across the top, as instructed. Is it just me or does this look like pot pie?!?!!?!!!

Baking the pie.

Preheat the oven to 425'F 45 minutes before baking with a pizza/baking stone in it.

I baked the pie for 20 minutes, then another 25 minutes. The filing looks like they start bubbling through the slashes but the top crust still looks pale. So I took off the foil cover and bake again for 15 minutes. By this time the whole filling is bubbling and some juices overflowed. Juice overflow = done so I took it out of the oven.

Tasting the pie.

This is a fantastic pie. It is a tad too sweet, as most pies are for me, but it's good! The first slice that I cut fell apart so I thought I did something wrong again, but then the second slice actually hold together. It was already dark when this happened so I didn't take a photo - you're just gonna have to take my word for it, :).

Alpha Bakers is a group of bakers who are baking through The Baking Bible, Rose Levy Beranbaum's latest cookbook. Come check out the rest of the group at Rose's Alpha Bakers.

Click here for a full listing of all the recipes we are baking.


  1. As always, gorgeous walkthrough photos, Knitty :) I love your mini pie pan (and, yes, before baking it does look like a pot should try a mini pot pie - cute!). I loved your instructions about freezing the cream and lemon juice. I had no idea that cream wouldn't lose its texture when thawed. I will definitely have to try that. I love your silicone ice cube try too - v cool!

    I also found the pie to be a little on the sweet side and mine came out very liquidy, but delicious overall. And, I agree that the cream cheese crust is amazing! So flaky.

  2. Jenn.. I was counting on you to make a mini out of this recipe, and sure enough there you have it. I love your rolling pin. Glad your pie worked out, mine was a bit temperamental and there has been long and analyzing conversations in our FB group about it, all with Rose insight - lots of tips and tricks.

    As always your pictures rock

    1. Monica, you count right! :) I just can't make a full recipe - it would be way too much to have around.

  3. ב''ה

    Ah, looking at how you did it I think I may have done my crust a bit off.

    Looks great.

    1. Looking forward to reading your post. What's off with the crust?

  4. It's so cute!! I love your pie! Next time i want to make mini pies too! :)

  5. that is the sweetest little pie plate! great job--so glad you agree with me about the pie crust!!!!

    1. Thanks Rose! And the pie crust freezes well too. I have a bag of scraps in the freezer somewhere.

  6. Beautiful! Adorable pie pan and very pretty serving plates.

  7. Love the mini pie! Just today I purchased two ice cube trays to see if I could freeze lemon juice. We have about 50 ripe lemons from our tree. I'm glad to see that it works!! Maybe I can dry some of the zest too...

  8. Your photos are great. I have lots of "props" that are only used for pictures. Pot pie - LOL

  9. Hi Jenn, I agree, your photos are wonderful. Nice post, and beautiful little pie. Just enough for one or two.

  10. OH! PS: Congrats on the rolling pin. Even though it's ceramic, I bet you can use it. You just can't pound on cold pastry with it. It was a really thoughtful gift.

  11. Jenn,
    I always picture you as a tiny person living in a tiny house driving a tiny car and eating tiny desserts. If you have a Great Dane for a pet and drive an Escalade, please don't tell me.

  12. I love your tiny little pie! It came out beautifully. That is a love ly rolling pin and nice hot pad. Thanks for the tips on freezing heavy cream! I had no idea.

  13. Your husband is very thoughtful. I'm always tempted by Anthropologie stuff.

    Your pie looks quite dramatic with the slashes.

  14. What a super awesome post. I LOVE your new rolling pin - it's so pretty! And I'm drooling over your mini pie plate too. I have the same EH pie plate, in the regular size. The deep ruffles look pretty, but you're right - they don't make for very practical crust crimping. Had to chuckle when I read "disregard instructions to use ziplock bag" - lol!! Anyway, I love that you reduced the recipe by 75%. Making a note of it!

    Patricia @ ButterYum

  15. Your color scheme is to die for.


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