Pies to please ev­ery guest

The Standard Journal - - Entertainment - Comics - By MAR­I­AL­ISA CALTA

Some people equate the word “pie” with “co­conut cream” or “lemon meringue” or “pecan.” These are “win­ter” pie people. Then there are those who think of “rhubarb” or “peach” or “ap­ple.” These are the three-sea­son pie people -the fruit-pie people.

For mem­bers of the fruit-pie tribe, al­most noth­ing says “sum­mer” more than a toothy smile stained mid­night blue from a forkful of blue­berry pie, or the spec­tac­u­lar sight of vanilla ice cream melt­ing into the fill­ing.

So it was with glee that I en­coun­tered this recipe for an “upside-down” blue­berry and black­berry pie in “Four & Twenty Black­birds Pie Book” by Emily and Melissa Elsen, own­ers of the Four & Twenty Black­birds pie shop in Brook­lyn, New York. The baked pie is up­ended on a serv­ing plat­ter, smashed and topped with vanilla ice cream. It turns a pie, they write, into a pie party.

The sis­ters have what The New York Times called “se­ri­ous pie-mak­ing cred.” They grew up in He­cla, South Dakota, where their mother and aunts ran a restau­rant for which their grand­mother made all the pies. Af­ter sev­eral years pur­su­ing big-city ca­reers (Melissa in fi­nance, Emily in the arts), they heeded the siren song of the pie plate and opened their own bak­ery.

Their upside-down pie has some sur­pris­ing in­gre­di­ents. An ap­ple is one; the pectin in the ap­ple helps keep the pie from be­com­ing too runny. Ground ar­row­root, a starch ob­tained from the roots of trop­i­cal plants, serves the same pur­pose; it can be found in the bak­ing aisle of most su­per­mar­kets. The bit­ters are an un­usual ele- ment, but they add what the sis­ters call “a spe­cial some­thing,” en­hanc­ing the fla­vors of the fruit.

The pie can be served in the tra­di­tional man­ner (right-side up) but that, as the sis­ters write, “may be a lit­tle less fun.” BLACK AND BLUE­BERRY UPSIDE-DOWN PIE For pie: Pastry for a two-crust 9inch pie

1 small bak­ing ap­ple (such as North­ern Spy or Golden De­li­cious) 2 to 3 cups black­ber­ries 2 to 3 cups blue­ber­ries 2 ta­ble­spoons fresh lemon juice 1/2 cup su­gar 1/4 cup packed light brown su­gar (or more if the berries are tart)

3 ta­ble­spoons ground ar­row­root

1/2 tea­spoon ground cin­na­mon

1/4 tea­spoon ground car­damom Pinch ground cloves 1/2 tea­spoon kosher salt 2 dashes An­gos­tura bit­ters For fin­ish­ing: 1 large egg white 1 tea­spoon wa­ter Pinch salt De­mer­ara su­gar, for fin­ish­ing For serv­ing: Vanilla ice cream Line a pie plate with the bot­tom crust. Roll out the top crust and keep in the re­frig­er­a­tor un­til ready to use. If you are plan­ning on serv­ing the pie upside down, a dis­pos­able alu­minum pie plate will make turn­ing out the pie eas­ier.

Peel and shred the ap­ple on the large holes of a box grater. In a large bowl, com­bine the ap­ple, black­ber­ries, blue­ber­ries, lemon juice, sug­ars, ar­row­root, cin­na­mon, car­damom, cloves, salt and bit­ters. Stir un­til wellmixed.

Pour the fill­ing into the re­frig­er­ated pie shell, ar­range the pastry round on top, and crimp as de­sired. Chill the pie in the re­frig­er­a­tor for 10 to 15 min­utes to set the pastry.

Mean­while, po­si­tion the oven racks in the bot­tom and cen­ter po­si­tions. Place a rimmed bak­ing sheet on the bot­tom rack and pre­heat the oven to 425 de­grees.

Make the glaze: In a cup or small bowl, beat the egg white, wa­ter and salt to­gether with a fork. Use a pastry brush to brush this onto the top crust. Sprin­kle with the de­sired amount of de­mer­ara su­gar. (De­mer­ara is an un­re­fined, large-grain su­gar with a golden yel­low color.)

Place the pie on the rimmed bak­ing sheet on the low­est rack of the oven. Bake for 20 to 25 min­utes, or un­til the pastry is set and be­gin­ning to brown. Lower the oven tem­per­a­ture to 375 de­grees, move the pie to the cen­ter oven rack, and con­tinue to bake un­til the pastry is a deep golden brown and the juices are bub­bling through­out, 30 to 35 min­utes longer.

Al­low to cool on a wire rack, but if you are serv­ing this upside down, you will want to serve it warm. Over­turn the pie on a large (15- to 20-inch di­am­e­ter) tray, break the “top” (ac­tu­ally, what was the bot­tom) of the pie open with a fork, and top with at least four large scoops of vanilla ice cream. Set in the mid­dle of the ta­ble for shar­ing.

If you are not serv­ing it upside down, serve warm or at room tem­per­a­ture, or cool com­pletely and store at room tem­per­a­ture for up to two days, or re­frig­er­ated for up to three days.

(Recipe from “The Four & Twenty Black­birds Pie Book” by Emily Elsen and Melissa Elsen; Grand Cen­tral Life and Style, 2013.)

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