Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sundays with Sparky - Raspberry Swamp Pie from Food52


As you may remember from last year, we like to end our summer by heading up to Upberries, my friend Chris's Upick raspberry farm.  Her farm is beautiful, her company is lovely, and we always leave loaded down with beautiful huge jewel-like raspberries.  Normally, after we have raspberry-covered cereal for a day or so, I can raspberry jam - but we're finding we don't eat as much as I can make.

I was absolutely thrilled when this recipe popped up on my blog reader (and if you don't read Food52's blog, you should.)  A pie that's more raspberries than anything else...but still has a double crust AND cream?  She had me at raspberries.  It's called Raspberry Swamp Pie, with the word swamp being used here as a verb...the entire pie is swamped with a custard sauce.  If you're like me, your heart rate went up just reading that.

Normally, I hate the food processor - yes, it makes short work of whatever action you put it to, but cleaning and storing the behemoth machine that normally is doing the work of a knife or a grater has relegated ours to the basement.  However, the piecrust recipe used the food processor; Sparky loves machinery, and we needed to get this pie made before off to the basement I went.

I followed the recipe pretty faithfully, so I won't go into too much detail here - please visit the link for the full ingredients list and method - except I made one big emergency change:  I didn't have any cream, and our local corner stores don't carry it, so I subbed the same amount of evaporated milk.  It worked just fine.

002So, Sparky started out by pulsing raw (turbinado) sugar and flour into a powder in the food processor (the crust is a kind of cookie/piecrust hybrid) and then adding butter (I keep butter in the freezer just for this purpose) that I'd cut into small cubes.  He pulsed until the butter was broken into little bits, and then added 1/4 cup of water - and, in another minor change from the recipe I added 2-3 tablespoons of vodka (which allows you to make a wetter dough) and pulsed until the dough started to come together.

005Sparky then squooshed the dough into two lumps, one slightly smaller than the other.  I squashed them flat and stuck these in the freezer for a few minutes as I never have time or patience to wait for things to chill in the fridge (this is another good reason to keep your butter frozen.)

008After the longest rest our patience would allow - i.e. a very short rest - we turned on our oven to 375 degrees, and then rolled out the larger lump and placed it in our pie pan (the easiest way to transport a piecrust from table to pan?  Roll it around your rolling pin and then unroll it as shown.)

009We then started on the first part of baking this beautiful pie: the berry filling.  Raspberries, vanilla sugar, and flour went into a bowl and were folded together.  At this stage, I would recommend tasting the berries and adjusting your sugar as necessary: we found our pie to be a little on the tart side.
Then the filling was placed in the pie, the top crust rolled out and placed on top - the bottom and top edges rolled under and crimped tightly.  We cut a large center vent and four vents around the sides for our cream, and then coated the entire thing with well-mixed egg white and a sprinkling of more raw sugar. The remaining egg yolk was beaten with 3/4 cup of evaporated milk and left on the counter in a gravy boat for easy pouring.

014 015 At this point, the pie went into the oven and was left there to perfume the house with raspberry sweetness for 40 minutes. When the timer sounded, we fought back our olfactorily-induced raspberry frenzy, and did not devour the pie then and there (I mean, look at it - and it would have been fine, really.  Plain raspberry pie, anyone?)


Instead we gently poured the cream into the vents, sometimes poking them open slightly with a knife to make sure it got inside, and allowing it to flood the top crust until our pie looked sloppily, maddeningly delicious, like this:

018017Gathering our self-control, we put the whole thing carefully back in the oven for 10 more minutes, until the cream was wiggly but not runny. Nobody will judge you if you open the door to the oven and wiggle your pie, trust me - I know.  (At least not this pie.)

The whole self-control thing went out the window when it came out of the oven: it really needs to cool to room temperature, but we had at it in 10 was runny, a bit homely - but really, really delicious.


1 comment:

Christine said...

Great write up! I'm inspired to make one myself!

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