Last week was the first birthday of Haute Apple Pie and it’s hard to believe that it’s already been a year!
When we first started this little project we were worried that we wouldn’t have enough ideas to share. As it turns out, we’re just getting started. Over the past year we’ve stretched our creativity, made many new friends and recently begun turning our passion for event styling into a growing side business. A big thanks goes out to our families and friends for supporting our craft-mania, our husbands for patiently waiting while we stage and photograph our meals, and most of all, thanks to you, dear reader, for following along and chiming in. Your comments make us giddy with happiness.
So in honor of our birthday, we thought it would only be appropriate to bring you a week of pies…”haute” pies, that is! I’m kicking it off with a Strawberry, Balsamic & Black Pepper Pie – a classic combo of ingredients to snaz up an American favorite.
Lattice Pie Crust
1/2 C shortening
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vinegar
1C water with ice cubes
1 egg, beaten
Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Separately, combine vinegar and ice water. Cut the shortening in grape-sized chunks into the dry mixture using a pastry cutter. Begin adding water to the dry mixture, 1-2 Tbsp at a time as you use the pastry cutter or your hands to work the shortening into the flour. Continue adding water until all the flour is worked in and dough holds together but is not sticky (you may not use all the water). If dough gets too sticky, dust in more flour. Divide the dough into 2 balls and place each ball between 2 sheets of floured waxed or parchment paper. Roll out each ball with a rolling pin until it is flat and large enough to cover a pie dish.
Lay one crust into your pie pan, pressing into the edges. Use your fingers to flute the edges of the crust. Trim the second ball into a long rectangle. Slice it into 8 long strips and set aside.
Strawberry, Balsamic & Black Pepper Filling
2 pints strawberries, quartered or halved
1 pint strawberries, pureed
3 Tbsp aged balsamic vinegar
3 Tbsp water
1/2 C sugar
1/4 C corn starch
2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 C organic heavy whipping cream (I like Organic Valley)
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Wash and trim ends off of strawberries, then slice them into quarters or halves depending on their size. Place 2/3 of the berries onto the pie crust. Using a food processor, roughly puree the remaining 1/3. Meanwhile, in a small saute pan, whisk together sugar, corn starch, salt and pepper. Whisk in puree, water and vinegar and bring to a simmer over med-low heat. Continue whisking frequently until mixture is reduced by about 1/3 and beginning to thicken. Spoon over the berries in the pie crust.
Gently place half of your dough strips in horizontally across the top of the berry mixture, spacing them evenly apart. Next, weave the remaining dough strips vertically, alternating over and under the horizontal pieces to create a lattice effect. You’ll need to lift up the horizontal pieces as you work. Pinch the edges of each strip into the fluting with your thumbs. Brush the lattice and crust edges with the beaten egg.
Bake for 55-60 minutes or until crust is golden. In a small bowl, combine cream (get the organic – it whips like a dream!), 2 tsp sugar and vanilla. Beat with a hand mixer until fluffy peaks form.
IMPORTANT: Let cool for 3-4 hours before serving. Strawberry pie is super juicy and without proper cooling, your filling will ooze out (unfortunately, as seen below). The pie will still taste delicious but will not be the sliced presentation masterpiece you envisioned. Fortunately, your pet probably isn’t voting on presentation and will still enjoy the crumbles at the bottom of the dish.