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Summertime Food

I distinctly remember times where a season would pass and I would feel like I hadn’t taken full advantage of the foods that had been at peak. Like one spring where I didn’t eat a single spear of asparagus! Or one year when September rolled around and I realized I hadn’t had a single caprese salad all summer! The HORROR! Nowadays I make it my aim to center all my food around what’s in peak season at that time. Not only does it help me enjoy every season more, but it also means that my food is better quality! Here’s snippets of what I’ve been eating these last couple weeks.

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Yes, I’m still eating hot oatmeal in the middle of summer! Oatmeal is so healthy and it just works for me. I always cook it with almond milk and a mashed banana and then top it with fruit. Since berries are amazing right now, a huge cold heap of them on top of my bowl is my go-to. I even found some beautiful turkish figs to have on my oatmeal this morning.

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I’m still eating hot oats, but I did switch to iced coffee! Much more refreshing on warm mornings.

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I try to eat a vegan breakfast every morning, so another thing I’ve been enjoying is this Silk yogurt. I was hesitant to try it because I haven’t liked other non-dairy yogurts I’ve tried, but this one is delicious! I’ll definitely be buying more.

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You guys know how much I love fruit, and so that’s often what I snack on during the day. I treated myself to a bag of Rainier cherries last week (which I only do once a summer because they’re soo expensive), which were amazing along with some strawberries.

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Since I’m still looking for a job, I’m at home during the day while Jason is at work. This means I’ve had to get very creative with making lunch at home! Cheese is my weakness so I really enjoy having a grilled cheese sandwich with some type of salad. Last week I enjoyed leftovers of this cherry tomato salad with basil and garlic buttermilk dressing for lunch a few days.

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Side note, muenster makes a DELICIOUS grilled cheese. A little of this cheese goes a long way, which I really like!

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Another thing I’m loving is sandwiches with tempeh bacon. I’m not a huge lover of tempeh, but I am obsessed with tempeh bacon. So good with big juicy slices of beefsteak tomato!

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I’ve been having fun coming up with ways to use seasonal ingredients in dinners also! I still meal plan on Sundays, grocery shop on Mondays, and cook every weeknight except Friday. I really like having the time to cook this much! Last week we had some quick pad thai (mine with tofu, Jason’s with shrimp), an old favorite from when we were in law school.

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Last night we had a particularly awesome dinner!

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I cut some really thick slices of organic heirloom tomatoes and topped them with freshly seared haloumi. The sweet, juicy tomatoes were incredible alongside the melty, salty cheese! Jason and I both savored it. I also made fusili with a yummy spinach pesto to get our greens in. Perfect summer meal!

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And of course with every meal I have an adorable sidekick close by. It’s been storming a lot and he developed a phobia of storms a few months ago (so strange, it was one of the few things he wasn’t afraid of!) so he’s been spending a lot of time in the Thundershirt. It doesn’t calm him completely, but along with his anxiety medication it does keep him from totally freaking out. I might be doing a post on his progress and our experience with dog anxiety, we’ll see!

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I hope you enjoyed this! I’m trying to ease myself back into this type of blogging. Next time I’ll try to get a picture of a human in there somewhere.

The next post in the pie series is a few days late, but it’ll be worth the wait! Coming tomorrow. :)

-Lauren

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Teriyaki Tofu Bowl

Crispy seared tofu glazed with a deliciously sweet teriyaki sauce!

I’m ashamed to say that I haven’t shared a healthy dinner recipe in a long time! Contrary my posts (and Pinterest boards…) lately, I don’t actually eat dessert all day. I have gotten more lenient with allowing myself to indulge, but I still try to stick to an 80/20 rule when it comes to clean eating. This is an awesome dinner for when you need something fast and healthy!

Crispy seared tofu glazed with a deliciously sweet teriyaki sauce!

To make this a 30 minute meal, I put some rice into my rice cooker before I do anything else. Then it’s warm and ready when everything else is!

