Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Summertime Pie

As the weather gets cooler and berry season is coming to an end, it's time to make the most of the few weeks we have left of summertime flavors.

Last month after graduating and leaving my former job in pursuit of more culinary adventures, I spent a week in D.C. visiting my family. My Dad has a very particular sweet tooth - he's not crazy about cakes, cookies, or chocolate, but he does love pie. He will take a pie warm or cold, big or small, and with any type of fruit. It's amazing for me to watch my normally stoic middle-aged father turn giddy as a little boy at the site of baked fruit encased in crust.

Knowing this, I did a lot of pie baking while at their house, and was particularly inspired by a bottle of limoncello my parents had received as a gift from a friend who'd recently returned from a trip to Italy.

Not that I wanted to bake a lemon pie, but rather thought that the limoncello would be a great compliment to the sweet and rich cherries my Mom had picked up from the farmer's market. Toss in a couple of blackberries for small bursts of intense flavor, and you have a great pie filled with the tastes of summer.

I used a linzer dough recipe from Food Network Canada (replacing almonds for the hazelnuts), and about a pound of cherries with a pint of blackberries. Just bloom and melt about a teapoon of gelatin in about 3 tablespoons of limoncello, toss with pitted cherries and blackberries and a 1/4 cup of sugar, and bake for about an hour. (I prefer to taste more fruit than sugar in my pies, but if you prefer something sweeter add more sugar.)

The crust is flaky and buttery to offset the sweet, tart cherries, and the hit of limoncello brings out the deeper berry notes. It's not simple, but it is definitely worth making before we have to say adios to warm weather food for the winter.

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