There are lots of concerns with the new administration, from what will they do to promote abortion to how will they handle the ongoing leftist “protests” in Oregon that the mainstream media is finally willing to call “riots.” And how is this any different from last summer? It’s not.
But life goes on, even with the ongoing challenges that take me back to the ’60s when national guards were called out to the Watts riots in LA’s streets and students were shot on Kent State’s campus in Ohio. And the USA is still the greatest nation in the world, where more people want to come than leave. Wondering why some of the leftists in 2016 that said they would move to Canada if Trump was elected chose not to go?
Well, here in the hinterland where many of us deplorable conservatives live, there is nothing more patriotic that Red, White and Blue . . . well, off-white, anyway; kinda yellow as custard tends to be, but you get the idea.
Anyhow, Anita and I needed (? 🙄) a dessert as we had finished off the others I have baked and since I am enjoying my new-found “hobby” of baking, I decided to bake a pie with some fruit she had purchased on her last outing to the grocery store. We both love custard, so I put together what I recently learnt about making this delicious dessert, added some fruit and voila, try this one. It’s easy and hard to mess up!
Ingredients (which I always recommend you assemble before even turning on the oven)
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 9″ pie crust
- 1 cup milk (anything from skim to whole, your choice)
- 3/4 cup cream (heavy, whipping, light, or half & half, your choice)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup of raspberries/blueberries (~1/2 pound)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
To blind-bake (pre-bake) the pie crust, line the chilled crust with foil or parchment paper, and fill it with pie weights or dried beans. This prevents the crust from bubbling up and reducing the volume of filling you can put in it. I used another pie tin weighted with a mixing bowl; worked like a charm.
Bake the crust at 375⁰F for 20 minutes. Remove it from the oven, and gently remove the foil or parchment with the weights or beans.
Return the crust to the oven for 10 to 15 more minutes, until it is very light golden brown all over. If the edges of the crust start to become too brown, cover them with a pie shield or strips of aluminum foil. Remove the crust from the oven and cool completely while you make the filling.
- To make the filling: Start by thoroughly whisking together the eggs, sugar, and cornstarch in a medium bowl.
- Combining the milk, cream, and salt in a medium-sized saucepan. Heat the mixture until small bubbles form around the edges, and steam starts to wisp from the surface; this is how you “scald” milk.
- Pour about 1/4 of the hot milk/cream over the egg mixture, stirring well. After this is mixed, pour the egg mixture into the remaining hot milk/cream, stirring well.
- Pour the custard through a sieve into another bowl to strain out any possible bits of cooked egg. Stir in the vanilla extract.
- Gently turn the raspberries and blueberries into the mix. Some like the fruit to be throughout the pie, not just on top. If you want to use more fruit, be sure to reduce other items in the mix to avoid making too much filling, e.g., milk, sugar or egg. I would stick with whole milk and heavy cream if you do this.
- Pour the warm filling into the baked, cooled crust. Sprinkle the nutmeg evenly over the top.
- Cover the edges of the pie with a pie shield or strips of aluminum foil to prevent over-browning. If there is excess filling, use some silicone cupcake “tins” or a separate pie dish. (Keep an eye on the extras as these will bake faster than the pie; how quickly depending on how much and whether you place them above or below the pie.)
- Place the pie onto your oven’s middle rack and bake it for 35 to 40 minutes at 400⁰F, or until the custard is set at the edges but still a bit wobbly in the center. The temperature of the pie at the center should be between 170°F and 180°F.
- Remove the pie from the oven, and place it on a rack to cool. Be careful if the pie is not fully set; this should be okay as it will stiffen as it cools. When it’s completely cool, refrigerate until you’re ready to serve.
- Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for several days.
Notes: the cornstarch will firm the custard up much better than recipes that lack this. The heavy cream and 2% milk worked fine for me, but if you use lighter cream or milk, you may not get the more solid texture that Anita and I enjoy.
You can use 4 large eggs and more fruit, but you will need “extra” cups for the excess and cut the cornstarch by half or completely. If you use a larger pie crust, you can adjust the time, but watch it closely toward the end, as the last few minutes the pie really firms up fast. Over-baking it will make the custard slightly chalky and dry.
From the ridiculous to the sublime, next Saturday I plan to post THE MOST IMPORTANT BLOG I have ever written. Hope you come back and check that one out.