Lavender Blackberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and a Piped Floral Wreath


 
Lavender Blackberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and a Piped Floral Wreath. Layers of delicately flavoured lavender cake are filled with a cream cheese frosting and blackberry jam, and topped with a beautiful floral wreath made from piped swiss meringue buttercream flowers. #pipedflowers #lavendercake #swissmeringuebuttercream #icingonthecakebook
Lavender Blackberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and a Piped Floral Wreath. Layers of delicately flavoured lavender cake are filled with a cream cheese frosting and blackberry jam, and topped with a beautiful floral wreath made from piped swiss meringue buttercream flowers. #pipedflowers #lavendercake #swissmeringuebuttercream #icingonthecakebook
Lavender Blackberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and a Piped Floral Wreath. Layers of delicately flavoured lavender cake are filled with a cream cheese frosting and blackberry jam, and topped with a beautiful floral wreath made from piped swiss meringue buttercream flowers. #pipedflowers #lavendercake #swissmeringuebuttercream #icingonthecakebook
Lavender Blackberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and a Piped Floral Wreath. Layers of delicately flavoured lavender cake are filled with a cream cheese frosting and blackberry jam, and topped with a beautiful floral wreath made from piped swiss meringue buttercream flowers. #pipedflowers #lavendercake #swissmeringuebuttercream #icingonthecakebook
Lavender Blackberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and a Piped Floral Wreath. Layers of delicately flavoured lavender cake are filled with a cream cheese frosting and blackberry jam, and topped with a beautiful floral wreath made from piped swiss meringue buttercream flowers. #pipedflowers #lavendercake #swissmeringuebuttercream #icingonthecakebook
Lavender Blackberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and a Piped Floral Wreath. Layers of delicately flavoured lavender cake are filled with a cream cheese frosting and blackberry jam, and topped with a beautiful floral wreath made from piped swiss meringue buttercream flowers. #pipedflowers #lavendercake #swissmeringuebuttercream #icingonthecakebook
Lavender Blackberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and a Piped Floral Wreath. Layers of delicately flavoured lavender cake are filled with a cream cheese frosting and blackberry jam, and topped with a beautiful floral wreath made from piped swiss meringue buttercream flowers. #pipedflowers #lavendercake #swissmeringuebuttercream #icingonthecakebook
Lavender Blackberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and a Piped Floral Wreath. Layers of delicately flavoured lavender cake are filled with a cream cheese frosting and blackberry jam, and topped with a beautiful floral wreath made from piped swiss meringue buttercream flowers. #pipedflowers #lavendercake #swissmeringuebuttercream #icingonthecakebook
Lavender Blackberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and a Piped Floral Wreath. Layers of delicately flavoured lavender cake are filled with a cream cheese frosting and blackberry jam, and topped with a beautiful floral wreath made from piped swiss meringue buttercream flowers. #pipedflowers #lavendercake #swissmeringuebuttercream #icingonthecakebook
Lavender Blackberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and a Piped Floral Wreath. Layers of delicately flavoured lavender cake are filled with a cream cheese frosting and blackberry jam, and topped with a beautiful floral wreath made from piped swiss meringue buttercream flowers. #pipedflowers #lavendercake #swissmeringuebuttercream #icingonthecakebook
Lavender Blackberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and a Piped Floral Wreath. Layers of delicately flavoured lavender cake are filled with a cream cheese frosting and blackberry jam, and topped with a beautiful floral wreath made from piped swiss meringue buttercream flowers. #pipedflowers #lavendercake #swissmeringuebuttercream #icingonthecakebook

Hi hi! Happy Friday! I am super excited to share this recipe from my amazing friend Tessa’s book - a Lavender Blackberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and a Piped Floral Wreath. This is Tessa’s second book, and is called “Icing on the Cake”, and is filled with not only a whole lot of incredible layer cakes, but other amazing desserts - there’s macarons, pies, marshies, eclairs, tarts, the whole nine yards. It’s an incredible go-to book if you need a show stopping dessert, whether it needs to be a quickie to whip up, or a more labour intensive recipe such as this cake!

I taught myself how to make buttercream flowers a while back, and did a quick wee 2 hour course with a friend a few years ago, and they are kind of something that I always forget that I can do, then get excited to make, spend a whole afternoon making them, get mad at myself for not making them more often because they really are learnt by repetition and I need to just sit down and make them more to learn, then do the exact opposite and not make them for ages. However, when I do sit down and take the time to do them, I am reminded how fun they are once you get the hang of them! They can be a teeny bit tricky to start off, but once you get going, they are a really fun and effective way to decorate cakes and cupcakes! I’m definitely going to make them more often if I can! I promise it’s worth all the little piping bags and couplers and tips. Tessa has a whole section in her book about how to make the different flowers, and how to pipe them directly onto cupcakes!

