Pie Time: Give Thanks to Berries This Week
Mince meat, apple, derby – they’ll all have their day. This holiday is made for berries – they emphasize the bounty of the fall harvest, provide a burst of color, and are perfect as part of a holiday that revolves around cuisine.
Of course, some Thanksgivings can resemble a game of pie poker with so many varieties anted up on the table. So why go all in with a berry pie? Plenty of reasons.
- Taste. Tart, sweet, and savory pleases the palate after a meal. Warm from the oven, a berry pie provides a final flourish of intense flavor, and it’s less likely to weigh you down. Superb when solo, berry combinations are a pleasure as well – mixing tart with sweet by using cranberries with wild blueberries, for example, creates a unique taste sensation and grabs rave reviews at the table.
- Health advantages. While healthy eating may not be at the forefront on Thanksgiving, berries, especially wild blueberries, are still antioxidant powerhouses. Just because it’s pie, doesn’t mean you aren’t getting the benefit of healthy, whole food in every forkful. And, calorically, most berry pies are on the light side. One slice of wild blueberry pie is approximately 360 calories. Pumpkin weighs in at about the same, while pecan pie is comes in at 503, says Slim Calm Sexy Diet author Keri Glassman.
- Visual impact. Nothing pleases the eye like a dessert piled high with berries. A berry pie bubbling when it emerges from the oven, oozing its dark blue and red juices onto its golden crust, can make mouths water. You can achieve the perfect texture says Serious Eats by adjusting the cornstarch: less will yield a runny pie while more will provide a jammy texture.
- Because it’s seasonally on target. It used to be some pie lovers stopped baking berry pies after the fresh season. Times sure have changed. Bakers know better today – waiting around for fresh is a thing of the past, and berry pies are served up in the best kitchens long after summer. Fresh frozen technology makes berries like wild blueberries superb for baking. Top chefs, bakers, and cooks routinely choose frozen for its convenience and baking ease as well as its frozen-at-peak taste and nutrition.
So start rolling your dough, and pour copious amounts of glorious berries into that crust. A search for the best berry pie is always fruitful. Here’s a taste to get you on your berry way.
Cloudy with a Chance of Berries
Amanda and Merrill over at Food52.com help you bake with confidence whether you are making a pie, a tart or clafoutis. Roll a pastry, hack a tart pan, and make it vegan if you choose. Then, try your hand at making this Lemon Cloud Winter Berry Tart – its blueberries float on a cloud. If you’re the unconventional type, this Very Odd But Delicious Pie is for you. It’s a blend of berries, including wild blueberries, pear, and apple, mingled with a shot of whiskey. Peculiar just might be the new delicious.
We commend Serious Eats for touting frozen berries! They’re a winter blessing in this Mixed Berry Pie, and in this Classic Blueberry Pie, in which lemon zest works to bring out the tangy brightness of the blueberries – wonderful. Remember to go “wild” with your blues for optimum taste, nutrition and more berries per bite.
Traditional, Not Conventional
Call it cranberry-blueberry or blueberry-cranberry – these two berries are perfect harmony inside a crust. This Cranberry and Wild Blueberry Pie is a paradigm of palatability. Must have pumpkin pie? Understood. We think this Pumpkin Blueberry Pie has great flavor potential.
Mix it up in the crust department this year. Start with Martha’s pie crust 101. Then, put your mad skills to work with in Deep Dish Mixed Berry Pie or go rectilinear with Blueberry Slab Pie to win high appraisals for unique geometry.
Or, forget the share tactics and choose individual pies to make every guest feel special. Remember frozen always substitutes for fresh – no compromising on flavor or nutrition necessary.
Oh, Yeah – The Ultimate Berry Pie
Six colorful cups of wild blueberries make this Wild Blueberry Pie the ultimate in flavor, health, and visual impact. Bake, slice and serve, and bask in the sweetness of blue – the perfect ending to the perfect culinary day. Happy Thanksgiving!