Three Berry Pie with Vanilla Cream

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For quite a long time I’ve resisted baking pies, mainly because I don’t particularly enjoy things like apple pies (i.e. using actual fruits in baking). Not sure what changed my mind, but I decided to give berries + pie a try, given that it’s summer over here in the Southern Hemisphere!

True to the reviews, the Three-Berry Pie with Vanilla Cream is very deliscious. The recipe seems fairly easy to do, with a few things to watch out for.

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  • The recipe calls for a pan that has 4 cups capacity. Measure your pan size and depth carefully to adjust your pie dough and fillings. In my case, I have a same size pan but deeper (6 cups) so I had to adjust both.
  • Try not to use frozen berries, but if you do – definitely defrost and drain the excess juice out. I tried making this pie twice. First time I did it with 70% fresh and 30% frozen (but defrost and drained) – the fillings came out beautifully. Second time I used the reverse and didn’t defrost. Fillings were VERY watery.
  • Put some cornstarch and sanding sugar at bottom of pie, before you put in the fillings.
  • I used Arrowroot instead of Quick-cooking tapioca (couldn’t find that at local supermarket)
  • Trim your pie dough around the edges well, so when the top crust meets the bottom it’s not too thick.
  • I think I prefer a thicker bottom pastry, so that when you line the pastry into the pan, it will not tear so easily around the pan edges.
  • Trim the pastry overhang ASAP. Excess will cause the pastry to start to rip around the pan edges. I’ve trimmed it and then make the overhang ‘stand vertical’ instead of still hanging over the pie pan. Put that into the fridge to chill while working on rolling out top crust.
  • Crimp the dough on the side however you like
  • Definitely use a baking tray or sheet below your pie pan, to catch those butter drips as the pie bakes
  • This pie is heavy – you might be tempted to rotate the pie to get it browning more even. I would say do so, but with caution (that’s how I lost 1/3 of my first pie!)
  • I would make the pie the day before serving – to let the fillings thicken even more
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Key Lime Pie

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So I live in a place with no Key Limes, and I really don’t know what they tasted like. But that didn’t stop me from wanting to make it.

Key Lime Pies are so easy to make, and it’s delicious (apparently), so why not?

I did, and the pie disappeared within 30 minutes, devoured by my 10 colleagues. And man, it is yum.

 

I originally followed the Epicurious recipe, but with a 9.5 inch tart pan. I got to the making the crust stage, even baked the crust. But since I was in a hurry and didn’t really do my math properly, the end result wasn’t great (it tasted great, just badly shaped) so I had to start all over again.

I also think that the amount of butter quoted in the recipe was nowhere near enough for you to get a nice crust dough to work with when shaping it into the pan.

So I opted to follow Cuisine magazine recipe instead for the crust, and I skipped the cinnamon. I wish though that they will provide a cup-ratio for the biscuit crumbs, so I could be a bit more accurate.

For the filling I followed the original Epicurious recipe.

 

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Now, what do you do if you don’t have Key Limes readily available where you live?

I’ve done some online research – some people said to use just lime. Some people said to use 50% lemon juice and 50% lime juice. Some people were lucky enough to have key lime juice available for purchase (bottled) in the local store, others like me aren’t as lucky.

So I opted for the 50:50 lemon / lime juice option. I just bought the lime juice from the baking section in my local supermarket. (Because as luck would have it, they don’t have fresh lime at my local store – I swear I saw some last week!)

i would say, adjust the pie filling according to your taste, AFTER you have whisk the juice into the condensed milk / egg yolk mixture. I personally added a dash more lime juice so reduce the tangyness (a dash being something like 1 teaspoon).

 

All in all, very delicious. Would definitely make it again – a bigger one next time (with proper pie pan)!