A week or so ago, we made a simple and delicious dessert - grilled poundcake with balsamic berries. Berries are in full season in Connecticut right now, and we picked up a pint of fresh local strawberries at the Farmers' Market. So we decided to do a twist on last week's success and turn it into another scrumptiously easy summer weeknight treat - Berry Easy Pie.
One thing that makes this pie so easy is that we used a store-bought crust. It's the end of the school year, and as teachers, we are very busy (and bordering on burned out), so that is our excuse. If you have the time and the skill, obviously feel free to make your own. The refrigerated crust from Pillsbury contains two pie crusts; we used one for our Meatless Monday tart, then made a dessert pie with the other one so as not to let anything go to waste.
The small yet oh-so-sweet CT grown strawberry
First, we pressed the crust into our pie pan and sprinkled it with some freshly ground black pepper. Then we pricked it all over with a fork, filled the crust with pie weights (raw beans work if you don't have weights), and baked it for 15 minutes, just enough to get it going. After that, we filled it with our delicious mixed-berry filling, the highlight of this being the local strawberries, of course. Nothing says "summer has begun" like Connecticut-grown strawberries! We poured the filling into the crust and returned the pie to the oven to finish. A light dusting of confectioner's sugar and voila! Berry Easy Pie!
Store-bought pie crust sprinkled with black pepper
Mixed berries tossed in sugar and cornstarch
As it sat on the windowsill (like a good pie should), Chris looked wistfully upon it. He said, "I forgot all about potluck lunch tomorrow. Any chance...???" That's when Amy knew she would not get a taste of the pie. Not even a sliver! However, all reports say that it was a little tart, a little sweet, a little spicy, but also a little dough-y (and not in a good way). Not a complete success, but still, a pretty good start. Any ideas on how we can improve it?
1 refrigerated pie crust, thawed
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup corn starch
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 pint blackberries
1 pint raspberries
1 pint strawberries, hulled and chopped
confectioners' sugar for dusting pie
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Press pie crust into bottom and sides of pie tin and sprinkle with black pepper. Line the crust with foil and fill with pie weights. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, remove weights and foil, and set aside. Reduce oven to 350 degrees. Combine sugar, corn starch, balsamic vinegar and berries in a bowl, tossing until berries are well coated. Pour berry mixture into crust and return pie to oven. Bake for 30 minutes. Allow to cool then serve dusted with confectioners' sugar or with other desired topping.