Pie-a-Day #23: Ginger Berry Pie

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This post comes to us from Jessica Goryl, the pastry chef at BLT Steak in Los Angeles.

gingerberry pie

My all-time favorite summer pie, without a doubt, is a ginger-berry pie.  And yes, I know what you’re thinking: what the heck is a ginger-berry??  Not really a berry at all, but rather my edible family history with lots of sweet & tart summer berries that we picked in the  hot virginia sun, with spicy ginger, all in a buttery, flakey pie crust – yum!  Add a scoop of cold vanilla bean ice cream, and you’re in absolute heaven!

I grew up in Virginia, right outside D.C., but during the summers, all of my cousins, sister and i would bombard my grandfather’s house, a wonderful, old antebellum plantation house in Appomattox County, Virginia… and it was always a week (or two if we were lucky, and he was very very brave!) of running wild in the woods and rivers, late nights in the upstairs bunk rooms, and lots and lots of good  old-fashioned southern cooking!  As you can imagine, I was glued to the kitchen, learning and playing with my step-grandmother – but, oh, this pie!  We could barely wait for it to be JUST cool enough to cut into on those hot summer nights.  (And yes, we made the ice cream the old-school way too — bring on the rock salt and hand crank!)  I will always have memories of eating this pie on the veranda, with the lazy swings and the fireflies, surrounded by all my cousins…. this pie is my childhood.

So help yourself to this little bit of an old-fashioned southern summer, and i just know you’ll be creating whole new memories of your own!

Pie crust:
4 cups All-Purpose flour
1 lb unsalted butter, cold, cubed
3/4 tsp salt
1 Tablespoon sugar
3 oz heavy cream
4 egg yolks

Combine the cream and yolks.  set aside.  In a kitchen aid mixer with a paddle (or by hand), combine the flour, salt, sugar and butter.  Slowly mix until sandy, and large pea size pieces of butter are still in the mix.  Slowly drizzle the cream and the yolks, one at a time.  Allow to just come together – very important: do not overmix.  You want to still see streaks of yellow and small bits of butter.  Pat into a disc and wrap tightly in plastic.  Chill at least 30 minutes.

Once chilled, remove dough, divide in half, and on a lightly floured surface, roll each piece into a large disc.  In a deep dish pie pie, that has been generously sprayed, gently lay the first layer of dough inside the pan, allowing about 1/2 inch of dough to overhang. Chill about 10 minutes, while you are preparing the filling.

Fold the filling into the shell, lightly brush the edges with one egg that’s been mixed, and carefully place the second dough disc on top.  Cut either slits in the top and center or whatever design you prefer, crimp the edges either with a fork or to your desired form, and lightly brush the entire pie with the egg wash.  Sprinkle with sugar (I prefer sugar in the raw, but regular will do just fine).

Chill the pie about 30 minutes. Carefully wrap the edges with foil, so they won’t burn.

Bake the pie at 325 degrees, about 45 mins-1 hour, depending upon your oven, removing the foil during the last 15 minutes.  Allow to cool to room temp and serve with ice cream.

Ginger-Berry Filling:
2 pints raspberries
2 pints blueberries
2 pints blackberries
About 1/2 inch of fresh ginger root, scraped
Zest of 1 orange, finely chopped
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup ap flour
Pinch of salt

In a large bowl, combine all of the berries.  using a microplane of the fine part of a box grater, grate the ginger until you have about 1 tablespoon of pulp (and juice).  Add to the berries.  Gently toss with the sugar, orange zest, salt and all-purpose flour.   Allow to mascerate just a bit, so the sugar and flour are wet.