It was a sweep for Willy Reddik at the fourth annual Belfast Pie and Story Festival. Willy brought two beautiful pies and the assembled public sampling among them picked her Mixed Fruit Medley as “The Best Pie Ever.” Willy said it was OK with her if I shared her recipe with you.
Then yours truly was given the privilege of choosing the most beautiful-looking pie. One of the pies, a blueberry-ginger pie, was simply stunning with its star-shaped hole in the center and a few perfect circle dots cut out and the pastry dots scattered here and there randomly over the top – well, you had to be there to see the golden crust, and the deep purple color of the filling that showed through, and the evenness of the fork-tine crimping. It was just gorgeous. It turned out that Willy made that one, too!
And then the Living Landscapes folks recognized the three best-tasting pies made from ingredients “locally grown, gathered, milked, or caught in Waldo County.” Willy’s Medley picked up the second place in that category for having so many locally produced ingredients in it, with its Waldo County filling of Hubbard Brook Farm peaches and pears, gooseberries from Chase’s Daily and Belfast Blueberry Co-op blueberries inside the Maine crust of Fiddler’s Green whole-wheat flour and Oakhurst butter.
Like many good cooks, Willy, who lives in Belfast, wings it most of the time, especially with dishes like pies. For instance, she told me that sometimes she makes the medley pie with kiwis or grapes, but this time she had access to some ripe gooseberries and she thought that the slight tartness would be just the thing. Now, the winning combination had 3 cups of peaches, 1 cup of sliced pears, one-half cup of gooseberries and one half cup of blueberries, and it was topped with a lattice crust. The blueberry and ginger combination in the other pie was terrific, too, the crystallized ginger sprinkled in – one-quarter cup to a quart of blueberries – and a bit of lemon zest. Yum.
Here is Willy’s recipe, including the crust. Remember that you can substitute any fruit for the filling if your goal is merely dessert – apples, cranberries, pears, raisins, wild grapes. A few blueberries are still out there. Willy made a lattice crust but you can make a solid one if you want. If you have juicy fruits in it, the lattice will be a better choice.
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Mixed Fruit Medley Pie
Yields one 9- or 10-inch pie.
2 cups organic whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups butter
5-6 tablespoons of cold water
Combine flour and salt in a medium bowl. Cut in butter. Add water one tablespoon at a time, mixing with your hand just until dough sticks together to form a ball. Wrap in wax paper, refrigerate while preparing the filling.
5 cups any combination of fruit, (some hard, some berries, some soft)
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoon of tapioca
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Cinnamon sugar (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine sugar, tapioca, nutmeg in a large bowl. Add the fruit, stir together. Roll out half the dough and fit into a 9- or 10-inch pie pan and trim the edges of the crust. Spoon in the filling. Roll out the rest of the dough and lay it on. Flute the edges. Brush the top with milk and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Cover the rim with foil. Bake for 25 minutes, remove the foil, and bake another 25 to 30 minutes.