Glazed Berry Pie

After a 3.5 year hiatus, it is time to get back into the swing of posting recipes for you. As I’m sure you all know, it is finally berry season again and so a few weeks ago, with a sale on fresh raspberries afoot, my mom and I got together to make one of our seasonal favourite family recipes: this glazed berry pie.

This recipe originated many years ago from the mother of a very dear friend of my parent’s in Liverpool, Nova Scotia. It is a fresh berry pie and requires a blind baked pie shell. I’m not including a pastry recipe here, as most people have their own, but I have been using a buttery pastry recipe from a community-loved baker, Jana Roerick, on Saltspring Island (where I am from). If you are interested in her cookbook, A Little Island Bake Shop, check out www.janasbakeshop.ca.

My Nikon battery was charging and we were feeling hungry so the photo quality is not quite up to par for me. Hopefully the iPhone photos are still appetizing enough that you give this delightful recipe a go.

INGREDIENTS

1 quart strawberries or raspberries, cleaned and hulled

3/4 cup sugar

2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup water

1 pie crust, baked and allowed to cool to room temperature

DIRECTIONS

Reserve and blend or sieve 1 cup of the fruit. If making with raspberries, the seeds should be separated from the blended reserved fruit using a sieve.

Combine the sugar, cornstarch, salt and water in a saucepan. Cook stirring until thickened over low hear 10-15 minutes. Add blended fruit to give colour.

Put whole berries into baked pie shell. Pour syrup over berries, coating them thoroughly.

Chill for at least 4 hours to allow glaze to set. Serve with whipped cream.

Nancy’s Apple Torte

Nancy's Apple Torte - A Pat & A Pinch

This recipe comes via my New York based Aunt who, in turn, got it from her sister Nancy. The torte comes together quite easily and is perfect for a dinner party.

Having just read J. Kenji López-Alt’s thoughtful study and discussion of the best apples for apple pie on Serious Eats, I chose to use Golden Delicious apples rather than the McIntosh apples suggested in the original recipe. I was really pleased with the texture and consistency of the apples when the pie had baked.  I have also seen a similar recipe that suggested Granny Smith apples.  I think there is quite a bit of flexibility in your apple choice.

The recipe doesn’t specify whether to use sliced blanched almonds or unblanched almonds. I chose the latter as I wanted the extra colour. I was glad I did.  The torte would look rather pallid in the absence of the touch of colour that the glimpses of almond skin contribute.

Nancy's Apple Torte - A Pat & A Pinch

Crust:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup sliced almonds

2 Tablespoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

6 Tablespoons cold butter, cut in small pieces

1 large egg yolk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Filling:

1 large egg

8 oz. cream cheese

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Topping:

4 cups peeled and sliced Golden Delicious apples

1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 400 F.  To prepare crust, pulse flour, almonds, sugar and salt in a food processor, using about 10 one-second pulses, until combined.  With the motor running, add butter, a few pieces at a time.  Add egg yolk and vanilla and process until evenly combined (Mixture will look like wet sand).   Pat the crust into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan and about 1-inch up the sides.

To prepare filling, wipe out the food processor.  Add egg, cream cheese, sugar and vanilla; process until smooth.  Spread into the crust.

To prepare topping, toss apples, sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and combine.  Spoon over the filling, pressing gently.  Top with almonds.

Bake the torte for 15 minutes.  Reduce oven temperature to 350 F.  Continue baking until set around the edges, and just a bit jiggly in the center, 20 to 25 minutes more.

Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then remove the pan sides and let cool completely, about 1 hour.  Refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours, before serving.  Serves 10.