Teriyaki Tofu Bowl
 
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Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • ½ c. soy sauce
  • ¼ c. water
  • 3 T. sugar
  • 3 T. mirin
  • 1 T. cornstarch
  • 1 T. cool water
  • 2 t. vegetable oil
  • 1 package extra firm tofu
  • garlic powder
  • 2 c. fresh bok choy (or sub your favorite green vegetable)
  • 6 c. cooked rice
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1 T. sesame seeds (optional)
Instructions
  1. Heat the soy sauce, water, sugar, and mirin in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar has completely dissolved and the mixture is simmering.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch and cool water until the mixture forms a smooth slurry.
  3. Pour the slurry into the sauce on the stove, stirring quickly to combine.
  4. Let the teriyaki sauce simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the sauce is shiny and very thick. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  5. Slice the tofu into ½” steaks and press a clean towel over the pieces to drain excess water.
  6. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  7. When the oil is hot, add in as many tofu steaks will fit into the bottom of the pan (laying flat).
  8. Cook until the tofu is crispy and deep brown on both sides. Repeat until all the tofu is seared. Set aside.
  9. In the same pan, add in the bok choy and saute over medium heat until the bok choy is tender and bright green. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  10. To assemble each bowl, start with a bed of cooked rice. Top with tofu steaks, cooked bok choy, and teriyaki sauce. Top each bowl with green onions and sesame seeds.
Notes
This recipe makes a lot of teriyaki sauce! You will have leftover and it’s delicious as a marinade or dipping sauce for lots of things.

It took me a lot of tries to perfect an easy teriyaki sauce, but I’ve FINALLY done it! I like my sauce thick and sweet, just like it would be at a restaurant. And that’s exactly what this is! If you find restaurant-style teriyaki sauces a bit too sweet, feel free to lower the amount of sugar. But I totally love it this way, and it’s thick enough to beautifully coat these crispy seared tofu steaks. Add some fluffy rice and your favorite green vegetable and you’ve got an awesome vegetarian dinner!

Crispy seared tofu glazed with a deliciously sweet teriyaki sauce!

-Lauren

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Incredible ice cream spiked with Bailey's and studded with buttery toasted pecans!

I know I’ve been knee deep in pie over here, but I cannot let the other desserts go neglected! It has been far too long since I posted an ice cream recipe.Incredible ice cream spiked with Bailey's and studded with buttery toasted pecans!

There are a lot of different ways to make ice cream, but I decided to go the easiest route with this first ice cream of the summer. No eggs, no cooking, no custard making, no fuss. It literally takes about 2 minutes to put together and then you just freeze it and forget it. The liquor in this ice cream means that it will be nice and scoopable and not rock hard like homemade ice creams often are, but it also means that it takes longer to freeze. For that reason I’d recommend making this at least 24 hours before you plan to eat it. Then grab a spoon and be ready to be sent to heaven.

Incredible ice cream spiked with Bailey's and studded with buttery toasted pecans!

Bailey’s Butter Pecan Ice Cream
 
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Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • ½ c. pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1 T. butter
  • ½ c. sugar
  • 1⅔ c. whole milk
  • 1⅓ c. heavy cream
  • 1 T. vanilla extract
  • ⅓ c. irish cream (Bailey’s is best!)
Instructions
  1. Heat the pecans and the butter in a skillet over medium heat until the nuts are toasted, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  2. Whisk together the sugar, milk, cream, vanilla, and irish cream in a bowl until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Pour the mixture into the bowl of an ice cream machine and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions (usually this means letting the freezer bowl spin for 20-30 minutes until the ice cream is thick and frozen). At the end of the churning time, pour in the chopped pecans.
  4. Transfer ice cream to a shallow container and smooth out with a spatula.
  5. Cover the surface of the ice cream with plastic wrap and then cover the container with a lid or tight aluminum foil. Freeze for at least 24 hours before scooping and serving.

This is normally the part where I talk about how delicious this recipe is. But I mean, this one feels self-explanatory. Butter+nuts+Bailey’s= can’t really go wrong.

Incredible ice cream spiked with Bailey's and studded with buttery toasted pecans!

I hope you guys enjoy!

Incredible ice cream spiked with Bailey's and studded with buttery toasted pecans!

