Panzanella with Italian Sausage

I’m a huge fan of throwing a bunch of stuff in a bowl and calling it something.  Panzanella has been floating around the back of my mind for some time now.  I was first inspired by several panzanella recipes on foodgawker, and then I did some research on Wikipedia.  Turns out that panzanella is an Italian way of using up leftovers and cleaning out your produce drawer.  What follows below is really more of a method than a recipe.  Adjust the amounts of things to your tastes, swap out veggies for what you have on hand, and add whatever protein strikes your fancy.  Or, skip the protein and make this into a flavortastic light side dish.  🙂

If your bread is not very old, or if you like crunchy bread, toast your cubes a bit in the oven before assembling the dish.  This panzanella is extremely versatile.  Next time I make it I think I will add some chopped fresh basil, and perhaps some shaved parmesan or some torn up fresh mozzarella.

This dish came together unbelievably fast, and turned out delicious and satisfying.  As an individual who pretty much hates vegetables, it’s a compliment to this recipe that I cleaned my plate of all its squash, peppers, broccoli, and tomatoes.  The bread soaks up all the flavors but does not get soggy because it’s day-old (or toasted, whichever you prefer).  My bread was actually several days old, so stale and crunchy that I was afraid it would ruin the dish (it didn’t).  For that reason, I didn’t toast it.  However, next time I make this–because, oh yes, there will be a next time–I will use slightly less stale bread and toast it for a minute or two while the veggies are broiling, just to try a different texture.

Panzanella with Italian Sausage
Inspired by Wikipedia, The Bitten Word, Baked Bree, and Macheesmo

Ingredients:
1 yellow summer squash, sliced
1 orange bell pepper, sliced
1 small head broccoli, chopped
2 medium vine-ripened tomatoes, cut into eighths
12 ounces Italian sausage, casings removed
1/2 a day-old baguette or other crusty bread, chopped into 1-inch chunks
Extra virgin olive oil
White wine vinegar (or your favorite)
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Set oven to high broil setting.  Place all vegetables in a sturdy roasting pan and drizzle with olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Place under broiler until vegetables are tender and starting to brown, about 10 minutes.  (Alternatively, you could grill your veggies.)

Meanwhile, place the Italian sausage in a skillet, and cook over medium-high heat until well browned, breaking up clumps with a wooden spoon.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Place bread cubes in a large mixing bowl.  Drizzle with olive oil and vinegar to taste.  Allow the bread to soak up these liquids a bit.  Add crumbled sausage and its juices to bread cubes and stir to evenly distribute.  Add broiled vegetables and their juices to bowl, and stir well to combine flavors.  Set aside a few minutes to allow bread to soak up juices.  Enjoy!

Homemade Fudgsicles

This post is for my dad–a true Fudgsicle fanatic.  🙂

Food blogs this time of year churn out recipes for frozen goodness at an alarming rate.  My Google reader feed has been awash in these recipes, but alas, I have not been able to try any of them for lack of equipment.  Until now.  While my very own Kitchenaid ice cream attachment remains a (near constant) daydream, I recently treated myself to a set of Tovolo Goovy Pop popsicle molds.  Now, now I could finally satisfy my craving for homemade frozen goodness!

What better way to break my molds in than with a recipe for homemade Fudgsicles?  When I saw this recipe on Baking Bites, I knew I had to try it.  With no preservatives and no ingredients I can’t pronounce, these popsicles are ridiculously easy to make and even more ridiculously delicious.  If you are a chocoholic (or related to one), I recommend whipping up a batch of these, stat!  Cold, creamy, chocolatey, with exactly the right Fudgsicle texture…frozen hard enough to last a while, but soft enough to get some nice big bites to melt on your tongue.

