Freeform Strawberry Blueberry Pie

Hello Readers!

It’s summer, and summer at my house means PIE!

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I love pie – I personally think it’s better than cake. Well, when made the right way with fresh fruits, or in the case of rhubarb, veggies, anyway. I do make an exception for pumpkin pie.

Anyways, blueberries and strawberries have been rolling into the house, and I stumbled upon this delicious recipe in one of the Sunday paper inserts. The original recipe can be found here.

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I like that the pie crust is free form and doesn’t overwhelm the fruits, plus, the crust is made with lemon juice and lemon zest! This recipe could be easily modified to use other types of fruits or zests in the crust – so I predict many variations of it gracing my table this summer. It’s also quite small, so it’ll go fast!

Onward!

Delicious!

Delicious!

Start by making your pie crust. I used a food processor, but you could easily make the dough by hand with a pastry blender or a pair of forks.

In a measuring cup, combine lemon juice with enough ice water to make ¼ of a cup. Keep cold and set aside.

In a medium sized bowl, combine lemon zest, flour, and salt. Add in butter in small chunks and mix with a food processor or pastry blender until it resembles coarse meal with pea sized chunks. Drizzle the lemon water in and pulse or stir until the dough just comes together.

Form the dough into a flattened disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least half an hour.

While the dough is chilling, preheat your oven to 450°F. Prepare an eight inch round baking pan by greasing and lining with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine strawberries and blueberries with 2 Tbsp each of flour and sugar. Toss to combine and set aside. You could also add in some additional lemon zest here.

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Once dough has chilled, roll it out into a twelve inch round. Place the dough gently into the baking pan, with edges going over the sides. Pour the berry mixture into the center of the soon-to-be crust, making sure to keep a two inch border around the edges.

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Fold the dough over the berries, pleating the edges to keep them inside. Brush dough with egg white, and sprinkle the entire pie with turbinado sugar.

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Place baking dish on a cookie sheet to prevent any leaks into the oven, and bake at 450° for 15 – 25 minutes, or until the crust is golden.

Serve warm or at room temperature. Add ice cream if you’d like and enjoy!

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Freeform Strawberry and Blueberry Pie

Ingredients:
For the Crust:

Juice and Zest of one Lemon

1 ½ c All Purpose Flour

½ tsp Salt

½ c (1 stick) Butter

For the Filling:

1 lb Strawberries, hulled and sliced into fourths

1 ½ pints Blueberries

2 Tbsp Sugar

2 Tbsp Flour

1 ½ Tbsp Turbinado Sugar

1 large Egg White

 

Procedure:

  1. Combine the lemon juice with enough ice water to make ¼ cup lemon water.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, or the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, salt, and lemon zest. Add in butter in small chunks and mix until pea sized lumps remain.
  3. Drizzle in lemon water and mix until dough just comes together.
  4. Scrape dough onto your work surface, form into a flattened disk, and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for at least a half hour.
  5. Prepare an 8” round baking pan by greasing and lining with parchment paper. Set aside.
  6. In a large mixing bowl, combine remaining 2 Tbsp flour, 2 Tbsp Sugar, and fruit. Toss to combine.
  7. Place chilled dough on a floured surface and roll out into a 12” round. Transfer to baking pan.
  8. Pour berry mixture onto the pie dough, leaving a two inch border around the edges. Fold crust over berries, pleating to make sure the berries stay inside.
  9. Brush dough with egg white. Sprinkle turbinado sugar over dough and fruit.
  10. Place baking pan on a cookie sheet and bake at 450°F for 15 – 25 minutes, or until crust is golden.
  11. Serve hot or at room temperature, and enjoy!

 

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Cherry Couscous Salad

Hello readers!

Due to my sweet tooth, I’ve been posting all sweet dishes. I think it’s time for a change, so I’m going to write about my favorite summer salad.

Cherry Couscous Salad.

It sounds a bit strange, but bear with me – it’s delicious!

The salad takes advantage of the abundance of cherries available right now, and turns them from a snack or dessert into a full-blown side dish (or main dish, depending on how you serve it) to delight your fellow tablemates.

I found this dish last year while searching for a salad that I would actually like (dressings are not my thing. Ick), and found this salad with a dressing that actually sounded appetizing. So I gave it a try and loved it! I hope you’ll love it too. I found the recipe on a blog called “A Cozy Kitchen” – check it out!

Onward!

Start by preparing your ingredients. I had no chickpeas on hand while preparing this, so I left them out.

Couscous is simple to prepare – for this recipe, bring 2 ½ cups water to boil in a medium sized saucepan. Add in your couscous, allow to boil, then cover and remove from the heat. Allow to stand five minutes, then uncover, fluff with a fork, and set aside. The Kitchn has a handy tutorial for preparing couscous here.

Pit the cherries and cut into fourths. This might take a while, but be patient – it’s worth it!

Bright red and delicious!

Bright red and delicious!

Lay your about six or seven spinach leaves on top of one another and roll them up. Slice into strips – this is called a chiffonade, and makes slicing up greens super easy.

Chop the onions – they don’t need to be exactly the same size, but should be fairly even.

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Toast the almonds either on a baking sheet in the oven for seven to ten minutes or in a frying pan over medium heat, stirring every so often until you can smell them. Remove from heat and stir a few times to keep them from burning.

The almonds should turn a nice golden brown when done.

The almonds should turn a nice golden brown when done.

In a large bowl, toss together the chopped spinach, onion, cherries, chickpeas, and almonds. Set aside.

Color!

Color!

In another mixing bowl, whisk together yogurt, minced garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice. Toss with the cherry mixture.

Stir in cooled couscous, making sure the salad is thoroughly combined.

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Chill for half an hour and enjoy!

 

Cherry Couscous Salad

 Ingredients:

½ c Sliced Almonds, toasted

2 ½ c Couscous, uncooked

2 c Spinach Leaves, sliced into strips

2 c Cherries, pitted and sliced into fourths

1 15 oz can Chickpeas, drained and rinsed

½ of a small Red Onion, chopped

¼ c Plain Yogurt

3 Tbsp Olive Oil

2 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice

3 cloves Garlic, minced

 

Procedure:

  1. In a saucepan, prepare couscous according to package directions – usually a 1:1 ratio of couscous to water. Once cooked, set aside and allow to cool.
  2. In a large bowl, toss together almonds, cherries, spinach, onion, and chickpeas. Set aside.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic until smooth.
  4. Pour yogurt mixture over cherry mix and toss to combine. Add in couscous, stir to combine.
  5. Refrigerate for half an hour and serve.
  6. Enjoy!

Blueberry Breakfast Bake

Happy Independence Day!

Here in the Northland we celebrate the 4th of July with parades, fireworks, and good food – pretty typical, right? As I’m a bit too old for the children’s parade in my hometown and haven’t quite mustered up the desire to participate in the fun run, I decided to make a breakfast bake to celebrate. Now, at my house, breakfast bakes are usually savory. However, it’s blueberry season!

I found this lovely recipe from Whole Foods, tweaked it a bit to make it my own and work with the ingredients I had on hand, and my new favorite breakfast was born.

Simple and Delicious!

Simple and Delicious!

Onward!

First, grease a 9X13” baking dish. Cut your baguette into ½ inch cubes. The original recipe calls for a day old baguette, but I used one I had stashed in the freezer and it turned out just fine. Make sure to let it thaw a bit before slicing.

The y don't have to be identical, but should be fairly even in size.

The y don’t have to be identical, but should be fairly even in size.

Place half of the bread cubes into the baking dish and add in half the blueberries. Try to make sure that the berries are evenly distributed. Set aside.

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In a large mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese and sugar and beat until fluffy. Add in your sour cream, vanilla, spices, and milk until smooth. Scrape the sides several times to ensure even mixing.

Pour half the cream cheese mixture over the bread and blueberries, then top with the remaining bread and berries. Pour the rest of the mixture over the top.

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Cover and chill overnight.

In the morning, take your unbaked breakfast bake out of the fridge and let sit for a half hour to warm up.

The bread should have soaked up plenty of the custard mixture.

The bread should have soaked up plenty of the custard mixture.

Bake at 350°F for 30 – 45 minutes, or until golden brown and a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

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Let stand a few minutes before serving and enjoy!

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Ingredients:
1 8 oz Baguette, preferably day old

1 ½ pints Blueberries

8 oz Cream Cheese, at room temperature

6 Tbsp Turbinado Sugar

6 Eggs

¾ c Sour Cream

1 ½ tsp Vanilla Extract

¼ tsp Cinnamon

¼ tsp Ginger

¼ tsp Cardamom

1/8 tsp Star Anise

1/8 tsp Allspice

½ c Milk

 

Procedure:

  1. Cut Baguette into ½ cubes. Place half the cubes in a greased 9X13” baking dish. Set the other cubes aside for now. Sprinkle half of the blueberries across the baking dish.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat together cream cheese and sugar until fluffy. Mix in eggs, sour cream, spices, vanilla extract, and milk until smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl every so often.
  3. Pour half of the cream cheese mixture across the bread and blueberries. Top with reserved blueberries and bread. Pour remaining cream cheese mixture across the top.
  4. Cover and chill overnight. Remove and let sit for thirty minutes before baking.
  5. Bake a t 350°F for 30 – 45 minutes, or until the bread topping is golden brown. Garnish with additional blueberries.
  6. Enjoy!