Saturday, April 20, 2013

Fresh Raspberry Pie

I've never been a huge fan of raspberries, but last summer, I was asked to taste-test some of the winning entries at our local 4-H Achievement Days. (Yeah, twist my arm.) My photographer/brother kept raving about this pie, which I was reluctant to try because it looked so ... raspberryish. But I finally relented.

And the pie was beyond good. Not only was it the best raspberry dessert I'd ever tasted, but it was easily one of the best fruit pies I've had, period. It doesn't try too hard -- it just enhances the pure, sweet-tart flavor of the raspberries.

I made the filling with my favorite shortbread pie crust, which, unfortunately, makes 3 crusts. But on the fortunate side, you can just put those in the freezer for next time.

Fresh Raspberry Pie
Makes 8 servings

Crust (makes 3 crusts)
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 3/4 cups cold butter-flavored shortening
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup ice water
  • 2 2/3 cups fresh raspberries, divided
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons water
  • Whipped cream, for serving
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, shortening, sugar, and salt. Mix with a pastry blender until crumbly. Add vinegar and egg and work into dough. Add ice water, a few tablespoons at a time. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Roll out about one-third of the dough and put in a 9-inch pie plate. Crimp edges and poke bottom with a fork several times. Line with parchment paper and add pie weights or dried beans. Bake 5 minutes.
  4. Remove parchment and pie weights (they’ll be hot); bake another 5 minutes.
  5. Mash 2/3 cup raspberries in a large microwavable bowl. Add 1 cup water and sugar. (Use something larger than a 2-cup Pyrex measuring cup, unless you want raspberry syrup all over your microwave. I’m here to help.) Microwave 5 minutes.
  6. Mix cornstarch with 1 1/2 tablespoons water to form a slurry. Add to berry mixture and microwave another 2 minutes. Cool slightly.
  7. Fill pastry shell with the remaining raspberries. Pour berry mixture over fresh berries. Let pie set up in the refrigerator. Garnish with whipped cream.