The only downside to this recipe is that it is MESSY when you get to the pouring-into-molds part.  Then again, is that really a downside?  I mean, as a culture, have we gotten ourselves into such a state that we can’t handle a little bit of mess from time to time?  If the mess really bothers you, you can always use a small funnel and a ladle to fill your molds.  If you’re like me, though, a Fudgsicle-stained apron (and, erm, face, and hands…) is a culinary badge of honor.  🙂

Mmmph.  About these photos.  The camera I am currently using appears to be having a tantrum, and thus was quite uncooperative today.  That, and I am learning that popsicles are just dang difficult to photograph, especially by oneself!  Not a total loss, though.  I think the photos do an adequate job of conveying the texture and richness of the fudgsicles, though they’re certainly not foodgawker-worthy.  On a happy side note, I discovered that my photo-editing software can generate collages.  So, enjoy!  🙂  (If you want to see a really great photograph of these popsicles, check out Baking Bite’s photo!)

Homemade Fudgsicles
Recipe from Baking Bites
Makes 6(ish) Fudgsicles
Ingredients:
2 cups milk
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
2/3 cup granulate sugar
2 Tablespoons agave nectar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan.  Stir over medium heat just until sugar and cocoa have dissolved.  Pour into molds and freeze until solid.

Note: if you don’t have popsicle molds, never fear!  You can use little paper cups or ice cube trays and plain popsicle sticks for the handle.

Shrimp and Grits

I’ll start off this post by saying that I have a sort of squidgy relationship with shrimp.  By squidgy I mean that I will eat them provided they’re small enough and not overcooked.  Other than that, shrimp and most other forms of seafood make me a bit squirmy.  It’s a texture thing.  I absolutely, completely CANNOT stand those giant shrimp.  The idea of eating one of those is equivalent to the idea of eating a large caterpillar.  Just. Can’t.  Do it.

However, I married a native Mainer who has seafood adoration in his genes.  Part of the marital contract is that I will cook seafood from time to time, and he will take out the trash and kill spiders.  Really, it’s in the contract.  🙂  I have spotted recipes for shrimp and grits floating around teh interwebs for awhile now, and the idea intrigued me.  I’ve had grits before, but only for breakfast, and I’ve certainly never attempted to make them at home.  And, you know how I feel about shrimp.  The decision was made, though, when I came across this recipe for shrimp and grits and BACON.  Bacon fixes everything for me.  Happily, I had some bacon left over from the corn chowder I made recently and shrimp were on sale at the grocery this week, so it seemed Meant To Be.

In short, this meal is delish.  I used small shrimps (cocktail sized), and added some garlic and crushed red pepper to the bacon mixture.  My first experience cooking grits at home was a smashing success, and the grits and shrimp went amazingly well together.  I will absolutely be making this again.  In fact, I have been daydreaming about what else I can pile on top of these grits.  I’m thinking maybe a nice medium-rare sliced steak, or even some grilled veggies.  Overall, this meal is super quick (really…make sure you have everything ready and prepped before you start!), so tasty, and wonderfully filling.  The only caution I would give is that this is a multitasking dish.  To avoid overcooked shrimp or gloopy grits, you need to basically prepare both elements at the same time.  If you have your ingredients prepped, this is not hard, and once you get started the steps are so few that it’s not complicated at all.  And, believe me, the end result is totally worth that little bit of extra planning!  🙂


Shrimp and Grits
Adapted from Foodwhirl
Ingredients:
1 pound shrimp, peeled and de-veined
8 strips bacon, chopped into bite-size pieces
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Dash crushed red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper, to taste
Fresh thyme or chives (optional)

1 cup quick grits (not instant)
3 cups water
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 Tablespoon butter

Directions:

In a large skillet, render bacon over medium heat to desired doneness (I like mine nice and crunchy).  Toss in garlic and red pepper flakes and cook quickly, about 30 seconds, stirring constantly.  Remove bacon mixture from pan and set aside.  Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon grease.

Meanwhile, bring 3 cups of water and 1 Teas salt to a boil in a medium saucepan.  Once water boils, add grits, stirring well, and reduce heat.  Cook per package instructions (usually 5 minutes), until thick and creamy.  Remove from heat and stir in sour cream and butter.

Toss your shrimp with a sprinkling of salt and pepper.  Add shrimp to bacon grease in hot skillet, and cook over medium heat until pink and opaque (about 2-3 minutes per side).  Remove skillet from heat and quickly stir in bacon mixture.  At this point, if your grits are not done yet, it is a good idea to remove the shrimp mixture to a dish to avoid overcooking via the residual heat in the skillet.

