Last week our Corporate Executive Chef took a trip to the San Antonio, Texas area to attend the first annual Chisholm Trail Roundup Baking Contest in the town of Lockhart as a judge. Texas Pure Milling sponsored the event and we were excited to see our flour in action as avid home bakers and junior bakers shared their creations. Amanda Manning was our Grand Champion!
As we finally lined up the winners, it was unanimous among the judges that the Grand Champion would be this remarkable pie. The crust was buttery and flaky with just right amount of sugar garnishing the golden lattice. The filling was a strawberry masterpiece with berries that have been macerated in a little sugar for 1-2 hours. This process deepened the berry flavor while giving the fruit a fantastic texture! It's a crucial step in removing a lot of excess moisture. The addition of a little grated apple added some extra body to the filling as well, which made it easy to slice and delivered beautiful pie pieces.
The ingredients that most surprised us were the addition of just a hint of pepper and a dash of Angostura bitters. At first, that might sound strange, but given that our chef has run some gourmet bakery restaurants, she appreciates a little hint of heat and a punch of flavor in a sweet pie. It really is all about the balance of flavor and subtle nuances of intrigue that make a prize winner! As you guessed, they were just the perfect secret ingredients to push it over the top!
Amanda Manning's Prize Winning
Strawberry Balsamic Pie
2 1/2 cup Texas Pure Milling All Purpose Flour
1 tsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
2 sticks (8 oz.) unsalted butter
1 cup water
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup plus 3 Tbsp. granulated sugar
2 lb fresh strawberries, quartered (5-6 cups)
1 small baking apple, peeled and grated
2 Tbsp. high quality balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp Angostrua bitters
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp water
1/8 tsp salt
Demerara Sugar garnish, about 1 Tbsp.
Crust: Whisk together the flour, salt and sugar. Cut-in the cold butter with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles course crumbs. Combine the water, cider vinegar and ice (1-2 cubes) and add in increments of 2-3 Tbsp at a time until the dough comes together. Gently fold a few times to fully incorporate. Separate the dough into two balls. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge 1-2 hours.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Sprinkle 3 Tbsp. granulated sugar onto the quartered berries and allow to macerate 1-2 hours. Drain excess liquid.
Fold the grated apples, balsamic, Angostura bitters into the strawberry mixture. In a separate bowl, combine the brown sugar, cornstarch, pepper and salt. Fold into the strawberry and apple mixture and set aside.
Whisk egg wash ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.
Assemble the pie:
Roll out and prepare the bottom crust in a 9-inch pie pan. Add the filling. Assemble the lattice top. Roll and flute the edges to seal. Brush the top crust with egg wash and sprinkle the lattice with the demerara sugar. Bake at 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes and reduce heat to 375 degrees. Continue to bake until the filling is bubbling all over, about 15 minutes more. Cool 2-3 hours before serving.
Allowing the pie to set up for 2-3 hours gave us brilliantly beautiful slices! We couldn't be more pleased with this recipe! Thank you again Amanda for sharing your talents with us!