There’s nothing more timeless than pie. Part of the appeal is its homespun essence. So rather than serve the store-bought variety, try baking one yourself. Not only will the aroma set the house astir, experts say you’ll taste the difference.
“One of the best things about homemade pie is using in-season ingredients,” says Teeny Lamothe, baker and author of the new, “Teeny’s Tour of Pie: A Cookbook,” a collection of 55 sweet and savory pies.
After traveling America to learn techniques and wisdom from the country’s best bakers, Lamothe is sharing her newfound expertise in this collection.
With seasonality in mind, she offers this great spring recipe for Strawberry Basil Pie:
• 2 pints strawberries, hulled and cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
• 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
• 1/2 cup granulated sugar
• 1/4 cup quick-cooking tapioca, finely ground
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 1cup white whole wheat or whole wheat flour
• 2 teaspoons salt
• 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
• 3/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
• 1/2 cup cold vegetable shortening
• 1/4 cup cold vodka
• 1/2 cup cold water, plus extra as needed
• 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, for rolling out crust
• In large bowl, thoroughly combine flour, salt, and sugar. Add butter and shortening. Cut the mixture using a pastry cutter to form pea-size crumbs coated in flour.
• Pour vodka evenly over dry ingredients, a few tablespoons at a time, using a rubber spatula to press dough together. Similarly, add the water, and continue pressing dough to form a large ball. If dough seems dry, add ice water slowly until everything comes together easily. (Work dough as little as possible.)
• Divide dough into two equal balls, press each into disks, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least an hour or up to 2 days.
• Preheat oven to 400 degrees F with rack in middle position.
• Toss strawberries and basil in a medium bowl.
• Stir sugar and tapioca in small bowl. Sprinkle sugar mixture over fruit and toss gently with hands to coat. Set aside while you roll out the crust; fruit will begin to juice.
• Prepare bottom crust: Place one dough disk on floured work surface and with a floured rolling pin, roll it into a rough 11-inch circle about 1/8 inch thick. Lay crust into a 9-inch pie dish, gently press it in, and trim excess dough from edge with a paring knife, leaving a 3/4-inch overhang.
• Give filling one last stir, ensuring everything is evenly coated. Spoon it into crust.
• Prepare top crust: On floured work surface with floured rolling pin, roll out remaining dough disk into rough 11-inch circle 1/8 inch thick. Carefully lay crust on top of filling, trimming excess dough, leaving a 3/4 inch overhang. Tuck overhanging dough under overhanging edge of the bottom crust, and crimp the two crusts together. Cut a few small slits in top crust with a knife.
• Set pie on rimmed baking sheet and bake until filling is thickly bubbling and crust is golden brown (cover crimp with foil if it browns too quickly), 50 to 60 minutes.
• Let cool to room temperature before serving.
More information about Lamothe’s book can be found at www.Workman.com.
This spring, bake a pie and fill your home with delicious, seasonal flavors.