To serve, scoop a portion of grits onto a plate.  Top with shrimp and bacon, and snip some chives or thyme over the top, if using.  Enjoy!

Shrimp on Foodista

Summer Berry and Stone Fruit Galette

I am having a great summer.  My summer job (at a summer-long camp for boys) keeps me feeling like I am outdoors most of the day, even though I work in the office.  I have had an eerily good run of days off with excellent weather; it always seems to rain on days when I’m working, when it rains at all.  My brain is finally relaxed after nine months of intense social work classes last school year, and (dare I say it) perhaps I’m even ready to dive back into all that again in a few weeks.

To symbolize this wonderful summer, I wanted to make a special dessert this weekend.  I’ve been combing my 44 (and counting) food blog feeds for pie recipes.  I don’t know, for some reason I just have pie on the brain.  My friend Tony recommended key lime pie, which I very nearly chose this weekend (I have been eyeing this recipe from Baking Bites).  However, I was feeling a little more loose, a little more flexible, perhaps from all the So You Think You Can Dance I’ve been watching lately.  I wanted something a little less precise, a little less confined-to-the-pan.  The solution?  A galette, or free-form tart.  This type of tart uses a fairly sturdy and mostly fool-proof dough that usually contains a bit of cornmeal.  Summer fruit desserts are pretty much my favorite thing ever, so to fill my galette I chose fresh blueberries, peaches, apricots, plums, and raspberries.

This was my first time making a galette, and I clearly don’t have the dough thickness down yet.  The part of my galette that is NOT visible in the photo is the side where I rolled the pastry too thin.  Too thin pastry = juices leaking out everywhere.  On the upside, I enjoyed several spoonfuls of warm filling that had spilled out onto the baking sheet when I pulled it out of the oven.  Yum!  🙂

The pastry dough itself is very easy to handle, not terribly finicky.  I chilled my dough per the original recipe and found that it rolled pretty well.  Next time I will be more careful about looking over the pastry for thin spots (and reinforcing them) before filling the galette with all that glorious fruit.

This tart is so simple, and so delicious, I don’t think I need to say much more about it than that.


Galette Pastry
Adapted from The Skillet Chronicles
Ingredients:
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ cup organic cornmeal
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
½ cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
¼ cup ice water (may need more or less, I needed a bit more)

Directions:
In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, and salt, stirring well.  Cut in butter with a pastry cutter or two knives until the mixture resembles coarse meal.  Add ice water 1 tablespoon at a time, blending with a fork until dough comes together.  Turn dough onto a large piece of parchment and gently form into a ball.  Flatten ball into a rough disk shape, wrap completely and chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour but not more than 24 hours.  (Dough can be frozen at this point for future use.)

Berry and Stone Fruit Filling
Adapted from The Skillet Chronicles
Ingredients:
2 medium peaches, pitted and sliced
2 fresh apricots, pitted and sliced
1 large black plum, pitted and sliced
1 pint fresh blueberries, washed and picked over
3/4 cup fresh or frozen raspberries (if frozen, do not thaw)
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, divided
Juice of ½ lemon
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Pinch of salt
2 Tablespoons milk

Directions:
In a medium mixing bowl, combine fruits, the 1/2 cup sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch and salt, stirring gently.  Set aside while you roll out the pastry.

Roll dough into a 14-inch circle on a large piece of parchment paper, being careful not to let any one area get too thin.  Entire piece of pastry should be about 1/8 inch thick.  Slide parchment and dough onto a baking sheet.  Dough can be refrigerated at this point, up to one hour (if you have not made your filling yet, for example).

Preheat oven to 375F.  When ready to bake, arrange fruit mixture in center of chilled pastry dough, leaving a border of about 2 inches around the outside edge.  Gently fold the pastry up over the fruit, pressing the dough into evenly-spaced pleats to enclose the fruit.  Use a bench scraper or sharp broad knife to gently loosen dough from parchment if it sticks or resists folding.  Brush the pastry edge with milk and sprinkle with remaining sugar.

Bake until crust is golden brown and juices are bubbling, about 45-55 minutes.  Allow to cool until galette is set enough to slide off the baking sheet.  Can be served warm or at room temperature.