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We need to catch up, friends. I don’t share as much of my day-to-day as I used to! I never even told you about the triple birthday that we celebrated on the first of June!

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June 1st is my brother David’s birthday AND Jason’s birthday! It’s also the day we adopted Cynewulf a year ago so it also became his birthday. Yes, I bought him a birthday outfit. In my defense, he’s a dog and will therefore never grow out of it. It will be his birthday outfit every year! We bought him a toy and wrapped it up and everything to see if he would unwrap it himself. He’s a big boy (8-years-old this year), but too trained to rip something to shreds while everyone is watching. So he sniffed it and patiently waited for Ashley to do it for him.

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But once the paper was off he went for it!

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We love this little guy to bits and pieces. He still struggles a lot with anxiety, and we’ve actually had to start him on medication just to keep his stress levels down enough to function. He’s made a lot of progress since we got him from the shelter though, and I have hope that he’ll eventually adjust and we’ll be able to take him off the meds. He used to be a wreck at my parent’s house but now he’s totally comfortable and well behaved there! So he had a great time at the birthday celebration there, especially when we brought out his cake!

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And for the humans, a GIANT Reese’s cake!

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Here are the birthday boys looking adorable! David turned 19 and Jason turned 25.

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Otherwise life has been fairly boring. I spend my days tidying up the house, doing laundry, planning meals, watching YouTube, and emailing an infinite number of attorneys and law firms looking for work. It has been a LOT harder than I expected to find a job. Emphasis on A LOT. The legal market here is so saturated and I don’t feel like I’ve made progress in months. But I know that everything happens in God’s timing, and I trust that His timing is perfect. So I just keep working at it and try to enjoy my free time! Jason and I have been having a lot of fun on the weekends just discovering Atlanta (there’s so much to see and do!) and making the most of the warm weather.

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This past weekend a couple of my old friends (we were all raised in Atlanta but they live in DC now) came into town! Emily is in town too (all summer) for an internship, so it was like an old fashioned girls weekend! We used to have them all the time when they all lived in DC and we were in Virginia!

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That amazing view behind us is from our building’s rooftop! We’re situated in a spot that has great skyline views so I suggested that everyone come to our place to watch fireworks on the 4th. Turned out to be a great idea! We got a gorgeous sunset show, too!

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We lit sparklers and enjoyed an amazing view of all the fireworks shows in the city! At one point we could see 5 shows going on at the same time!!! It was such a fun night.

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I would really like to shift back into lifestyle blogging instead of just doing recipe posts, but I’m really out of the swing of it. I feel like there was a lot more reader engagement when I was sharing about my everyday life, so I’m going to give it another shot. I think I might even start doing videos again! We shall see. :)

-Lauren

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A classic American pie flavor in a cute and convenient shape!

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In case you’re late to the party, that’s my mom in the picture above and she’s helping me with a delicious series of pies throughout the summer. Since we’re coming off July 4th weekend it seemed appropriate that we continue our series with the most American of all summer pies!

A classic American pie flavor in a cute and convenient shape!

This recipe has fully converted me to the awesomeness that is a hand pie. Not only does it cut down on a lot of the mess of slicing and eating the pie itself, but hand pies just look so darn adorable! They are also really easy to make when you use a handy tool like this one.

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This mini pie cutter (<– affiliate link!) does all the work for you. One side cuts your pie dough into discs with scalloped edges and a lattice top, and the other side holds the bottom crust together while you fill your pie and crimps the edges together perfectly once you put the top crust on. It’s genius! The whole thing takes about a minute per hand pie.

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Combine that with a simple recipe using delicious morello cherries and you’ve got a winner on your hands!

