Friday, July 9, 2010


We picked up our produce share yesterday.  This was a particularly exciting box, since Enterprise Farm just harvested their summer corn, and we were looking forward to it!

Sadly, though, our little box of fresh raspberries, inside the big box with all those heavier vegetables, got jostled too much :( Rather than shiny, plumb, pinkish-red berries, we ended up with:

Raspberries In Pieces

Not to be discouraged, since they were still very fresh, I made a tart :)

minted raspberry tart

Really, there are few things better than a berry tart. It's a little like a pie--with that lovely flaky crust--but without so much of that gooey overly-sweet filling (can you guess what part of the pie is my favorite?) :)

This is also a good time to share with you my favorite pie crust recipe.  There are probably thousands of pie crust recipes online these days, and most of them are fabulous. Some of them are perfection--if you have the time, patience, and skill to work with the recipe.

I do not possess such virtues.  Neither did my mother.

At least, not when pie dough is concerned.

So here is Merel William's pie crust recipe.  It's the one my grandmother used and the one Momma always used.  This is the crust she raved about whenever I made her a pie.  She always told me she ate pies for the crust, not the filling.  Like mother like daughter, they say :)

This is the dough I use when I need a crust that won't give me any trouble. It's great for pot pies and fruit pies and tarts and quiches and.. anything you need a super-quick-and-easy crust for :) It's even worked in my warm kitchen this summer--totally fool- (and humidity-) proof!

One more note: yes, it uses vegetable shortening.  This is why it's so easy--because you use hot water to melt the shortening into the flour and you don't have to worry about refrigerating it or freezing it or keeping it cool as you work with it. Take it or leave it, but it's still my favorite.

makes enough for one 8" pie pan with lattice top

2 c all purpose flour (I use white spelt flour and it comes out well every time)
1 tsp salt
3/4 c crisco
1/4 c hot water (nearly boiling is best)
1 T milk (or cream)

Combine flour and salt with fork.  If you want to add herbs or spices to the crust, incorporate them now.  Plop the crisco right on top of the flour and poor hot water directly over shortening.  Stir with a fork until combined, adding milk as necessary to reach pie-dough-ness.

On a floured surface (preferably unfinished wood/cutting board--formica counters and varnished tables don't work well at all), roll out half of dough to 1/8" thick (but not more than 1/4"--the thinner the flakier!).  Using a long spatula or cake froster, gently loosen dough from rolling surface and fold in quarters. Make sure there is enough flour on the top of the crust that it won't stick to itself when folded over.

Place folded dough in the pie pan (no need to grease the pan) so that dough lays properly in the pan when unfolded. Unfold. Presto pie crust!

Ease the crust into all the corners of the pan, leaving the overhang around the edges.  Add filling. Repeat process with other half of dough for the top of the crust. Lay the crust on top of the filling and pinch the top and bottom together. This woman knows what's she's talking about :) and she has more pictures.

Or, if you're super lazy (like I am), do a tart! Make half a recipe of crust, roll your rolling pin on top of the edges of the pie pan to cut the edges off the crust, add the filling, and bake.

Filling for Minted RIP Tart
1 1/2 c strawberry lemonade
2 T flour
1 c fresh raspberries
10-15 mint leaves, finely chopped
1 T honey

In small saucepan on the stove, combine lemonade and flour and whisk until combined. Heat until mixture begins to thicken (this is an improvised jam--if you have jam you want to use, do it!).  Add raspberries and mint and mash with fork or whisk until mixed into the gravy/jam/stuff.  Remove from heat.  Add honey.  Pour into crust.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.  If desired, sprinkle about 1 T sugar on top of filling and broil to get a nice glaze on top.

Serve with ice cream :)

1 comment: