Introduction: Deconstructed Mixed Berry Pie
Mmmm... A sweet but complex filling perfectly complemented with whipped cream... a deconstructed pie crust that not only makes it look amazing on the plate, it makes every single bit of crust crunchy and flakey... it completely satisfies your sugar cravings while adding a bit of elegance to your meal.
Read the rest of this instructable to find out how to make this sweet dessert in your own kitchen.
Step 1: What You Need
The ingredients are:
~For the crust~
1 crust pies worth of your favorite pie crust (home made or store bought, either works. However, don't use the ones already in a pie tin, since we aren't using a tin, they really wont' work)
2 tablespoons of sugar
Flour for dusting the surface of your rolling area
~For the filling~
6 cups of frozen, mixed berries (mine had blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries in it)
3/4 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of almond extract
And a major quantity of whipped cream. (Home made is always preferable here, but I used the canned stuff because that's what I had on hand)
Step 2: The Crust
Roll out your dough (using the flour so you don't stick) to about 1/8th of an inch thick.
Using either a cookie cutter or an inverted glass, cut out 12, 2 1/2 inch rounds. (keep them close together, so you have room for the next shape) These will be your bottom crusts
Take the remaining dough and trip the edges so that it's square (a pizza cutter works great for this). You may also use the scraps from your circle cutting here, but be very careful not to overwork the dough while re-rolling it, or it will get tough. Cut out 5 inch by 2 1/2 inch strips of dough, and then cut those in half diagonally, going from one corner to the other. You now have a triangle that will serve as your top crust.
The pictures below show both the methods (yes, that's just flour. I had already finished my dough at this time, so this is just to give you an idea)
Step 3: The Crust - Continued
Take the egg, and beat it with 1 or 2 tablespoons of water.
Brush this on top of your circles and triangles. This will help them to brown up beautifully in the oven.
Sprinkle the 2 tablespoons of sugar over the cut outs for a little sparkle and extra sweetness.
Lay all of these on a greased cookie tray and place in a 450 degree oven. Cook them until golden brown on top. Mine took about 12 minutes.
Once done, remove and set aside.
Step 4: The Filling
In a large sauce pan, place all of the filling ingredients except for the almond extract.
Mix together everything while berries are still frozen. This will help ensure the cornstarch won't clump together, and you'll have a smooth filling.
Place over medium heat, stirring regularly. Bring to a boil and boil one minute, to break down some of the fruit and to make the cornstarch thicken the sauce.
Once done, remove from heat and add the extract (adding it before would have evaporated all the flavor, thus, wait until you are no longer on the burner)
On a side note, the reason there is so much cornstarch in the recipe is so it will be really thick. Since the filling won't be held up by a crust, it needs to have that extra body to hold itself up on the plate.
Step 5: Assembly
Now, to assemble your dessert.
Start with a circle, and place it on the center of your plate. Top with a healthy scoop of berries, and perhaps an even healthier dollop of whipped cream. (ok, not perhaps. Load the whipped cream on there!)
Prop up your triangle in the filling and cream.
Step 6: Finnished!
You now are the proud owner of a very yummy looking piece of pie.... but my bet is you won't have that pie very long.