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March 22, 2011

While many give up sweets for Lent, I eat them for dinner.

Berries from Target.  Let’s talk.

I do not recommend getting produce at Target, the top three reasons being:
1. The prices are not what you’d think.  You’ll get a better deal at your regular grocery store.
2. While in Target, I have a hard time staying out of impulse-buy mode.  It’s look, look, look, cheap, cheap, cheap, buy, buy, buy…Meh, I’ll return it later.  Not a good state of mind for grocery shopping.  So yeah.  I saw some blackberries and raspberries.  Not a fantastic price, not yet in season, but I thought, “What the hell; I’ll buy two.”
3. These berries.  They taste like Target.  Not following?  Go smell whatever top or swimsuit or cute Designer Collective dress you just bought.  Yeah.

Sugar and pie crust were their only hope.

I haven’t baked in awhile, and have been nursing the urge for weeks.  Result: Two little berry pie cups.

I made this after work, down and dirty.  No ice cold crust perfectionism here, but it was still flaky and delicious.  I’m sure you know pies aren’t supposed to go in ramekins.  It was different in a good way.  The top crust gets crusty and the interior keeps a pleasing doughiness.

I used the basic shortening* pie crust recipe from Desserts that Have Killed Better Men than Me, a little volume with delicious desserts and perfect crust recipes by Jeremy Jackson.  I formed these with the hanging crust method he uses for the best rhubarb pie that any little baker has ever dreamt up.  I like a lot of crust, so folding the excess over top of the filling gives me that extra bit and looks super charming.

Make It:
+ Your favorite one-crust recipe, halved
+ About 2 cups berries
+ 1/3 c plus 1 T sugar
+ 1/6 c flour
+ Spritz of fresh lemon juice
+ Extra sugar for sprinkling
+ 2 small ramekins and some kind of sheet pan

Preheat the oven to 400.  Make the crust, wrap it in plastic, and set it in the freezer to chill.  Toss the berries, sugar, and flour together.  Squeeze a little bit of lemon over the mixture, stir, and set aside.  Roll out the crust and place in the ramekins.  If the crust is still warm and floppy, put it back in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.  Put the berry mixture in each ramekin and don’t be afraid to pile it up.  Gently fold the dough over the berries and sprinkle with plenty of sugar.

Put the ramekins on a sheet pan (or be ready to smell the berry juice burning at the bottom of your oven for months).  Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes until there is a nice brown color developing.  Turn the oven down to 350 or so and bake another 20-25 minutes, give or take, until the filling is oozing and bubbly and the crust is browned to your liking.  I’ll be honest.  I pretty much turn on the oven light and fiddle with the temperature every time I walk by, so I’m estimating here.

Careful not to burn the roof of your mouth.

*Even if a time comes at which everything else I touch is organic, I will still be making shortening crusts.

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