It lets me bake, write about baked goods, share my ideas, discuss by baking thoughts, share my versions of baked goods, read your comments, make baking friends, reply to your comments and talk about baking with you, read other blogs, see their baking ideas, and basically through posting, it allows me to talk to myself about baking.
Because no one else I know, apart from the owners of the cupcake shop I work at, like to bake. My friends don’t really bake or like to bake, I can talk to my family and my boyfriend about baking but it is usually very one sided (like me talking AT them, you know?), and funnily enough, no one at my culinary school talks about baking. Or patisserie. Or their dreams. Unless, you know, when the teacher makes them share. Which is weird.
Finally, I could bake with someone, talk about baking, and how you bake, and recipes, and ingredients, and pie, and BAKING.
I went to his house with a girlfriend of ours, who looked on bored and ate these brownies, as I taught him how to make pie.
He did it all himself as I looked on. I brought my recipes and talked him through making pastry by hand, then pastry cream, then berry filling. How to roll out the dough, line the pie dishes and arrange lattices.
And he mate two pies! With lattice crusts! All by himself! And he was so proud. And I was so proud. Proud like a proud mama with her baby pies.
So my friend inspired me, because one of the pies we baked had pastry cream and a strawberry, raspberry, blueberry and blackberry filling. I didn’t get to try that one, and I was very curious about the fruit combination, so I made my own version, and here it is for you.
For the pastry
3 cups plain flour
1/2 cup caster sugar
250g unsalted butter, cold and cubed
2 egg yolks
4 tbsp cold water
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the pastry cream
Adapted from Flour.
1 1/4 cups milk (300ml)
1/4 cup sugar (50g)
1/4 cup cake flour (30g)
OR 3 tbsp plain flour + 2 tsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
4 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the berry filling
2 punnets strawberries (500g)
2 punnets blueberries (500g)
1/2 cup sugar
4 tbsp tapioca flour or cornstarch
pinch of salt
To make the pastry, put the flour, sugar and butter into a food processor or stand mixer. Mix on a low speed until mixture resembles very coarse breadcrumbs.
Add the egg yolks, cold water and vanilla, and process until a dough forms.
Take a third of the dough, shape it into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. This will be your lattice. Form a disc with the remaining dough and wrap it in plastic wrap. This will be your crust. Refrigerate for at least an hour. In the meantime, make your filling.
To make the pastry cream, pour the milk into a medium saucepan and scald the milk – heat until bubbles appear around the edges, but it is not boiling.
While the milk is heating, mix together the sugar, flour and salt in a small bowl. In a large heatproof bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and vanilla. Whisk the flour mixture to the egg yolks slowly. It will be thick and pasty.
Once the milk is heated, slowly pour it into the egg mixture, whisking continuously. Once it is all incorporated, pour it back into the saucepan and heat over a medium heat. Whisk continuously and vigorously until the mixture thickens and comes to a boil.
Once the mixture is thickened and just beginning to bubble, whisk vigorously for 10 seconds and then turn off the heat, This cooks out the taste of flour.
Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a heatproof bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, putting the plastic right onto the surface of the pastry cream. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or until cold.
To make the filling, take the stems off the strawberries and quarter them. In a large bowl, mix the strawberries together with the blueberries, sugar, tapioca flour, cornstarch and salt. Set aside.
When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 180 C. Lightly grease a cast iron skillet or pie dish with butter.
Remove the bigger disc of dough from the fridge, and on a lightly floured surface, or between two sheets of baking paper, roll out the dough until it is big enough to line your pie dish.
Lightly flour the dough and gently roll it up onto your rolling pin. Then unroll it into your pie dish, easing it in and pressing it into any edges. Trim the excess pastry, leaving a 2cm (1 inch) overhang.
Fill the pastry shell with the pastry cream, spreading it around to make an even layer. Then top with the berry filling, leaving the juice behind in the bowl.
Remove the smaller disc of dough from the fridge. On a lightly floured surface or between two sheets of baking paper, roll out the dough until it is big enough to cover your pie dish. Cut the dough into 1.5 – 2 cm wide strips. Arrange them in a lattice over the apples. Check out my lattice tutorial for how to do this.
Fold the excess pastry back in over the edges of the lattice and pinch to make a fluted edge.
Bake for 40-50 minutes, until the pie is golden. Allow to cool before cutting, so that the juices don’t run. Serves 8-10.