Pie Update

So I re-made that amazing four berry pie. I knew it only needed a few tweeks to make it a million times better, and it did.  So here are my updates to that recipe – but if you’re looking for the true Achatz Pie – the following recipe is close, but isn’t perfect.  If you’re super picky you would be better off heading to one of their many locations and enjoying a little slice of heaven.

Thankfully my husband thought it was great and very much enjoyed it.  So here are my changes.



2 1/2 cups pastry flour

2 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 cup butter COLD, cut into chunks

1/2 cup shortening

1/2 cup COLD water – I get a glass full of ice and fill it with water as I am getting everything else ready so it’s SUPER cold when I need it)

Directions for dough:  

1. Mix flour, sugar and salt until combined. Add butter and shortening – I placed these in my food processor and let it do the work, but if you want to do it by hand that’s ok too!  Mix until combined and crumbly

2. Add cold water and mix again. Until dough forms – do not over mix.

3.  Press dough into a fat round circle, place in bowl, cover and place in refrigerator for at least an hour – I usually make my dough in the morning and finish my pie a little later on – so it’s usually in the refrigerator for a few hours.

Ingredients for filling:

1 1/2 cups tart cherries (I used frozen since I couldn’t find fresh)

1 1/2 cups raspberries

1 1/2 cups blueberries

1 cup blackberries

1 1/4 cups sugar

2 tablespoons tapioca granules

4 tablespoons corn starch

1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Directions for filling:

**Pre-heat oven to 350′ **

4. Mix cherries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, 1 ¼ cups sugar, tapioca granules, corn starch and lemon juice. Place in large pot and heat over medium heat until thickens. You will want to stir until your arm feels like it’s going to fall off – and then stir some more! Don’t let those berries burn!  Remove from heat.



5. Roll out bottom crust. Fill with pie filling. Be careful – that pie filling is HOT HOT HOT!



6.  Roll out top crust and fold into quarters. Vent with a knife while dough is in quarters to make a pretty design. Unfold crust over top of pie.   Cut off remaining dough over-hanging from around the edges of pie with side of fingers or knife. Flute edges to seal.

I decided to be cheesy and make it a little love note to my husband.  Next time I think I will cut out the words once I’ve put the crust on the pie…my heart looks a little weird here


7. Spray top crust with cold water and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon granulated sugar for browning.

8. Line a cookie sheet with foil or parchment to catch drippings. Place this sheet on bottom rack; to avoid smoking do not put this sheet directly on bottom of oven.

9. Bake pie at 350 degrees in the center of the oven for 45-60 minutes or until golden brown, you should be able to see the filling bubbling from your vents.

10. You want to let this pie cool for a few hours before serving – trust me, it’s worth the wait!



Notice the filling isn’t sitting in juice or falling out of the crust too badly? This is the way this pie should look.




Now if I could only figure out the original crumb topping, I might be right on target with this pie!  Let me know if you decide to try it.

Original pie recipe can be found here, although I don’t recommend trying it the way it’s written.  My first blog post about this pie can be found here.

Make it a GRATE day!



Pie and Pinwheels

Remember when I told you that I’m a horrible wife since I never make my husband his favorite dessert? Well, I decided to remedy that since tomorrow is his birthday!

My husband grew up in a small town in Michigan. In this sweet little town there is an amazing pie shop (that has grown to be all over Michigan) that makes the best berry pie that I have ever had – and well it ends up to be Brian’s favorite.  A few years ago they took second place on Good Morning America for this pie and they shared the recipe for the pie – YAY right? Wrong….

I was very tempted to skip today’s post because of this pie failure, but since I’ve somehow gotten this reputation for being an amazing chef and nothing that ever leaves my kitchen is bad, I thought I needed to do this!  But be watching for an update to this pie recipe, because trust me – you DO NOT want to make the recipe I followed.

here goes!

Recipe that I followed can be found here.

I just learned how to make pie crust in my food processor – why did I not know about this before? It makes it SO easy.

I will say that the pie crust recipe that is posted with this pie was very good – so if you want to use it, do so!



This is what the ingredients look like BEFORE you add the water.Image

This is where I first noticed that this recipe might be a little off – it says not to mix the above mixture with the water – just to let it sit together in the fridge. I didn’t do that, partly because I didn’t read the directions in full, and because it didn’t seem “natural”

I made two pies at the same time – so this first batch is the one that I didn’t mix “as much”Image

Here is the dough that I mixed up more and I liked the look of it better – it also “felt” better. Image

I made up the dough in the morning and came and finished the pie later that afternoon.

Here are the berries I used – gorgeous no? ImageImage

All the ingredients that go into the berry mixture – this is where I should have had an alarm go off in my head. This mixture needed to be cooked down into a pie filling – NOT thrown into a pie shell…trust me on this one.