5.0 from 1 reviews

Morello Cherry Hand Pies
 
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Author:
Serves: 6 pies
Ingredients
  • 2 pie crusts (either store bought or your favorite recipe)
  • 4 c. drained morello cherries, juice reserved (Trader Joe’s band is best)
  • 1¼ c. sugar
  • 3 T. tapioca
  • dash of salt
  • ⅓ c. cup reserved cherry juice
  • ¼ t. vanilla extract
  • ¼ c. red gel food coloring (optional)
  • 1 T. cornstarch + 1 T. water
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 T. coarse sugar for garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. Stir together the drained cherries, sugar, tapioca, salt, cherry juice, vanilla, and food coloring (if using) in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat.
  2. Cook the cherry mixture until it bubbles and starts to thicken.
  3. Mix the cornstarch and water together in a small bowl and then stir it into the cherries.
  4. Continue to cook and stir occasionally until the mixture becomes thick enough to resemble pie filling.
  5. Remove from the heat and let cool completely to room temperature.
  6. When the filling is cool, preheat oven to 375.
  7. Roll out each pie crust and cut 6 discs from each one using a mini pie mold.
  8. Use the lattice cutting half of the mold to cut a lattice pattern into half of the discs.
  9. To make each pie, place a full disc into the bottom of the crimping side of the mold. Spoon a couple tablespoons of filling into that bottom crust.
  10. Use your finger to moisten the edges of the bottom crust with water.
  11. Take a disc cut with the lattice pattern and place it on top of the filled half. Close the mold and press down to crimp the edges together.
  12. Open the mold and flip the assembled pie out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Continue with the remaining dough discs and filling.
  13. Whisk the egg yolk in a small bowl and lightly brush the top of each pie with a little of the yolk.
  14. Sprinkle the top of each pie with a little coarse sugar if desired.
  15. Bake the pies in the preheated oven for 30-45 minutes, or until the crust is a deep golden brown.
  16. Transfer the pies to a cooling rack as soon as you remove them from the oven.
  17. Serve once they are cool enough to handle and enjoy!

A classic American pie flavor in a cute and convenient shape!

These would make such a cute gift to a friend this summer or an impressive dessert to bring to picnics and potlucks! And the best part is that it looks a lot harder to make than it actually is. :) Enjoy!

-Lauren

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Despite our recent and agonizing World Cup defeat (was anybody else stuffing their face with chocolate chip cookies whilst screaming “Noooooooo” for 20 minutes?), we’re definitely still American and we’re still proud. And best of all, we still know how to eat. Perhaps too well…but that’s neither here nor there. We all love to eat and the 4th of July is mainly meant for that anyway, right? Here’s some of my favorite DOS recipes that would be perfect for this holiday weekend!

A collection of recipes that are perfect for an Independence Day cookout!

Summer Fiesta Salad

Tangy Asian Slaw

Zesty Black Eyed Pea Salad

Bourbon BBQ Baked Beans

Roasted Tomato and Fresh Mozzarella Bruschetta

BBQ Kale Chips

Whole Wheat Burger Buns

Red, White, and Blue Muffins

Fresh Strawberry Pie

Luscious White Sangria

 

Enjoy the food and fireworks this weekend!

-Lauren

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It’s officially official! Your friend the foodie is now also your friend the attorney.

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I got sworn in today, which is essentially the last step in the very long process that got me here. I had to pop in and let you know because I know that some of you have been reading since the beginning of this blog when I was complaining about the woes of being a first year law student. It’s hard to believe that I’ve finally arrived here. It took a lot of work, a lot of struggle, a lot of prayer. But we did it! Here’s the first ever photo of the double lawyer couple:

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Now that I’m legit I’m thinking of a bunch of law related posts that I’ve been wanting to write! Things like the ins and outs of copyright in blogging, a rundown of the laws behind food labeling…man there’s all sorts of things! The future is bright, my friends.

-Lauren

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This classic pie is the perfect show stopping dessert for summer!

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Another day, another delicious pie! It is now OFFICIALLY the summer season and I’m so excited to bring you this beauty as the next pie in the series I’m doing with my mom.

This classic pie is the perfect show stopping dessert for summer!

Lemon meringue pie is definitely an old school dessert, but it’s one that should stay in every baker’s arsenal. I mean, just look at it! It’s a show stopper!

This classic pie is the perfect show stopping dessert for summer!

