*homemade blackberry & strawberry birthday pie*
Last night was my husband's birthday; while, we'll be mostly celebrating this weekend, I still wanted to make him a special dinner at home. He requested a rustic dinner & pie, which happen to be very easy (and I LOVE to make this kind of food). I made a stuffed roasted chicken with potatoes and veggies (so simple, yet so delicious - you can really use whatever veggies and spices your heart desires, and the cast iron skillet makes it that much more amazing). Here's a pic of it before going in the oven. I made a quick stuffing with shallots, onions, celery & mushroom to put inside the bird.
Then I used plenty of garlic cloves, red potatoes, carrots, beets, mushrooms, fresh basil, butter and spices in the pan. There's really no hard recipe for this, just pick the veggies & seasoning of your choice (and of course add some slices of butter and bake in the oven at 350 for 1 hr or more, depending on the size of your bird).
Danny requested a pie, instead of a cake for his bday, so I made him a rustic blackberry & strawberry pie. The crust was pre-made (it's a weekday afterall, didn't really have time to make my own crust) and I bought fresh ripe berries at my local farmers' market grocer. Here's the somewhat recipe we've come up with over the years to make berry pies (you can substitute the blackberries & strawberries for whatever looks nice and ripe at the store, and remember if you use pre-made pie crust to follow the directions if you need to pre-bake the crust):
1 lb. Blackberries, chopped
1/2 lb. Strawberries, chopped
1/3 - 1/2 C. sugar
2-4 T. cornstarch
pinch of salt
2 pinches of cinnamon
Combine all the ingredients shown above. You can add more sugar if you wish, but if you have ripe berries you really don't need much. I only add sugar to help the juices come out of the berries, which helps the pie meld together better. Combine all the ingredients and cook the pie at 340 degrees for 1 hr. I typically cover the edges of the pie with foil for the first 40 minutes, and then remove the foil for the last 20 minutes (this helps prevent the edges from burning).
And of course, I always top the pie with fresh homemade whip.
Sometimes the simple things in life, are simply...the best. =)