Happy Fourth of July!!!
On a camping trip earlier this year one of our friends brought a dessert that she bought from Safeway, it had flaky pie crust, then a layer of chocolate ganache, a layer of pastry cream, and then was topped with glazed berries. It was delicious! So I decided that it would be easy enough to recreate, plus it was about time I tackled my fear of pie crusts. Pie crusts are the bain of my existence, the only other time I tried to make one from scratch it turned out looking like Frankenstein, was hard as a rock, and was dry in some places and soggy in others. Since then I used only store bought pie crusts which present their own problems. I’ve actually trimmed sections off the sides of one circle to add to the other because it wasn’t big enough. They are always too dry so they crack along the edges or too wet and stick to the rolling pin.
We recently got The Complete America’s Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook, 2001 to 2015. If you are going to buy one cookbook, BUY THIS ONE!!! For every recipe they try many different versions and then created the perfect version. They even include a paragraph describing why their version works better than all the others. I thought that if any pie crust recipe would work, it would be theirs. It turned out perfectly flaky and buttery and wonderful. The edges didn’t turn out perfect, but you win some you loose some. We have one of the rolling pins with the rubber bands you put on the ends to keep what you are rolling out even, looking back I should have used it. I think the edges of my pie turned out bad because they got rolled out too thin.
It takes a while to make this pie because it has so many different parts, but it is fantastic! Everyone loved it and it was perfect for the fourth!
Chocolate Cream and Berry Pie
Pie crust (makes enough for two pies or a covered pie)
2 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, plus extra for the work surface
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp table salt
1/2 cup shortening, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 1/2 stick (12 Tbsp) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into Tbsps
6-8 Tbsp ice water (I put a cup of water in a bowl with ice cubes, you only add by tablespoon amounts to the amount of water int he bowl doesn’t need to be exact)
1 cup heavy cream
1.5 cups dark chocolate (I used 60% ghirardelli chocolate chips)
2 cups half-and-half
1/2 cup sugar
5 large egg yolks
3 Tbsp cornstarch
4 Tbsp unsalted butter cut into Tbsp pieces
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1lb fresh strawberries
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
1/2 cup fresh blueberries (we used fresh picked Alaska blueberries)
Make the pastry filling:
- Bring the half and half, 6 Tbsp of sugar, and salt to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat stirring occasionally to prevent scalding.
- As the half and half mixture is coming to a simmer, mix the egg yolks, cornstarch and remaining sugar together.
- Add a few tablespoons of the simmering half and half mixture to the yolk mixture slowly to temper the egg yolks. Then add the egg yolk mixture into the remaining half and half mixture. Reduce the heat and whisk constantly until the mixture thickens. It will thicken very quickly, about 30 seconds.
- Take the saucepan off the heat and whisk in butter and vanilla.
- Transfer to a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to cool at least 3 hours, I left mine in the refrigerator overnight.
Make the pie crust:
- In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, and salt until thoroughly mixed.
- Scatter the shortening pieces over around the food processor and pulse until the mixture looks like corn meal.
- Add the butter and continue to pulse until the mixture is course crumbs.
- Sprinkle 6 Tbsp of cold water over the mixture and mix in with a stiff spatula, you can move from the food processor to a bowl if it’s easier. Mix until the dough sticks together. If the dough is still dry, add water by the teaspoon. Be very careful not to add too much, the dough will get sticky.
- Divide the dough into two even parts, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or more.
- Let the dough sit for a few minutes to warm up when you take the dough out of the refrigerator.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Roll the pie dough on a lightly floured surface and roll out towards the edges occasionally flipping over. If you need to fold the edges in are re-roll to make it the right shape use a little water to make the dough stick together.
- Lightly set dough in a 9 inch pie pan. Gently press the pie crust into the pan so it lays flat agaist the edges. Poke a few times with a fork to prevent puffing.
- Trip the excess to it hangs over the edge by 1/2 in for a fluted edge, or so it is even with the edge for a ridged edge.
- Cover teh pie with a double layer of foil that will cover the edges fully and fill with pie weights.
- Bake 25 to 30 minutes untill the pie is dry and still light in color. Remove the foil adn weights and bake an evtra 10 to 12 minutes untill teh pie is a golden brown.
- Let the pie cool on a wire rack for an hour.
- Heat the heavey cream in a medium sauce pan, simmering or boiling is uncessecary, it just needs to be warm all the way through.
- Add the chocoalte in and stir untill there are no unmelted pieces of chocoalte left.
- Poor the chocoalte into the recently cooled pie crust so it cover the bottom completely and refrigerate for 1-2 hours to set up. The chocolate should not giggle in the center.
Assemble the pie:
- Right before serving, remove the pie from the refrigerator.
- Spread the pastry cream on the firm chocolate ganache, you may need to stir it a little to make it spread easily.
- Cut strawberries and either place them in a design on the cream, or simple cover teh cream evenly. Sprinkle the rasberries and blue berries on the strawberries so all teh cream is covered.
(Recipe adapted from The Complete America’s Test Kitcen TV Show Cookbook 2001-2015 and