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.

15 Responses to “Simple Berry Pie”

  1. Nancy says:

    Okay blogging worlds collide, you need a painting tutorial, and I just looked at a great one on another fabulous blog. Check it out:

    And while you're on her blog scroll down and see how great her kitchen looks after she painted her cabinets. Hope this helps, good luck!

  2. Mrsblocko says:

    This may be a dumb, obvious question, but do you need to defrost the berries first?

  3. Barbara says:

    Here's an idea I saw on a British home makeover show a while ago and I plan on someday doing myself:
    Take the cabinet doors off. Cut the thinner, inside part out of the frame. Paint the frame your desired color. Staple small mesh chicken wire onto the back of the frame, covering the opening. Then staple fabric (they used a blue and white checkered one which I thought was cute) behind the chicken wire onto the frame, and put the cabinets back together. Another idea: instead of wire and fabric, get one of those thin metal sheets and punch a design into it, for a sort of southwestern-y look.

  4. Jas. says:

    in my (humble and very Aussie opinion *smiles*) Apple Pie is the best. My second opinion is pies ain't meant to be perfect! Nope, I mean really they aren't like cike you can't slice in and see all the pretty latyrs of buttercream, no these pies like to squoosh out of the sides to the pastry and their messiness is one of their selling points I love your pie even though it is gluten filled, or should that be topped? I will share a gluten free pie soon you may like it too!

    On the home, sorry, kitchen reno…. My immediate response is to sand the cupboards and paint (much like this: – only she did the whole thing, but her cupboards were simply painted – yay for paint!) We live in a rental here, but we've found gorgeous old 50's + 60's cupboards and sanded off the 4-7 layers of blue green pink and so on paint and repaintedd a fresh crisp white. Our next project (another cupboard/sideboard) is being painted a dark midnight blue and the cracked marbled top is being replaced with tongue & groove jarrah to match our bed. There are so many options for your kitchen but to me painting the cupboards will be a great lift and if you don't like the lighting change it up a little, lighting can really change the feel of your space.

    Oh now I've babbled, sorry, lack of morning coffee. All the best!

  5. The Stones says:

    I have no ideas for your kitchen, but I just wanted to say how much I adore you and your blog! Thanks for all the fantastic ideas, you are a wonder woman!

  6. Appetite for Conversation says:

    This pie looks absolutely scrumptious!

  7. Skye says:

    Go for it- paint those cabinets!! I would go for something light like white, off-white or light blue (depending on what matches your countertops- which I don't think are bad looking!). I think it would look cute if you glue corkboard onto one of the cabinets for a permanent, space-saving bulletin board. Or you could paint the outside of one of the cabinets (minus the trim) with chalk board paint so you could write menus, grocery lists, etc. on it. Depends on how formal or fun you want the look to be. Good luck and please update us! :)

  8. Meesh1957 says:

    Girl, paint those cupboards. Off White (get them sprayed) hand rub in some coats of glaze and wipe off, it sticks in the grooves and seams adding some depth. I agree with the comment about removing the center of some of the doors, however I would replace with reeded/seeded glass or plexi with texture, then light with a puck light. The lights don't have to be on time all the time nor do the cupboards need to showhouse neat all time. Hang some art, especially in the space where there would be a back splash. Under cabinet lighting can be inexpensive. How about some wall words (rub-ons for the walls) Have some fun!! Show us what you do! Meesh

  9. screwdestiny says:

    I always love red in a kitchen. But not candy apple red. Like, a deep red. I'm not sure if that would go with your wood though…

    I personally am going to do my whole kitchen in pink and brown when I have my own place to play with. And my spouse will not mind because I am the one who spends the most time in the kitchen anyway. But I think pink only works with a dark, rich brown…and you may not like pink.

  10. Tongue-N-Cheeky says:

    Okay, am utterly ADORING your ideas. THANK YOU for the input! I'll continue to kitchen do-over post updates in the coming weeks.

    Mrs. Blocko- the berries do not have to be defrosted, just mix everything together, throw it in the oven and you're in business!

  11. Jamica says:

    I have always wanted to paint my cabinets!…. but you go first! You are brave, but I know anything you touch turns to beauty, so I'm sure the cabinets will like-wise be beautiful!

    This pie really is a favorite of mine now! The crust was just right for soaking up any extra juice. And I love that it wasn't too sweet, and not too tart…. it was perfection!

  12. Julie says:

    I've been thinking of going darker on my cabinets using polyshades. Go for it and maybe it'll help me decide to do it to mine as well.

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