Tag Archives: pie dough

As easy as (blackberry) pie!

I know my faithful readers have been waiting with great anticipation for the results of my second effort at making a blackberry pie. I took another shot at it this past weekend, and the results were outstanding, if I do say so myself.

Blackberry Pie

Here is a recipe. As with anything I cook, it’s real easy.

What you’ll need.

  • One quart of blackberries (fresh or frozen*)
  • ½ to one cup sugar (depending on taste)
  • A pinch of salt
  • ½ cup of flour
  • A tablespoon of lemon or lime juice
  • One package (two pieces) pre-made pie crust dough
  • One tablespoon of butter

*The produce stand was out of fresh blackberries, so I used two 12 oz packages of frozen blackberries for my most recent pie. Thaw and drain well. If using fresh blackberries, rinse and also allow to drain well.

–Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

–Spray butter-based Pam on one pie pan.

–Press one of the dough pieces into the pan.

–Mix the blackberries, sugar, salt, lemon-juice and salt in a large mixing bowl.

–Spoon the mixture into the pie pan.

— Dot the top of the pie with small pieces of the butter.

–Cut the second piece of pie dough into narrow (1/2 inch) strips and create lattice topping. (See below.)

–Use a fork to press the top and bottom pieces together around the edge of the pan. Trim off an overhang with a knife.

–Bake at 450 degrees for ten minutes and then reduce heat to 350. Continue cooking for 30 additional minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the blackberry mixture is bubbling.

–Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Notes:

1.) Helpful hint to create a better lattice work topping than shown in the photo above. Lay out the pie all the strips going in one direction, but do not attach them to the edge of the pan. Then starting with the middle and working out to the sides, place the intersecting strips on the pie. Create the lattice effect by weaving the second layer over and under the stips of the original layer.

2.) The filling can easily spill over and make a mess in the bottom of your oven. When I turn the oven down to 350, I usually, place a piece of aluminum foil under the pie pan, on the rack below the one the pie sits on. If you do this, it will extend the baking time. Adjust accordingly.

My, oh my! What a pot pie!

Mrs. Poolman and I share separate, but similar bad childhood memories of pot pies. Both our mothers cooked (if you can call it that) and served the pre-made Banquet or Swanson pies. My recollection is of an aluminum foil mini-pie pan with only a top-crust and filled with nasty, oozing, yellow gravy, a few peas and carrots and maybe a little meat. The pot pies made those old-style TV dinners look like gourmet feasts. That experience left me with a deep seated aversion to pot pies – until recently.

In an effort to convert me, last winter, Mrs. P made a very good chicken pot pie. She constructed and baked it in a casserole-size baking dish. The filling was full of meat and the whole thing tasted great.

On Wednesday, it was my turn to make dinner, using some left-over grilled steak from earlier in the week. Usually, we will put the steak on a salad or make quesadillas or fajitas. I thought I would try something new.

How about a steak pie?

This was brand, new culinary territory for me. So you can imagine my excitement when it turned out really good. Here is what I did.

Steak Pie

What I used.

  • App. 1 lb (0r more) of cooked steak, sliced into small pieces.
  • One package of pre-made pie dough (2 pieces, top and bottom)
  • One onion – chopped
  • ½ stick butter or margarine
  • One “scoop” of flour
  • 2 cups of beef broth (bouillon crystals or cubes dissolved in hot water)
  • ½ cup of milk (because that was all that was in the carton) The milk is optional.
  • One small can of mushroom stems and pieces
  • App. one cup of leftover green beans (because I had them.)

 The Crust

In a small, ungreased casserole (8×8” or 7×9”) dish, spread one of the pie dough pieces, lining the bottom and sides. The pie dough is probably fitted for a round pie pan, so you’ll have to cut and patch to make it fit. Save the second piece for the top.

The Filling

In a large sauce pan, saute the chopped onion in the butter until the onion is soft.

Add the “scoop” (approximately two tablespoons) of flour to the onion-butter mixture. Mix well and allow it to cook for about a minute or two.

Add the beef broth/bouillon and milk and stir until it is a smooth gravy. Add the bouillon a little at a time, and adjust the amount according to the thickness of the gravy. You want it fairly thick.

The filling -- before adding the meat.

Add the meat and vegetables and mix well.

This is how much meat I had to work with.

Pour the mixture into the dough-lined casserole dish.

Before the top crust was added.

Spread the second dough piece over the top, once again, cutting and patching to completely cover the pie. Try to get the bottom and top pieces to meet and use a fork to crimp them together along the edge of the dish.

Ready for the oven.

Use a knife to put a couple of cross-shaped slits in the top crust to allow steam to escape during the baking. You may have to check on those “vents” during the baking. As the crust bakes, the holes may close up.

Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 45 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.

...and ready to eat.

Note: I used green beans last night, because that is what I had in the refrigerator. You can add whatever vegetables you like, or skip the veggies all together.

Bon appetite!