The pie crust needed to be kneaded a little bit before I could roll it out – don’t forget the extra flour so your dough doesn’t stick to the pastry mat.

Speaking of a Pastry Mat – why in the world did I wait so long to purchase one? They are freaking amazing!  I think I’ve heard bad things about them in the past because people were talking about the paper ones that were laminated – well I purchased this one, and it’s awesome!! It’s a very thick silicone and cleans up super easy! I bet it would be fun for playdough as well! Image

I loved being able to roll out my dough to the proper size – something I’ve always had to guess at….Have I told you how much Iove this mat yet?


Since I needed both hands to move the crust from the mat to the pie plate I don’t have a picture of that – but the easiest way to do it is to use your rolling pin. Start by peeling an edge of your crust and place it over your rolling pin, you can lightly roll the crust onto the pin and then quickly transfer to a greased pie plate.


If you rolled your dough a little to big you will want to trim your edges a bit to fit your plate. Image

Again, I should have had a lightbulb go off in my head before placing these berries into an uncooked pie shell….we’ll see how cooking it down works later today or tomorrow. Image


Again – knowing how amazing the Michigan Four Berry Pie is – and knowing it has a CRUMB topping – this recipe calls for a top crust…. so I followed the recipe knowing it was wrong at this point.

So I rolled out the rest of the dough folded it into quarters and I decided to do a tear drop shape so that the pie could vent.  I really would have loved to have this pretty little pie bird that I’ve had my eye on for quite a while. Image


So at this point you want to attach the bottom crust to the top crust. I tend to go around and squeeze them together and then place a design on later.



Here is my crimping for the pie crust – again since I needed both hands to do this I  couldn’t get a picture of it.



I then used a spray bottle and sprayed some water on the top of the crust and then sprinkled sugar on the top – looks pretty huh! Image

The finished product – it’s so pretty right now! Image


So then we took the pie to our small group last night – when we got there the top crust turned all pink from all the juice in the pie….it was SO NOT PRETTY anymore…I wanted to cry.  The inside was not like pie filling and well….the juice was everywhere. Lets just say it was a MESS! Image

Thankfully it still tasted ok – but it was NOT what I was going for…..at all. ImageImage

So watch for an upcoming post about fixing this recipe!

So when I was little my mom would make what we called “Pinwheels” with the left over pie dough.  So I thought I would share that recipe with you all too! Thankfully this is a no brain-er, and you can’t ruin it!

1. Roll out your left over pie crust

2. Sprinkle Sugar and Cinnamon all over it (shown here with just sugar) You can also do any other seasonings that you want to. This time I used a Sprinkle from The Pampered Chef – and it was fantastic!  (sadly they don’t sell these sprinkles anymore…sorry!)


3. Roll the dough up into a “log” Image

4. Slice into 1/2 inch pieces. If you’re using this pastry mat, you will want to use a butter knife – and not a sharp knife!


5. Place pinwheels in a greased pan Image

6. Cook in a 350′ oven for 20-30 minutes depending on if you want them soft or crispy. Image

7. Enjoy!

So there you have it – yes, sometimes “peculiar” things come out of my kitchen, and even when I follow a recipe exactly something “peculiar” can still come out of it!

Be watching for an update soon!

Make it a GRATE day!



Blueberry Pie Bars

Pie is my husbands favorite dessert. Sadly, I don’t know that I’ve ever made him one….bad wife confession!  I have purchased him pies, does that redeem me at all?   Well I saw this recipe and thought that it would be pretty easy, AND I had a great cause to make it – our weekly small group!   Needless to say these bars went over VERY well, and we didn’t come home with too many leftovers.  Brian very much liked them.  YAY!


Blueberry Pie Bars

Crust & Topping:

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour

3/4 cup sugar

1/8 tsp salt

3/4 cup unsalted butter, chilled.


2 large eggs

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup greek yogurt

3/4 cup all purpose flour

1/2 tsp almond extract

16 oz fresh blueberries


1.Heat oven to 350′. Grease an 8×8 – inch pan with non-stick cooking spray; set aside.

2. For the crust, combine the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor. Cut the butter into 1/2 inch pieces and add to flour mixture. Process until the butter is evenly distributed but the mixture is still crumbly.

3. Reserve 1 1/2 cups of the mixture for the topping; set aside. Press the remaining mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.

4. For the filling: whisk eggs in a large bowl, then add the sugar, yogurt, flour and almond extract.  Gently fold in blueberries.  Spoon the filling over the crust and sprinkle the reserved topping mixture evenly over the filling.

5. Bake 45-55 minutes or until the top turns golden brown.  Cool 1 hour before cutting and serving, or serve out of pan cobbler style.

Yield: 16 bars


This recipe was adapted from Life’s Simple Measures .

Hope you enjoy!

Make it s GRATE day!