My maternal grandmother would be a tad disappointed if she knew how often I rely on, gasp, prepared piecrust. This woman made her own soap for heck’s sake and late in life used to tell me how much better homemade soap was compared to the inferior stuff I brought home in gallon-sized containers from Costco. In her Southern Utah kitchen, before she moved west so that she could help raise me and my younger sister she had those great kitchen drawers that were really bins. One bin held white flour, one wheat flour, one sugar, and who knows what else. She had an old tin scoop and she would reach into those bins with her scoop, put a pile of flour on the counter and off she’d go to the races. I channel my inner maternal grandmother a lot – but it hasn’t gotten me over the hump when it comes to crusts. I’m quite the wiz with all sorts of other complex stuff, things that would have left my grandmother’s head spinning – but piecrust continues to elude me. I’ll get there eventually, I know it, but until then – I will continue to rest on my defrosting laurels.
Mixed Berry Cream Pie (serves 8, unless you invite my family over, in which case it serves 4)
- 1 prepared pie crust, defrosted
- 1 tablespoon Turbinado sugar
- 1 tablespoon Gran Marnier
- 2 ½ cups frozen or fresh mixed berries (I use TJ’s frozen mixed berries in the winter and fresh berries when they are in season)
- ¾ cup sugar
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup half & half
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl mix together the frozen or fresh fruit and ¼ cup of the sugar. Allow to sit for 20 minutes. Pour the tablespoon of Gran Marnier over the fruit and toss gently.
Place prepared piecrust into a 9-inch pie pan. This pie works better in a deep pie pan. The really shallow ones are a bit too shallow. Sprinkle the crust with the Turbinado sugar. Put into the oven and bake for ten minutes. Remove and set on the stove.
In a medium bowl mix together ½ cup of the sugar, the eggs, cream, half & half and vanilla.
Spread the fruit along the bottom of the piecrust. Pour the egg/cream mixture over the top. Reduce the heat on the oven to 325 degrees. Bake the pie for 55-60 minutes until it is set. It will take a bit longer if your berries were super cold, or even slightly frozen when the pie went in the oven. Check the pie after a half hour. If the crust is already getting brown you’ll need to put a bit of foil LOOSELY over the top so that the pie continues to cook but the crust doesn’t burn. This pie is terrific hot, right out of the oven. It’s also good at room temperature. It needs to be kept in the fridge if you have leftovers (though that seems doubtful).