Mulberries are amongst the most underrated fruits that are available quite freely here in Bombay. Their simple mild sweetness possibly doesn’t compete with the strength of other fruit flavours like mango and strawberries, but they do contribute beautifully to pies and tarts.
I had my first mulberries when I bought a little box of them only a few years back. They didn’t keep very well and were rather messy. This got me thinking about how they’d probably make very good pie fillings, so I went about researching the idea online. I did come across a few recipes, but I finally came up with this one myself.
Don’t let the lattice intimidate you; if you make your pastry right it’ll be a breeze. I usually roll out my pastry dough, slice strips with a sharp knife or pizza cutter and then arrange the alternate strips spaced in one direction first. Then I lay one across the middle and weave down either side, just how you weave a basket. Okay I know that made no sense (it might once you’ve done it; then it’ll seem so very simple and easy), so I’ve linked a YouTube video for you to see and learn how it’s done.
The ingredients aren’t the exotic sort that you wouldn’t already have in your kitchen, other than the vanilla extract, which I’ll show you how to make on my Instagram, because it’s that simple. So the next time you see mulberries in the store, go ahead a buy a box or two and make this pie. This method would most probably work for other berries too, so if you try this out with blackberries, raspberries, blueberries or a veritable berry smorgasboard, do tell me about it in the comments here!
For the pastry dough (makes two 8″ crusts)
For the mulberry filling
- Mix the salt and sugar into the flour and drop the cubes of butter into the mixture. Cut it into the flour using a pastry blender or pair of forks.
- Once you achieve a coarse meal consistency (it’s okay, in fact good if there are large pieces of butter still visible).
- Drizzle the ice cold water into the mix and press it together (not knead) to make a dough.
- Divide this into two, roll into balls, flatted into discs, wrap up in clingwrap and chill overnight.
- The next day, roll one of the two dough ball (or disc) into a disc and line an 8″ pie tin with it. Fork the dough to make holes in it all over (not too many that the filling might leak).
- Roll out the other dough ball and cut it into half inch strips.
- In a mixing bowl, mix all the filling ingredients (scrape out the vanilla bean with a knife and throw the pods away, use only the insides).
- Pour this into the pie tin lined with pastry dough and smoothen flat.
- Use every alternate strip from the previously cut dough and line up one direction of the lattice layer.
- Weave the remaining strips at right angles to the previous ones (YouTube can show you how).
- Pinch and crimp the edges of the dough.
- Line the edges with a strip of foil (because the edges tend to cook faster and burn and place in the freezer for 30 minutes.
- Preheat an oven to 200°C for 15 minutes while the pie chills.
- Bake the pie for 15 minutes and then lower the temperature to 175°C and cook for an additional 30 minutes, or till the top of the pie is beautifully browned.
- Once ready, cool for a half hour or more before slicing up and serving (with vanilla ice cream, if you’re feeling fancy)
Ps: The secret to that golden gloss is an egg wash. I whisked up an egg and brushed the lattice with it. You can also drizzle just a little sugar over this before putting it in the oven. The sugar will caramelise and brown on the surface, but it’ll still be crunchy.
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