This pie is my pièce de résistance. It looks beautiful and is my favorite type of dessert: berry pie. Serve it up with some homemade whipped cream, and I don't think life could get any better. I hope you enjoy!
Step 1: The Crust (Pate Brisee)
This recipe is for one double-crust 9" pie. To get a flaky crust, the key is COLD. I refrigerate all of my ingredients about 30 minutes prior. At the very least, make sure the butter and water are both cold.
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. granulated white sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
1/4 - 1/2 cup ice water
Combine flour, sugar and salt in a food processor (or bowl, if that is what you have to work with). Add butter and pulse to combine until resembles course crumbs, about 10 to 15 seconds (if using bowl, cut the butter in with a pastry blender). Add ice water in a steady stream, starting with just 1/4 cup. Process just until the dough pinches together. If necessary add a little more water until you get to this state. You should not need more than 1/2 cup nor require longer than 30 seconds processing.
Turn the dough out onto your work surface and divide in half. Shape into flattened discs, wrap each into plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. (The dough can be frozen for up to a month; thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.)
Take one disc and roll it out onto your floured work surface until about 12" in diameter. Roll from the center out and rotate your crust quarter turns occasionally to avoid sticking. Transfer the crust to a 9" pie pan. (To transfer, I gently fold the dough into quarters and unfold in the pan.) Trim the edges, leaving about 1/2" overhang and then fold them under. Cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
Take the second disc, and roll it out as above. Cut about 3 to 5 long, thin pieces from the middle. Transfer to a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Gently pinch each piece all along the length, and then roll so it is rope-like. Do not roll it very hard, as the idea is not lengthen the piece, just round it. Using a small flower-shaped cookie cutter, cut out and transfer about 7 flowers to the cookie sheet. With the remaining dough, use an almond-shaped cookie cutter to obtain as many pieces as you can. From the scraps, cut out small circles that will be the center of your flowers. For this last part, I didn't have anything just the size I wanted, so I roughly cut the circles and shaped them with my fingers. To finish off the leaves, use a knife or clean razor blade to lightly etch "leaf lines" into each almond-shaped dough piece. Cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
In the meantime, continue on to the berry filling.