The next up in our Pie Bakeoff is an original Cherry Berry Pie from reader Deb. We're so impressed by the top crust on this pie; how pretty and clever (and probably easier than one of those pesky full-sized top crusts). Read on to see why Deb thinks this is the best pie ever (hint: agave sweeteners for sugar-free deliciousness), and to see lots more photos.
Why is this the BEST pie recipe you've got? My pie omits the brown sugar and the water of the original, and uses agave nectar instead. Additionally, I use coconut flour for a portion of the all-purpose flour. It's still super-buttery, and very much like a shortbread crust. It's a huge hit with everyone who tries it. My friend Ken even said that he could just eat the crust alone. I often do, since there is usually enough to make a few cut out cookies as extras for "tasting" purposes.
It's a really flexible recipe, and I've used walnuts instead of almonds, as well as oat flour and whole wheat pastry flour instead of ap. In every case, the pie turns out a winner. The fillings run the gamut. Here's another example of some different fillings.
This version was such as hit at my friend Richard's July 4th party in 2007, people started hovering to make sure people would get their first slices so they could get their seconds!
It really is the best pie. It even works with really reduced amounts of Earth Balance when I've made vegan versions.
1/4 cup coconut flour, sifted
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup almond flour/meal/finely processed almonds
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 sticks of very cold butter (I freeze mine), cut into cubes
3 1/2 tablespoons of agave nectar
1/2 teaspoon fiore di Sicilia
Prior to making your crust, place all the ingredients in the freezer for at least an hour. It makes all the difference.
1. In a food processor, pulse the dry ingredients until well combined.
2. Add the cubed butter, pulsing until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
3. Adding a tablespoon at a time, pour the agave nectar, then the fiore di Sicilia through the liquid holder in the processor until the dough just comes together. You're going to love this. It makes the whole house smell like a creamsickle.
4. Divide the dough into two parts, one larger than the other. Form each into a flat, round shape, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
5. While the dough is chilling, make the filling.
2 16 oz frozen packages of cherries, thawed
1 8 oz frozen package of mixed berries, thawed
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoons to 1/4 cup agave nectar (Use much less if your fruit is sweet)
4 tablespoons tapioca flour (or corn starch or arrowroot)
1. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, stirring very well.
Pie Assembly Directions:
1. Take the dough out of the fridge and let it warm enough to be able to roll it out. Some folks even knead their dough a bit before rolling. I've done this and it lends an even flakier feel to the crust.
2. Fit the crust into your pie dish. You may need to patch some, but don't worry, none of it will show to your eaters. Wrap the crust in the plastic you used for the disc and chill for 30 minutes.
3. Pour the filling into the crust and dot with a tablespoon of butter cut into tiny pieces.
4. Again, wrap the pie in plastic and chill while you roll out the other dough disk and use your favorite cutter to cut pieces for the top crust. Take the pie out of the fridge and decorate the top as you wish. Just remember to leave spots for steam to escape.
5. Cover the edges with foil and bake at 325 degrees F. for about 40 minutes. Then remove the foil and bake until you have a nicely golden brown top and the filling is bubbling.
6. Let cool on a wire rack, then dig in!
(Images: Deb of Altered Plates)