7 Aug 2015

Mustikka-rahkapiirakka - Blueberry Quark Pie


Blueberry madness has landed on me again... Despite the ticks I want to go hunting those purple berries yet again (I've been bitten twice, gosh! but I did get at least enough berries to get me through the long dark winter). The best way in my opinion is to serve the berries with quark or viili, but if I'm to bake something blueberry-ish, it's either this pie/cake, these (in Finnish, sorry...) or this (the English recipe lacks the blueberries, but you can fold 150 ml blueberries in the batter as in the Finnish version).

The best ever pie crust recipe is from Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. It's my go-to recipe whenever I'm making a pie. So many other recipes have left me disappointed. 

N.B. I don't always put margarine as in the recipe (I replace it with butter), as I think the purpose of it here is to add hydrogenated fats to make the crust flakier. Nowadays margarines are trans-fat reduced and quite soft, so if I don't have margarine for baking or then shortening, I'd use only butter).

Now I'm headed to the most southern town of Finland - Hanko! The forecast has promised a warm and sunny weather - which is actually superb after all these cold weeks. Sea, sand and beautiful wooden villas, here I come! Happy weekend everyone!

Blueberry Quark Pie


Pâte brisée sucrée (for a 25-27 cm crust)
220 g all-purpose or cake flour, sieved
35 g sugar
1 tsp baking powder
70 g butter
2 Tbsp (~25 g) margarine (for baking)/ shortening/vegetable fat/butter (read N.B. above)
1 egg + 1 Tbsp cold water, beaten
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Filling:
350 g quark (lowfat)
100 g crème fraîche
2 eggs
45-65 g sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
300 ml wild blueberries  (save 2 Tbsp if you want to marble the surface)

Prepare the crust: mix the flour, sugar and baking powder with cold butter+margarine by pinching with fingertips until it resembles wet sand. Add the egg+water and mix it quickly together (I'm using the technique described in the cookbook to finish the mixing of the dough, fraisage). Place the dough in plastic wrap and let it cool in the freezer for 15-30 minutes (don't overchill it as then the dough will tear apart while rolling it).

While the dough is chilling, mix all the ingredients for the filling except for blueberries.
Preheat the oven to 190°C. Roll the dough into a round (appr. 3 mm in thickness) and put it into a prepared pie tin. Put a baking paper and your "baking beans" on top of it and prebake the crust for 5-6 minutes. Remove the beans and the paper and continue to bake for 2-3 minutes.

Pour the blueberries and then the quark filling on the prebaked crust. (Optional: If you want to marble the surface, take a couple of tablespoons of the filling aside, and blend it with some blueberries to give it a nice purple colour. Sieve the mixture (which I didn't do... as you can see from the marbling...). Dot the surface with the mixture and marble it by running a knife or a toothpick through the dots.)

Bake in 190°C for 30 minutes, turn off the heat and leave for 10 minutes in the oven. Best served chilled.

The recipe for the filling adapted from http://sekasoppa.vuodatus.net/lue/2006/02/rahkainen-marjapiirakka

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