The lemon filling is where all the flavor is, but the key to getting a pretty pie is obviously getting the meringue right. You want light, fluffy, cloud-like deliciousness! We used a ton of egg whites and powdered sugar to make this mile high topping, and my mom likes cream of tartar as a stabilizer. Perfection!

This classic pie is the perfect show stopping dessert for summer!

Classic Lemon Meringue Pie
 
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Author:
Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • 1 baked pie crust
Filling*
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2 T. flour
  • 3 T. cornstarch
  • pinch of salt
  • 1½ c. cold water
  • ¼ c. lemon juice
  • 2 T. butter
  • 4 egg yolks
Topping
  • 9 egg whites
  • ⅛ t. cream of tartar
  • 1½ c. powdered sugar
Instructions
  1. Whisk the sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt together in a medium saucepan on medium heat.
  2. Slowly pour in the cold water while whisking the mixture together.
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring often.
  4. Add lemon juice and butter and bring back to boil.
  5. In a small bowl, beat together the egg yolks for the filling. Scoop out about ½ c. of the mixture on the stove and gradually pour it into the egg yolks, stirring quickly as you pour in the liquid.
  6. Slowly pour the tempered yolks back into the mixture in the pot, stirring as you pour it in.
  7. Cook the filling, stirring constantly, until it’s thick. Remove from heat and set aside.
  8. Preheat oven broiler.
  9. To make the meringue topping, beat together the egg whites and cream of tartar until it becomes stiff.
  10. Add in the powdered sugar and mix until it forms soft peaks.
  11. Pour the filling mixture into the baked pie crust.
  12. Use a spatula to spread the meringue over the lemon filling, making sure to spread the meringue all the way out to the edges of the pie.
  13. Use the spatula to swirl the meringue and make tiny peaks for decoration.
  14. Put pie underneath the broiler and bake until the edges of the meringue start to brown (should only take a couple minutes).
  15. Change oven temperature to 400 degrees and continue to bake for another 10 minutes, or until the meringue is golden brown all over.
  16. Remove pie from oven and let cool completely to set, about 3 hours.
  17. Slice and enjoy!
Notes
*filling recipe from Allrecipes.com

Three cheers for amazing classic desserts!

This classic pie is the perfect show stopping dessert for summer!

-Lauren

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(What I Ate) Thursday

Happy Friday, my fellow foodies! It’s been a while since I stopped doing “What I Ate Wednesday” posts and I have to admit that I kind of miss showing you my everyday food. How and what I eat is always changing so I thought some people might enjoy me sharing. These days, I’m still all about EATING MORE FRUIT!

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I’ve been slightly brainwashed by the raw foodists on the internet and have really made it a focus to eat as many plant-based carbohydrates (mostly fruit) as I can everyday for improved health. So far the higher carb lifestyle is working great for me! I’ve noticed improved digestion and a leaner physique (which I hope is also due to the fact that I’ve been exercising on the Bikini Series). I have given up my oatmeal for now (gasp!) and turned to 100% fruit breakfasts. I usually alternate between smoothies or a fruit platter/salad. This was my breakfast yesterday! Four mangoes and about 2/3 c. of local blueberries.

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My goal is to eat only raw foods until 4pm, which means preferably I eat a big salad or another fruit meal for lunch. But on days that I don’t have enough produce to do that, I just find another good plant-based option.

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For this lunch I decided to do a stir-fry of eggplant, mushrooms, and Vidalia onions topped with homemade yum yum sauce and served over a big bed of rice. I absolutely love eating stir-fry with yum yum sauce the way I would at a hibachi or other japanese restaurant, so I started making it myself at home. It’s pretty fatty so I use it sparingly and savor every bite. So delicious!

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Dinner was a very simple one. I roasted a bunch of sweet potatoes in the oven and sauteed a bunch of broccoli rabe. I also put some chicken on the grill for Jason to have with his veggies. Topped my sweet potatoes with some coconut sugar and cinnamon. Fast and easy dinner!

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Let me know if you guys like seeing these kinds of posts! I don’t know if anybody else missed them besides me, but I’d be happy to bring them back if people like them. I’m also toying with the idea of doing posts like this in video form…hmmmm…..we shall see.

