Simple Berry Pie


This is my kitchen:
White tiled countertops, with dough ridden grout.
Brown. Brown. Brown cupboards, grained in the stylings of oak.
Brown. Brown. Brown fake wood flooring, grained in the stylings of fake oak.
Brown painted walls, though not the color of oak. Praise that.
Hodge-podge spice shelves. Incomplete plate sets.
A broken blender. A broken hand mixer.
The shadow of recessed lighting. A touch of natural sun.
Flour on the floor. Dishes undone.
Today’s Weather Report:
White rays of sun reach their way around our barren winter land.
The smell of fresh. The peek of green.
The promise of warmth and breeze and bare feet.
This is What Happens When My Kitchen Greets Today’s Weather Report:
The spring cleaning itch hits. That’s what.
And I just realized, sitting here in this rather untidy, brown oak box of a room
that I can not allow summer to shine itself into this place
and feel even remotely okay about it.
Even if I did film myself a commercial with the blah-blah brown background.
So here’s the deal. I need your help! I need your input!
For now, the wood floor has to stay.
The wall paint has to stay. (argh.)
I’m afraid the blue and white tile countertops have to stay. (ick.)
But the cupboards. Oh, the cupboards may just be due for a fresh coat of gorgeous.
Whatever shall I do? I’m so terrible about making design choices.
But, I know I’d like a kitchen makeover. Without, you know, paying for a complete kitchen makeover.
And, I know that you might just be able to help me make this place sparkle.
Will you help me make my kitchen classy and colorful and cheeky.
Make it old-fashioned adorable with a simple number of steps.
Make it sorta like this pie I baked up for you.
Your kitchen-repaint advice for a slice of berry pie.
Can we call that an even trade?


Simple Berry Pie
I’ve never, no, not even once, have been able to put together a fine country pie. I never could get the crust just thin enough, or the top just smooth enough, or the filling to rise high and glorious over the pie tin. Never, that is, until I was reading through Joy the Baker’s archives and discovered her recipe for a simple no-roll pie crust. Made with butter and oil, her recipe calls for you to create a crumbly dough which is then pressed and molded into place. Such a technique makes the actual crust creating a snap, it took just minutes to mix it, press it into place, and fill it with a basket full of frozen berries. The frozen berries create an ideal palette to mold the crumbly crust around, offering a firm, nook-and-crannied foundation on which the crust can be pressed. To add a touch of extra interest, I plopped a bundle of vanilla bean seeds and a touch of lemon zest into Joy’s crust recipe. But, you’ll be equally delighted if you make it the way she’s created it, too.
Joy the Baker’s Easy No Roll Pie crust, doubled
5-7 cups frozen, mixed berries
1 cup honey
1/2 c. flour
1 c. sugar (optional, if you want it sweet)
Press half of pie crust into a large pie tin. In a large bowl, drizzle honey (and sugar, if you desire) over berries and sprinkle with flour. Stir with a large wooden spoon to fully coat the berry mixture. Pour into pie tin, top with remaining pie crust, pressing firmly into place. Bake in an oven preheated to 400 degrees for about an hour. When the crust in nicely browned and berries are bubbling beneath, you’ll know it’s done. Allow pie to cool completely before cutting, for a pretty slice of pie. Or, if you can’t wait, just dig in, let it melt and ooze allover your plate and spoon and cheeks and devour immediately.

If you fancy, schmancy fruit-pie bakers are left snickering at my simple-pieman approach, do CLICK HERE to discover Dawn Viola’s prize-winning Vanilla Vanilla Bean Roasted Apple Pie. There, now. That should be much more your style.

Wishing you a simple, wondrous weekend.