Wednesday, February 3, 2010

petit à petit

petit à petit - French idiom. slowly, little by little

Image via Tina Crespo

"O, blackberry tart, with berries as big as your thumb, purple and black, and thick with juice, and a crust to endear them that will go to cream in your mouth, and both passing down with such a taste that will make you close your eyes and wish you might live forever in the wideness of that rich moment." - Richard Llewellyn
What do you do when you're craving a particular fruit pie but the fruit in question isn't in season? I know most purists would gasp in horror but... in a pinch canned pie fillings work just fine. Even better if the fruit fillings are homemade and canned at home. I modified the following recipe from a blueberry pie recipe, and adjusted it to swap out fresh fruit for canned blackberry pie filling. If you're making it from fresh fruit there are a couple of additional steps. You'll need to simmer over low heat 1 cup of fresh berries (from a total of 4 cups) with 1/2 cup of sugar. Remove from heat. Mix 3 tablespoons of cornstarch and 3 tablespoons of water, add this mixture to the blueberries you've just cooked up. Return to stove set on low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil, thickens, and becomes clear. This process thickens the juice so it's not all runny in your pie. Remove mixture from heat, add the remaining 3 cups of blackberries, and allow to cool. This recipe makes 2 double-crusted petite pies.

Petite Blackberry Pie
1 12-oz can blackberry pie filling
1/2 tsp of grated lemon zest
a squeeze of lemon juice
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1 9-inch single crust pastry dough (*recipe)

wash: 1 egg well beaten
1 tsp sugar to finish the top
  1. Prepare your pie dough. Let chill 1 hour before rolling out. When dough is properly chill roll out dough large enough to line the bottom of 2 mini pie or tart plates. Place in freezer for 15 minutes. Save remaining dough for pie tops; chill until ready for use.
  2. Preheat oven to 375° F. Prepare the filling by mixing together pie filling, lemon zest, lemon juice, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.
  3. Take remaining pie dough and roll out 2 pie crust tops. Remove lined pie pans from the freezer. Brush the bottoms with egg wash. Spoon blackberry filling into the pie crusts. Cover each with a top. Flute the edges. With a knife, create air vents in the tops of the crusts.
  4. Brush top crusts with egg wash, then sprinkle sugar on top. Bake for 30 minutes, or until crust is a light golden brown. Cool before serving.

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