Guest Post: A Day in the Life of a Berry Pie Addict

cherry berry pieOk, ok…Don’t get too excited; I didn’t bake or take the photo for this luscious, sinful berry pie. My food photo crush, Jaime, took it.  I’m secretly obsessed with him….and want him to be my best friend and cooking mate forever and forever…and I want to live inside his Instagram account (@immediatelycookies)…and eat everything in it. Today I have the privilege of having Jaime pen, or should I say pie? (Hahaha! Pie pun. Sorry. Couldn’t resist) a guest post for the bloggy.   Take it away, Jaime!


My name is Jaime, and I’m a pie addict.

The other day I was at the farmer’s market in San Diego’s scenic Little Italy to buy pie ingredients, and I was particularly drawn to the pervasive smell of peaches and cherries filling the air. Stone fruit season is upon us! Of course, as always, I’m mainly drawn to the smell of meat, and the Thyme of Essence booth hooked me up with some fennel chili salami. Their display is always beautiful and their dried meats give me strength until my next coffee fix. And yes, I have high blood pressure. market1I made my way down the street and found myself at the Patisserie du Soleil booth, where I sampled delicious French macarons and lemon mascarpone tarts. Chef Michel was featuring some killer mushroom risotto to pair with his quiches this week, and it all looked so delicious, but the best part was the pile of cakes he had set up next to his fresh bread basket.

market2

And suddenly, my mouth was filled with amazing mocha coconut macaroons at the Rickaroons stand. They make vegan, gluten free macaroons that are packed with flavor, and they were the perfect things to combat my swiftly developing food coma. For some reason when I left I wanted to do yoga, which I haven’t wanted to do in like ten years.

… Wait, sorry, I got distracted… Back to pies! Much to my horror, as I walked down the long aisle of farm stands devouring every bit of free sample I could get my hands on, it registered that it was the last week of Ranier cherry season! Then I realized I hadn’t made a single cherry pie this year! I can’t be blamed for not realizing that it was cherry season; in San Diego there are no perceivable seasons. Yes, the flood of cherry blossom pictures on Instagram in April should have alerted me to the upcoming cherry season, but I am a blind fool!

berry pie ingredientsAnyway, the end of cherry season is upon us, and as I stuffed like 30 Raniers into my mouth it became clear to me that I had to A.) give the farm stand some money for wrecking their sample supply and B.) make a pie out of their remaining cherries. So I got some. Around this time of year, the Ranier cherries are extremely ripe and sweet. They are pretty much mini peaches. When I got home, I taught my friends how to make pie dough and we watched Pacific Rim. Here’s how we made each pie:

Pie Dough:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 6-7 tbsp ice cold water
  • ¾ cup + 2 tbsp cold Crisco (warm Crisco will result in a flakeless crust)
  • Heavy cream for brushing

Combine the salt and flour in a large bowl. Cut the cold Crisco in by jabbing it into the flour with your fingers. Add the water, one tablespoon at a time, until a dough forms. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and cool it for about an hour. This cooling stage is very important. The dough will be highly sticky and difficult to work with if it is warm.

Mixed Berry Pie

berry pie

  • 4 cups mixed berries, washed and dried well
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • pinch cinnamon
  • pinch nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 425. Lightly flour a work surface and rolling pin. Cut the dough in half and roll each half out to fit a 9-inch pie pan. Gently mold one of the rolled out dough halves into a pie pan so that the edges are hanging over the sides. To make the filling, combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and let sit for five minutes. Do not wait longer than this or the berries will become a complete mush mess. Add the filling to the pie pan and top with the remaining rolled out dough half. Brush with heavy cream to achieve a perfect golden brown finish. Bake for 15 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 325 and bake for another 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack for about ten minutes and then transfer to the refrigerator for 30 mins.

This pie comes out great every time and it can be served cold or hot. I like it cold with some fresh berry sorbet and basil cucumber water, which is just water with cucumber and basil in it. It’s the perfect way to enjoy a hot summer afternoon.

Ranier Cherry Pie

cherry pie

  • 4 1/2 cups ranier cherries
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • pinch of cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 425. Lightly flour a work surface and rolling pin. Cut the dough in half and roll each half out to fit a 9-inch pie pan. Gently mold one of the rolled out dough halves into a pie pan so that the edges are hanging over the sides. To make the filling, combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and let sit for five minutes. Do not wait longer than this or the berries will become a complete mush mess. Add the filling to the pie pan and top with the remaining rolled out dough half. Brush with heavy cream to achieve a perfect golden brown finish. Bake for 15 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 325 and bake for another 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack for about ten minutes and then transfer to the refrigerator.

This pie is sweet, but earthy. It is best served warm with vanilla bourbon ice cream, or just vanilla if you don’t feel like making your own vanilla bourbon. Eat it with some warm apple cider, even though it’s summer, because the combination is just that good.

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