Harrison Happenings: Remembering the wonder of berry pies

Columnist shares the secrets to making a delicious fruit pie

Those who have read my articles about cooking before, have surely realized that I am not pretending to be a chef of any sort or kind.

In fact, my only ‘formal’ education in the field of cooking was a course I took at school more years ago than I care to remember. It was during the war and food was not easy to come by. This was lesson number one. Lesson number two was trying to make a meal as good and tasty as possible from whatever one had on hand.

These basic lessons were augmented over time – by countless cooking shows I like to watch and cookbooks I love to read. What has never changed during all those years is my desire to enjoy food without too much alteration and as fresh as possible. I am careful with herbs and seasoning, for instance. I try to find out what goes with what, how much is enough or how much more is needed. I love cooking in the summertime when vegetables, fruits and berries are available in abundance. The fact that I like to get up early in the morning works for me very well.

Take the soups I wrote about last week, for instance. I wash, clean and cook the vegetables early in the morning and let them cool down. Later in the day, I blend and finish them.

Soups, of course, ask for something to come after and what would be better in the summer than a piece of berry pie! They find takers on the hottest days and do not need to be very work involved either. Just recently, I found a very nice recipe for such pies in a German magazine. I liked it very much, not only because it brought back childhood memories, but also for its simplicity:  they use the same base dough for all berry pies and only change the toppings!  I think you might like to give it a try!

 

Red Current Pie with basier (meringue mixture)

 

For the base dough you need:

375 g. butter or margarine

250 g. sugar

1 pkg. vanilla sugar – available in Deli stores

pinch of sale

6 medium size eggs

450 g. flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

oil to grease the pan (This is a rectangular pan approx. 30 cm  X  40 cm.)

 

You do:

Mix butter, sugar, vanilla sugar, pinch of salt and baking powder

Add eggs one at a time and stir until foamy.

Spread this mix on the baking pan and bake it in the pre-heated oven at 150 – 175 C for about 10 minutes and take out of oven.  (keep the oven on for the berries.)

 

You need for this pie also:

500 g. red currents

4 medium sized egg whites

200 g sugar

 

You do:

Remove the stems of the red currents.

Beat the egg whites until stiff, adding the sugar while doing it.

Fold in the red currents

Spread the mix on top of the base and bake for 20 min. at the same temperature as the base.

Let the pie sit for about an hour and enjoy!

 

Editor’s note: Next week, look forward to a recipe by Ruth for a blueberry pie with almond crumb topping.