Have a great weekend! Eat lots of good stuff!

-Lauren

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Delicious bumbleberry pie + a pastry chef's trick to getting a lattice crust look in seconds!

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Welcome to the 2nd installment of our summer pie series! If you missed the announcement last time, my mom is teaming up with me to bring you amazing pie recipes throughout the season. I’m so excited to share this week’s pie with you because it involves such a unique and delicious pairing of fruits!

Before I get all excited about fruit (which happens a lot), let’s talk about pie crust for a second. There are some things that are definitely worth taking your time with in the kitchen. But there’s also a time and a place for shortcuts! Lattice crust makes for a beautiful presentation on a pie, but all that weaving and tinkering with delicate pie dough doesn’t make the pie taste any different. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather save those precious minutes for when it’s time to eat said pie. Enter the most amazing gadget ever!

Delicious bumbleberry pie + a pastry chef's trick to getting a lattice crust look in seconds!

Bakers tend to have really cool gadgets. My mom has owned this Norpro Lattice Pie Top Cutter (<–affiliate link!) for years now and it is such a cool item to have in your kitchen if you love to bake. The tool is only $5 and basically it gives you the beautiful lattice-like appearance in an instant! No sweat, no tears, no time wasted that you could be using to watch YouTube videos of kittens dancing to Turn Down For What. Big time stuff.

Delicious bumbleberry pie + a pastry chef's trick to getting a lattice crust look in seconds!

(By the way, Mom suggests a cold, floured pie crust that has been rolled out pretty thickly to get the best results with the cutter.)

In honor of rhubarb season coming to a close and berry season beginning, we made a delicious bumbleberry pie today! Bumbleberry is just an awesome word for a pie made with mixed berries. This one is made the traditional way with apples and rhubarb added to the filling with the berries!

Delicious bumbleberry pie + a pastry chef's trick to getting a lattice crust look in seconds!

Bumbleberry Pie with Instant Lattice Crust
 
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Cook time
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Author:
Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • 2 pie crusts, prepared or homemade
  • 2½ c. mixed berries (our mix had blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries)
  • 1 c. diced rhubarb
  • 2½ c. thickly sliced apples
  • 1⅓ c. sugar
  • ¼ c. instant tapioca powder
  • 2 T. cornstarch
  • ¼ t. salt
  • 4 T. butter, thickly sliced
  • egg wash (1 egg yolk + 2 T. cream), optional
  • turbinado sugar, optional
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Stir together the berries, rhubarb, apples, sugar, tapioca powder, cornstarch, salt, and butter until the fruit is coated with the dry mixture. Set aside.
  3. Press the first pie crust into the bottom of a pie pan.
  4. Pour the entire fruit mixture over the bottom crust and spread the fruit a little to distribute it evenly in the crust.
  5. If using a pie top cutter, flour the remaining pie crust and press firmly on the crust to cut it. Gently peel back the cutter to reveal your cut crust.
  6. Gently transfer the crust over top of your pie, trimming any excess crust and crimping the edges into the bottom crust. If not using a pie top cutter, simply transfer the top crust onto the pie and cut a few vent holes in the dough with a sharp knife. Crimp edges into bottom crust.
  7. Using your fingers or a small pastry brush, brush the egg wash over the pie crust. If your pastry brush is too large to brush the dough without getting any egg wash into the holes of the crust, use your finger instead to brush the egg wash onto the crust.
  8. Sprinkle with about 1 T. of turbinado sugar for garnish if desired.
  9. Bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees. Lower temperature to 350 and continue to bake for another hour, or until the filling is bubbling and glossy in the center. Cover the edges of the crust with aluminum foil if they start to brown too much during cooking.
  10. Let the pie set at room temperature for at least 2 hours before serving.

The flavor combination in this filling is out of bounds. I just love the balance of tartness and sweetness that you get when cooking with berries! This is a pie I could eat all day long.

Delicious bumbleberry pie + a pastry chef's trick to getting a lattice crust look in seconds!

I think I owe myself an extra long workout after the huge slice of this I ate. It’s so worth it!

-Lauren

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