You know it guys, I have a soft spot for pies, I even have a full guide on them. And for this festive season, I wanted to come up with my own recipe. Christmas is around the corner – like less than 60 days!-so I thought why not try to come up with a pie recipe for it. A recipe that includes seasonal fruits, but also makes you feel at home when biting into it. Basically, a pie that tastes like Christmas. So I came up with this Bourbon and Mixed Berries Pie.
Let me tell you, I wasn’t so sure about it at first. I had never cooked with Bourbon and I normally follow a recipe or twist a recipe that’s already there. So this was completely new territory. I mean, I followed the basic rules and tips I gave you guys before, but I spiced up the filling to what I knew would be super tasty. So that’s how this Bourbon & Mixed Berries pie was born!
The Approach – the first steps
So, this is how I approached it. First of all, I did the crust. I used my usual recipe from Four & Twenty Blackbirds, but, because we were at home in Italy and our parents have an enormous freezer, I chilled the base a second time in the freezer. It was done the day before, so I had plenty of time to work it well. I also did the weaving of the top straight away after chilling it the first time and had it ready to go on top once out of the freezer.
Honestly having a spacious freezer space is perfect for pie-making.
Then, for the filling, I did some research first. I used my faithful Flavour Thesaurus, and also google around on the best alcohol-based drinks for fruit cakes.
Berries were always my choice. I know I know, I cannot eat them, but the girls love them. And Christmas is all about those raspberries and blueberries and warm jams. So that was an easy choice. The easiest for this mixed berries pie.
I then chose to add a little bit of orange zest. You see, orange, for how much citrus, it is still very sweet and its zest is too. And it works like magic when added to very pungent and acidic fruits.
When it came to the Bourbon, well whiskey had to be the choice. If you want a strong and pungent, but still sweet and full-bodied whiskey is the perfect combo. It also goes really well with berries so it was a win-win! It caramelises the fruits during baking thanks to the sugars in the alcohol. Whoop whoop.
Okay, enough of me blabbing.. here’s the recipe!
First of all, here’s the crust recipe.Print
And then here’s the full recipe for this mixed berries pie!Print
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TIPS AND ANNOTATIONS on this Mixed Berries Pie
As always, there is a way to make this delicious mixed berries pie Vegan…
- Butter: as the vegan industry becomes more and more trendy and popolar, you can easily swap your butter for a good butter replacement or margarine. I would recommend anything that has a high fat content to get the same stretchiness.
- Resting time: vegan dough may need a little longer resting time in the fridge. If you are feeling it, you wont have any issues!
In terms of any other tips, here are some mistakes I have made with this pie:
- Flour: do not use Manitoba, only use 00 or any standard plain flour. I used Manitoba, as it’s popular in Italy, and I had to redo the dough. Manitoba is high in gluten, which means the dough becomes extremely stretchy. The pie crust will shrink in during cooking and well, all the juices will come out.
- Fruits: I have used frozen berries for this pie rather than fresh. I did that to preserve the shape of the fruits but also to have some bits inside the pie. You can also get a bigger variety that may not be seasonal or simply not available in your country. Like we don’t get blackcurrants in Italy but they were in the bag I bought.
- I didn’t use lemon juice. Lemons are very acidic and the berries themselves had enough acidity, and I didn’t want the pie to be overwhelming. You can add a little but of the Orange Juice from the one you use front the zest, but you may end up having to increase your cornflour to avoid having a very liquid filling.
- Crust: try not to leave the crust/ dough at room temperature for too long, or you will have to rest it for at least half hour again. Same goes for overworking it! Careful not to do this while cutting your decorations, you may end up with a shrink product!
- Alcohol: you can choose any other liquor that you think may suit the fruits. I used whiskey, as I said above, for its sweetness and body, but you can choose anything you prefer.However you need to remember you just want something that complements the fruits not overpower them.
Let me say, this mixed berries pie didn’t last long.
It was a very tasty pie that we will definitely make again and perhaps with different variations. Even my mum, who normally is not big on alcoholic desserts, has devoured this. It goes really well with a nice fruity cocktail, like our Blood Orange Negroni.
Let us know what you think and how you get on with this!