Everyone loves pie. The mom.me team loves pie, but we sometimes struggle with baking the perfect pie, and resort to the store-bought variety. That was, until, we received a copy of Pie School: Lessons in Fruit, Flour & Butter by Kate Lebo. Now that we're pupils in her school of pie, we've been cooking up delicious fruit and nut pies every night of the week. Her no-nonsense approaching to teaching, her poetic language, and swoon-worthy fillings make this a delightful and delicious read.
Oregon produces 99 percent of the US hazelnut crop and is the home state of the marionberry. This pie pairs two crown jewels of the Pacific Northwest harvest.
RECIPE: Marionberry Pie with Hazelnut Crumble
Yields 1 pie
any double-crust pie dough (recipe below)
(about 2 pounds) fresh or frozen marionberries
Juice of ½
medium lemon (about 1½ tablespoons)
of ground nutmeg
4 to 5
tablespoons tapioca flour (depending on how juicy the berries are)
tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into ½ -tablespoon-size pieces
the dough and refrigerate it for at least an hour, or overnight. Roll out the
bottom crust and place it in a 9- to 10-inch pie plate. Tuck the crust into the
plate, trim the edges, and fold them into a ridge. Freeze the crust while you
prepare the next steps of the recipe.
the oven to 425 degrees F.
make the filling, in a large bowl, gently combine the marionberries, sugar,
lemon juice, nutmeg, and salt. Taste and adjust the flavors as needed. Gently
stir in the tapioca flour and set the filling aside.
make the topping, put the hazelnuts, flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a
food processor and pulse until the nuts are well chopped. Add the butter and
process again in 1-second pulses until the mixture resembles fine crumbs.
Retrieve the bottom crust from the
refrigerator. Pour the filling into the bottom crust and smooth it into a mound
with your hand. With your hands, crumble some of the topping into small globes
(for aesthetic effect). Spread the topping over the fruit in a thick, even
the pie in the middle of the oven for 10 to 15 minutes until the crust is
blistered and blond. Reduce the heat to 375 degrees F and bake for about 50
minutes more, until the topping has browned and the juices bubble slowly at the
pie’s edge. If the topping is browning too quickly, tent it with aluminum foil.
Cool on a wire rack for at least an
hour. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store leftovers on the kitchen counter
loosely wrapped in a towel for up to 3 days.
RECIPE: All-Butter Pie Crust
Yields 1 double crust
2½ cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) well-chilled unsalted butter
Fill a spouted liquid measuring cup with about 1½ cups of water, plop in some ice cubes, and place it in the freezer while you prepare the next steps of the recipe. The idea is to have more water than you need for the recipe (which will probably use ½ cup or less) at a very cold temperature, not to actually freeze the water or use all 1½ cups in the dough.
In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, and salt. Cut ½ -tablespoon to 1-tablespoon pieces of butter and drop them into the flour. Toss the fat with the flour to evenly distribute it.
Position your hands palms up, fingers loosely curled. Scoop up flour and fat and rub it between your thumb and fingers, letting it fall back into the bowl after rubbing. Do this, reaching into the bottom and around the sides to incorporate all the flour into the fat, until the mixture is slightly yellow, slightly damp. It should be chunky—mostly pea-size with some almond- and cherry-size pieces. The smaller bits should resemble coarse cornmeal.
Take the water out of the freezer. Pour it in a steady thin stream around the bowl for about 5 seconds. Toss to distribute the moisture. You’ll probably need to pour a little more water on and toss again. As you toss and the dough gets close to perfection, it will become a bit shaggy and slightly tacky to the touch. Press a small bit of the mixture together and toss it gently in the air. If it breaks apart when you catch it, add more water, toss to distribute the moisture, and test again. If the dough ball keeps its shape, it’s done. (When all is said and done, you’ll have added about 1/3 to ½ cup water.)
With firm, brief pressure, gather the dough in 2 roughly equal balls (if one is larger, use that for the bottom crust). Quickly form the dough into thick disks using your palms and thumbs. Wrap the disks individually in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for an hour to 3 days before rolling.