Blueberry on Foodista

Sweet Corn Chowder with Wheat Germ Flax Biscuits

So, I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus from blogging.  For past six weeks I’ve been going through some “stuff”–you know, the kind of “stuff” that we humans all go through from time to time–the result of which was that I didn’t feel much like blogging.  Oh, I made some food, ate some food, even took some pictures of food.  When it came to blogging, however, I just couldn’t muster the creative energy.

The happy news for me is that I’m on the other side of the “stuff,” or at least on a different side of it, and ready to blog again.  As an act of penance for ignoring my readers for so long, I have included not one but two recipes in this post.  🙂

It’s summer in Maine and in lots of other places, so sweet corn is on my mind.  Since local fresh sweet corn has been surprisingly expensive this year, I’ve been satisfying my corn cravings with frozen sweet corn.  You can do almost anything with frozen corn than you can with fresh, so I frequently use frozen sweet corn kernals to save myself some of the trouble involved with shucking, cleaning, and cooking fresh corn.

Today for an early supper I made a pot of sweet corn chowder, and baked some biscuits to serve on the side.  While this is in no way a low-calorie meal, I am rather proud of the fact that it is entirely homemade and contains some very healthy and interesting ingredients.  The chowder is my own recipe, which I painstakingly wrote down as I created it today.  The biscuits are adapted from “Baking Illustrated,” which is the best resource for home baking I have ever found.  The chowder is a delicious New England-style chowder (not thick, not overly rich) with chunks of bacon, onion, and corn simmered in a delicious broth.  The biscuits are made with whole wheat flour, wheat germ, and flaxmeal for a nutty flavor and a tender, delicate texture.  These were fairly easy recipes to make on a lazy Friday off from work, and it turned out to be the perfect mid-day meal.  I am envisioning what to add to the chowder next time: clams, or perhaps a bit of lobster? 🙂  The biscuits, too, are so light and tasty that I think they’d be delicious underneath some berries and whipped cream for a lovely summer shortcake.


Wheat Germ and Flax Biscuits
Adapted from Baking Illustrated
Ingredients:

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup raw wheat germ
1/4 cup flaxmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
3/4 cup plus 4 Tablespoons plain, nonfat yogurt

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 450F.

In a large bowl, blend flours, wheat germ, flaxmeal, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt.  Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or two knives until mixture resembles coarse meal.  Stir in the yogurt until dough gathers into a ball .  Turn dough out onto a lightly-floured surface.  Quickly form dough into a ball.  Cut ball in half, then cut each half in half again to make a total of 4 evenly-sized quarters.  Cut each quarter into 3 even pieces.  Working quickly, gently shape each piece into a ball and place on an ungreased baking sheet.  The biscuits can be baked immediately, or covered in plastic and refrigerated for up to 2 hours.

To bake, place baking sheet in preheated oven.  Bake about 12 minutes, or until tops of biscuits are light golden brown.  Serve.  (Makes 12 biscuits.)

Becky’s Own Sweet Corn Chowder
Ingredients:
8 oz. of bacon, chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 16-ounce bag frozen sweet corn
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups milk
Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:
In a large skillet or pot, render bacon fat over medium-high heat until bacon is browned and crunchy.  Pour off all but two tablespoons of bacon fat and return skillet (with bacon in it) to heat.  Add onions to bacon in skillet and cook over medium heat until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic to onion-bacon mixture and cook, stirring contantly, about 30 seconds.  Add frozen corn to skillet (no need to thaw prior) and cook over medium heat until corn is thawed and hot, stirring frequently, 5-8 minutes.  Stir in the chicken broth and simmer about 5-8 minutes.  Reduce heat to low and stir in the milk.  Heat the chowder until hot, but DO NOT BOIL.  Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve.  (Makes enough chowder for 3-4 hungry people.)

Corn on Foodista

Yogurt Marinated Chicken, or How I Came to Love Garam Masala

I really like trying out authentic (or not so authentic) recipes from other cultures in my own kitchen.  I love American standby recipes, but in the grand global scheme of things American food can sometimes be pretty boring.  We’re certainly not a culture that embraces intense or “challenging” flavor profiles.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the American standards, but sometimes I just really crave something spicy, flavorful, and different.

