Pi Day Berry Pie

Today is my principal’s (agency owner) birthday and it happens to be Pi Day, 3.14! Last night I recalled my very close friend’s birthday is also on 3.14 and seeing ‘pi day’ posts on Pinterest and other media outlets.

After the kids went to bed, I had some free time and thought, I’ll make a pie for her birthday on pi day! Lightbulb!

Of course, I had the ingredients in my pantry and freezer. I always have on hand frozen berries for my yogurt chia seed breakfasts. I pulled out the giant Costco bag of organic frozen berry mix of blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries. Then, I pulled out a stick of butter and organic coconut oil. I have made crusts using only butter and only coconut oil, but never a combination. Tonight was the night to try. I was thinking at the time that if the pie doesn’t turn out I’ll just let the kids eat it!

Next, I grabbed my family cookbook that my sister Rhonda created for me when I was about 22 years old. It has all our family recipes and basic recipes any 22 year old would need! It is hand written and stained and absolutely wonderful. I also pulled down the Better Homes and Garden’s New Cook Book, circa 1998 edition.

I used the blueberry pie filling recipe from the BHG cookbook, but I used my frozen berry mix and added vanilla extract. Then I made the crust from my family recipe book and instead of using Crisco, which the original recipe called for, I used 1/2 real butter and 1/2 organic virgin coconut oil and added vanilla sea salt instead of table salt.

The pie was a huge hit at the office today. My principal was so happy she hugged me and everyone raved how delicious it was and they all LOVED the crust. Huge Artisan Angela wins all around.

Berry Pie filling recipe

  • 5 cups frozen or fresh berries (I used a mix of blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries)
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1 TBSP lemon juice
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
  • Pie pastry for a top and bottom crust (can use pre-made or make from scratch using Artisan Angela recipe below – recommend making from scratch, it’s so easy and soo brag worthy!)

Measure out berries, add sugar and remaining ingredients. Stir well. If using frozen berries then let this mixture sit for at least 30 minutes to let the berries start to ‘thaw.’

They should still be fairly frozen when you pour the mix into the pie pan. Pour the mixture into the pie pan with the pastry in the bottom of the pan. Top with the other half of the pastry, poke holes or cut a design in the top to let the steam out while baking. Crimp edges using your first and middle finger on one hand and your first finger on the other hand or use a fork to and press along edges to seal the two pastries together. You can watch a video from Martha Stewart’s site here on 3 different crimping techniques, thanks, Martha!

Brush the top of the pie pastry with milk and then sprinkle with sugar. Bake in a 375-degree oven for about 40-45 minutes for frozen berries and about 20-25 minutes for fresh. The crust will be slightly brown and the juices of the filling will be bubbling out.

You might consider starting the baking with your crust edges covered with a little foil cover to prevent too much browning. I didn’t need to do that this time.

 

2 Pastry Pie Crust Recipe – makes enough for a top and bottom 10″ pie

  • 2 1/3 cups all-purpose, unbleached flour
  • 1 TBSP salt (I used vanilla sea salt)
  • 1/2 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 8 chunks
  • 1/2 cup organic coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup of water over ice cubes

I use a food processor to make pie crusts, but you can also use a handheld pastry blender or two forks.

Put the flour and salt into the processor, pulse a couple times to mix. Add butter one chunk at a time while pulsing. Add coconut oil a tablespoon at a time while pulsing. You want the mixture to have little pea sized butter and oil pieces within the flour. Once you have that all done, slowly add the ice cold water while pulsing. The pastry should come together in a ball after about 1/3 cup of the water is incorporated.

Dump the pastry out onto a floured surface and gather it all into a ball, you might need to knead it a couple times. Don’t over knead it or over handle it, though. Separate the pastry into 2 balls. Roll out one for the bottom of the pie pan. Place into the pie pan, add your filling and then add the rolled out top. I cut out my ‘pi’ symbol prior to placing on top of the the pie, it’s easier to do this before placing it on top. Cut off excess pastry from around the edges. Now, crimp/seal edges of the pie how you like it, I use three fingers as described above. Brush top with milk and sprinkle with sugar.

I take the excess pastry I cut off and roll it out into a circle and spread with butter and top with cinnamon sugar. Then roll up and cut into little pieces to make baby cinnamon rolls for the kids.

They love them and so do I!

Happy Pi Day!

Artisan Angela