Chef Time!

Chef Time!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Bloody Berry Pie


Imagine a buttery chocolate pastry crust so crisp you hear it snap as you cut into it with the side of a fork.  It’s filled with sweet yet tangy raspberry jam mixed with lemon curd that’s smothered in a rich chocolate ganache filling tasting like the most expensive chocolate pudding in the world. The creamy chocolate goodness will send tantalizing sensations into your mouth with every bite, and finished with the finest dusting of powdered sugar, like the sprinkling of the last snow of the season.

Bloddy Berry Pie

Now stop imagining, because I promise, you can make this!
Trust me! It sounds expensive, extravagant, and experience requiring (sorry, only other “E” word I could think of) but it’s not. This Bloody Berry Pie is so easy to make. It’s a perfect Valentine’s Day dessert, but tastes great year round. 
There are two things you must make from scratch for this recipe, the crust, and the ganache. Ganache sounds fancy, but it’s simply heavy cream and chocolate. We’re talking decadent! I have to confess that I started eating it with a spoon. OINK! It takes only a few minutes to make ganache and I think it’s my favorite filling, icing, pudding, condiment, whatever.
The crust is really simple, I made it the night before and pressed it into the pans immediately so that they’d be ready to bake and fill the next day. I’m used to a chocolate crust being made from crushed chocolate cookies, but this was SO much better. Not only do I know exactly what ingredients are in it (unlike cookies from a store), but also the cocoa powder I used gave it a more subtle but better flavor.
The recipe is for making three 4.5 inch mini pies. I made 10 inch pie. Simply press the crust into a fluted pie pan and follow the same instructions without dividing everything into thirds. I like this better as a fluted pie because it looks so beautiful, but it works great as chocolate pie. It would be even better if you was to use a smooth pie pan.
The quality of this dessert depends on your ingredients. I had some high quality cocoa powder and dark chocolate on hand from a previous recipe, but you can use what you find in a local grocery store. Dark chocolate is one of my favorites for baking. It’s also CHEAP! Godiva cocoa powder is a great option for the crust. If you have homemade raspberry jam that’s even better, more power to you! If not, just use store bought.
The little touches make a big difference, make sure you brush the tops with warm jam. It seems like a little step, but really makes it glow and brings out the chocolate taste. Also, dusting it with powdered sugar makes a big difference in presentation (and can cover up any flaws in the setting of your ganache). Okay, enough of my gabbing, get in the kitchen!
1 stick (4 oz.) softened butter
½ c. sugar
1 egg yolk
1 c. flour
2 ½ tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
¾ c. raspberry jam
¼ c. lemon curd
4 oz. semisweet dark chocolate finely chopped
½ c. heavy whipping cream
½ tsp. Water
6 oz. Fresh raspberries, optional
powdered sugar for dusting
Beat butter and sugar on medium speed for 3 minutes until smooth and creamy. Use a spatula to scrape down the bowl and beat another minute if there are any lumps of butter left. Add the egg yolk, beat well, and scrape down the sides again.
Add the flour and cocoa powder, beat on the lowest speed until dough has just come together (but still has small to medium clumps) and looks moist with a dark uniform color. Scrape down the bowl and use the spatula to incorporate anything that isn’t mixed in.
Take the dough and place it into a fluted pie pan. Use the heel of your hand to evenly press dough and spread along the bottom of the pan and up the sides. (If you’re having trouble, refrigerate the dough 15 minutes before pressing)
Use a knife to cut off any dough the rises above the top of the pan, and save dough for repairs. Place the dough filled pan into the fridge for at least 30 minutes. (It can keep 3 days in fridge and 6 weeks in freezer).
Preheat the oven to 350 with a rack in the lower third. Place dough filled pan on a cookie sheet and bake in lower third for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and use leftover dough to repair any cracks. Bake another 8 minutes.
Remove the pan to a cooling rack and use the rounded side of a spoon to press the center down and make more room for filling. Let cool completely (you can do this in refrigerator for faster results). Set a tablespoon of the jam aside in a small bowl or glass. Spoon 1/3 of remaining jam mixed with the lemon curd into the pie crust and spread to cover the bottom.
Put chopped chocolate into a heat safe bowl and the heavy cream in a small saucepan. Heat the cream until it just starts to boil, then pour it over the chocolate. Begin whisking gently to blend completely and melt all the chocolate. Pour 1/3 of the ganache into the crust.
Refrigerate the pie for at least 1 hour, until the filling is firm. 
Mix reserved tablespoon of jam with the ½ teaspoon of water and heat in a microwave for about 15 seconds. Brush this jam mixture onto the top of the pie filling (just enough to make it shiny!). Serve immediately or refrigerate until you’re ready. Use a mesh strainer to sift a dusting of sugar onto the pie just before serving.
Chef’s Notes: If you want, you can place the raspberries on the pie, before brushing with the heated jam mixture.

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