Anyhoo, I had my first taste of real Indian food last year at a lovely little restaurant called Bombay Mahal in Brunswick.  If you’re in the area, I highly recommend it.  Their coconut soup, lamb curry, and naan is TO. DIE. FOR.

I also really like recipes for sauces and marinades.  I don’t know why; dunking food in stuff and letting it sit for awhile is just fun, I guess.  Several weeks ago I’d come across an recipe for Indian-style yogurt marinated chicken at the Whole Foods Market website.  I can’t vouch for the authenticity of this recipe, as I have no idea what Indian dish they are attempting to replicate.  However, I can tell you that it is quick to make and super easy.  I made this dish for a quick weeknight dinner by setting the chicken to marinate in the fridge in the morning and then broiling the chicken when we were ready to eat.

The flavors in this marinade are unbelievable.  I’d never tried garam masala before, but I happened to have some on hand.  A little shop in North Conway, NH sells single-use packets of herbs and spices, called “Pinch Plus.”  The idea is that you can try a new spice mixture for less than $1.  If you don’t like it, then you don’t have a $6 jar of spices sitting in your kitchen cabinets until the Apolocalypse (which, from the looks of the BP oil gushage, could be sooner than we think).  Anyway, this is how I came to have a small pouch of garam masala in my posession.

The broiled chicken retained so much garlicky, gingery, spicy flavor.  The garam masala really came through with cinnamon, cumin, cardamom, and coriander notes.  Interestingly, those all start with the letter C…

I plan to make this recipe again very soon and use the grill instead of the broiler to cook the chicken.  As utterly delicious as the broiled chicken pieces were, I imagine that grilling could impart flavors to take it to the next level.

Indian-Style Spicy Yogurt Marinade
Adapted from Whole Foods Market
Makes about 1 3/4 cups marinade

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon garam masala
3 medium cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Put yogurt, oil, garam masala, garlic, ginger, and salt and pepper into a bowl and stir to make a marinade.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.  Use within a couple of days.

To marinate chicken, season chicken pieces on both sides with salt and pepper.  Lay chicken pieces in a glass dish (or a large ziplock bag).  Pour marinade over chicken, shaking dish gently to evenly coat pieces.  Cover dish and place in refrigerator for 8-12 hours.  When ready to cook, remove chicken from marinade, wiping off excess.  Discard remaining marinade.  Grill or broil chicken pieces until cooked through and juices run clear, turning occasionally for even browning.

The Strawberry Rhubarb Pie that Almost Wasn’t

The title of this post says it all.  I set out to make a strawberry rhubarb pie for Memorial Day, and very nearly had a pie-related meltdown in the process.  I had never attempt strawberry rhubarb anything before, so I did my research.  I found a filling recipe and a crust recipe that looked compatible and fairly straightforward.  Hmm, isn’t it funny how sometimes things are SO not what they seem?

The filling came together beautifully.  However, the pie crust dough was another story (that I will get to in a moment).  The filling ended up sitting for about 10 or 15 minutes while I wrestled with the pastry dough, and in that time span released so much juice that I knew I could not pour all of it into the (now tamed) pastry-lined pie pan.

Meanwhile, the pastry dough.  Insert animal-like growl of rage here.  This pastry dough was nearly the end of me, and I am not ashamed to say I shed an angry tear over it, while standing in the middle of my kitchen wearing my pink flowered apron.  Here is the problem with the dough recipe as originally written: cake flour, or more specifically Softasilk cake flour, cannot–CANNOT–withstand the necessary rolling out process for making a pie crust.  Not even with a thorough refrigeration period.  My theory is that cake flour simply doesn’t have the structural capabilities of regular flour.  Thus, my pastry dough did nothing but tear, rip, and stick to the counter.  In the end, I ended up managing a quick enough roll-and-place maneuver that most of the dough got into the pie pan in some sort of evenly thin layer.  There were holes and cracks aplenty, though, so I had to perform pastry surgery, fitting in little pieces of dough here and there.  The unbaked, unfilled pie crust was not at all attractive.  At this point, I very nearly threw both it and the waiting fruit filling into the trash.  The ingredients for this pie cost me almost $12!  With that in mind, I said to myself, “Self, we’ve come this far…let’s just bung the rest of it together, throw it in the oven, and see what we get afterward!”

