Berry Custard Pie, conquer your fear of making pie

I had Berry Custard Pie for the first time a long time ago, maybe 10 years ago. I was visiting my cousin Joni (she is actually my moms cousin, but that is a long story) and after a long afternoon of picking, well mostly eating blackberries in their yard, we headed inside for dinner. While dinner was cooking she was busy making this pie. It was the best pie I had ever had, and it probably still is. It’s also probably the easiest pie in the world to make. It’s also AMAZING for breakfast, ever so slightly warmed in the microwave.

Over Christmas break, my brothers girlfriend Katie asked me to make this pie for her birthday. I didn’t have the recipe so I called up Joni to ask her. As well as giving me the recipe she told me the story of how she started making it. It was a couple of months ago so I apologize if it isn’t exact how she told it.

She told me how she had never made a pie until her friend/neighbor urged her to try it, because for years her mother told her she couldn’t make a pie, it would be to hard for her. Joni’s friend made the pie dough and helped her roll it out. I don’t remember if she suggested this recipe or if it was a basic fruit pie recipe. But anyway Joni finally got over her fear of pie! And if you are afraid to make pie then this is the pie recipe to help you conquer that fear.

I prefer to make this pie when raspberries and blackberries are fresh and local, but I make it year around with drained frozen berries. I have also made it with peaches and it will probably be amazing with what ever you have on hand. Oh and one fun fact is that all “custard” really means is that it is thickened with egg.

Berry Custard Pie

Filling

Whisk together

1 large egg
3/4 cup of sugar
6 T. melted butter
1/3 cup flour
1 tsp. vanilla

Directions

Arrange fruit over the bottom of the crust. Pour the egg mixture over the fruit. Bake the pie for 10 minutes at 400 degrees. Then reduce the oven temp to 300 degrees and bake until the custard is brown and crusty on top and appears firmly set in the center when the pan is shaken, about an hour.  Let cool on a rack.

This recipe is in the Joy of Cooking as Open Faced Peach Custard Pie.  I have made it with pears, plums, (it will get you rave reviews) raspberries, blackberries, and mixed berries.

I recommend if you are using frozen fruit to drain it well. And use more fruit than you would think, because the egg mixture is meant to pour over the fruit, meaning there should be more fruit than egg mixture.

This is the recipe for pie crust that Joni uses. Being formerly pie challenged, her friend Donna, gave her this recipe that she got from a friend in France. It is awesome for quiches, too. Joni likes the simplicity of the ingredients, and because it is easy to remember, so it is easy to share. A word of mouth treasure.

Tip: Grating the butter for a pie crust is a fast way to make a mealy pie dough. Which is the best choice for pies with wet fillings like fruit pies. If you want a flaky pie crust, it is best to have big pieces of butter.

Carlotta’s French Pie Crust

Ingredients

1 cup of flour

1 stick cold or frozen (4oz) butter

1large egg

Directions

Grate cold or frozen butter into the flour. Mix with fork, I use my hands to mix the butter and flour, You can mix it any way you like. Mix the egg into the bowl and stir it up knead it a little, form a ball and cover with a plate or wax paper refrigerate for 10 minutes or so and then roll out. 🙂 Easy as pie

Here is the pie dough recipe I use for all of my pies because it is so simple and goes with every kind of pie.

 Pie Crust

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, lard, or vegetable shortening, diced (or a combination of butter and shortening equal to 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup ice water, or as needed

Stir together the flour and salt with a fork to blend. Cut the fat into the flour using a food processor, pastry blender, or 2 knives. (For pies with liquid fillings like custard or cooked fruit fillings that are thickened with cornstarch or tapioca, the bits of fat should be evenly small, and the mixture should resemble a coarse meal. This will result in a mealy pie crust, which is less likely to become soggy as the pie bakes. For pies to be filled with fruit or another nonliquid filling, leave some bits of fat in larger pieces, about the size of a small pea, for a crisp and flaky texture in the baked crust.)

Drizzle a few tablespoons of the ice water over the surface of the flour mixture and quickly rub the water into the flour. Continue to add the water, a tablespoon or so at a time, just until it holds together when you press a handful of it into a ball. The dough should be evenly moist, not wet, and shaggy or rough in appearance.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Gather and press the dough into a ball, wrap well, and let chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

Unwrap the dough, place it on a lightly floured work surface, and scatter a little flour over the top. Alternatively, place the dough between sheets of parchment or waxed paper. Roll out the dough for the bottom crust of a pie into an even round about 13 inches in diameter (for a 9-inch pie pan). It should be about 1/8 inch thick.

Fold the dough in half or roll it loosely around the rolling pin, and gently lift and position it over the pan. Unfold or unroll and ease the dough into the pan without stretching, making sure that the pan sides and the rim are evenly covered. Press the dough gently against the sides and bottom. Trim the overhang to 1 inch. Tuck the dough overhang under itself and flute the edges. Fill and bake the pie according to recipe directions.

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