And that is what I did.  At this point, the filling went in.  I scooped the fruit in and most of the juice.  I just used my best judgment, and when I felt like enough of the released juices were in the pie pan, I stopped pouring.  I would say about 3/4 cup of juice was left over in the bowl.  Useless, but tasty when licked off the back of the spoon.

Now, we encounter the problem of what the dickens to put on top of this pie.  By this time I had decided that I was absolutely, IN NO WAY, attempting lovely little lattices to weave across the top.  No sirree Bob.  Employing some quick thinking, I decided to roll out the dough and use a drinking glass to cut circles out.  The circles went somewhat symmetrically on top of the pie (I was going for a bit of a floral shape), and the pie went (FINALLY) into the oven.

I baked it for about 45-50 minutes.  I kept an eye on it, and when the filling looked somewhat set, I took it out of the oven and let it cool completely (which took probably 3 or 4 hours).  During this cooling period, I basically ignored it and tried not to obsess over what it was going to look like when I finally cut into it.

I must add here that I also used a new pie pan for the first time, a stoneware plate from my grandmother.  The new pie plate plus the frustration of the recipe led me to have very low expectations for the final result.

Friends, I am happy to report that this pie was quite possibly the best pie–all pies previously consumed by me included–ever.  While I was most skeptical about the crust, the end result was a delicious, sweet, flaky crust that was not at all soggy.  I think my gut instinct re: the amount of juice in the pie as well as the wonderful heat conductive properties of my new pie plate were the primary causes of the delicious crust.  The filling was, in a word, perfect.  Tart, sweet, with soft but not gloopy fruit.  Just enough texture to tell the difference between a berry and ‘barb (rhubarb, get it?).

I am posting the recipes below as I made them.  If you try this recipe, please let me know how it works for you, and what tweaks you added.

P.s. I have since made a second fruit pie with a variation of the following pastry recipe, and I think I have completely cured this dough of its utter unmanageability.  🙂

Classic Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
Makes one 9-inch pie

Ingredients:
Filling
Adapted from For the Love of Food
3 1/2 cups sliced strawberries
3 cups rhubarb, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
5 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 – 2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 Tablespoon butter

In a large bowl, mix together all filling ingredients except butter.  Set aside until ready to use.  For best results place in prepared pie crust and bake within 20 minutes.

Sweet Pastry Crust
Adapted from Life’s A Feast
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
14 Tablespoons butter, chilled
2 large eggs, beaten

Combine flour and sugar in medium bowl.  Using a pastry cutter, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse sand.  Vigorously stir in beaten egg until a dough ball forms.  Cut the dough into two pieces, one slightly larger than the other.  (The larger dough ball will become the bottom crust).  Wrap and chill until ready to roll out.

Assembly:
Preheat oven 425F.  Oil or grease your pie plate.  Rolled larger ball of chilled pastry dough into a large circle, about 2 inches larger than the top of your pie plate.  Working quickly, place pastry into pie plate, smoothing wrinkles and filling in cracks or holes with extra dough.  Trim the edges of the crust to just over the edge of your pie plate.  Using your fingers, make a decorative edge.  Or, just use a fork to pressthe crust lightly against the edge of the pie plate.

Using a fork, lightly prick the bottom and sides of the crust.  Pour filling mixture into prepared crust.  If your filling as released a lot of juice, scoop the fruit into the crust and then add the juice just until your pie plate is nearly full.  Do not overfill with juice!  Dot top of filling with the 1 Tablespoon of butter.

Roll out the second ball of pastry.  Cut into strips for a lattice, or other shapes such as circles.  If using circles, arrange them over the top of the filling so the edges touch but so there are enough vents for steam to escape.  If doing a lattice crust, weave alternating strips across the top of the filling.

Place pie in center of preheated oven.  Bake at 425F for the first 25 minutes.  Reduce temperature to 375F and continue baking for another 30 minutes.  Pie is done when crust is golden brown and the filling juices are bubbly and thickened.  For best results, allow pie to cool completely to room temperature before serving.