The flowers are great and pretty, but the cake underneath also deserves some spotlight time - it’s so, so good! It’s a pretty simple vanilla cake, but the milk in the cake is infused with lavender, giving it a super subtle floral taste. The lavender is then emphasised in the lavender syrup which is brushed on the layers, then the whole thing is stacked up with a cream cheese frosting and a blackberry jam filling. Lavender and blackberry go so beautifully together, and cream cheese icing is just the best in literally any occasion. There’s a fine line between not being able to taste lavender in desserts and accidentally adding too much and it tasting like hand cream (I’ve done both before), but when it’s good it’s AMAZING, and Tessa has absolutely nailed this one. Congrats lady - I’m so proud, and I can’t wait to bake my way through this bad boy! x

A few wee tips:

  • I’m not going to lie, the buttercream flowers on this take bloody ages. But, they are so, so worth it - It’s amazing seeing how you get better with practice, and I think that it’s a really fun thing to know how to do!

  • Tessa has a great tutorial on her instagram of how to make the flowers she used for this cake! I pretty much just followed that.

  • If you don’t want to pipe the flowers, Tessa has another cake topped with buttercream swirls and blobs that I love, that would also be perfect for this!

  • You need the Swiss buttercream to be slightly on the firm side for this - to help with this I kept the whisk attachment on my mixer and the bowl of buttercream in the fridge until I was ready for it, then gave it a quick whip to help smooth it out. I worked with one colour at a time. AC in your house will help too if it’s summer, but our foster cat has her bed on the AC, so we are still kinda working out how to let her know that she’s going to have to move. We aren’t there yet.

  • I made the cake and the lavender syrup the day before, which really helped to break up the process a bit.

  • Buy yourself a copy of Tessa’s book. Just do it - there’s so so many beautiful things in there!

 

 

Lavender Blackberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and a Piped Floral Wreath

- Makes one Three Layer, 8” cake -

Reprinted with permission from ‘Icing on the Cake’ by Tessa Huff

Lavender Milk
1 cup (240ml) whole milk
2 tsp dried culinary lavender

Lavender Cake
1/4 cup (60ml) sour cream
2 1/4 cups (325g) cake flour
1 1/2 cups (300g) granulated sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks / 225g) unsalted butter, diced, at room temperature
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs

Lavender Syrup
1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp dried culinary lavender

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 cup (2 sticks/225g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 oz (115g) cream cheese, at room temperature
5 to 6 cups (625g to 750g) powdered sugar
3 to 4 Tbsp heavy cream or whole milk
2 tsp vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract

Swiss Meringue Buttercream
4 large egg whites
1 1/3 cups (265g) granulated sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups (4 sticks / 450g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

To Assemble
1/2 to 1 cup (120ml to 240ml) blackberry jam
Gel Food colouring

 

- PROCESS -

LAVENDER MILK

In a small saucepan, slowly bring the milk to a simmer over low heat. Add the lavender and remove from the heat. Let steep for about 20 minutes. Strain the milk through a fine mesh sieve set over a bowl and discard the lavender. Let cool completely.  

LAVENDER CAKE

Preheat the oven to 350°f / 180°c. Grease and flour three 8-inch (20cm) cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.

In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, stir together 3/4 cup (180ml) of the lavender milk and the sour cream.

Stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, beat the ingredients on low speed until just combined. Add the butter, vanilla, and about 1/2 cup (120ml) of the lavender milk mixture. mix on medium until evenly distributed and the dry ingredients are moistened, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.

Add the eggs to the remaining lavender milk mixture and stir to combine. With the mixer running on medium speed, add the egg mixture in three additions, mixing for about 15 seconds after each addition and stopping the mixer between additions to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.

Evenly divide the batter among the prepared pans. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean. Let the cakes cool on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes before removing from the pans. Allow the cakes to cool completely, right-side up, on the wire rack before removing the parchment. Level the tops of the cakes with a long serrated knife as needed.

LAVENDER SYRUP

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and 1/2 cup (120ml) water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and add the lavender. Simmer the syrup for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let steep until cool. Strain the syrup through a fine mesh sieve set over a bowl and discard the lavender.

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl using a handheld mixer), beat the butter and cream cheese on medium until smooth. Meanwhile, sift the confectioner’s sugar. With the mixer running on low, gradually add 5 cups (625g) of the confectioner’s sugar, 3 Tbsp of the cream, and the vanilla and mix until incorporated. Turn the mixer to medium high and mix until fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the remaining 1 cup (125g) confectioner’s sugar, 1/2 cup (65g) at a time, and / or the remaining 1 Tbsp of cream until the desired consistency is reached. It should be spreadable and creamy, not runny.

ASSEMBLE THE CAKE

Generously brush the cake layers with the lavender syrup. Place one cake layer on a cake board or serving plate. Place about 1/3 cup (80ml) of the cream cheese frosting on top and spread it with an offset spatula. Fill a piping bag fitted with a plain round tip with some of the cream cheese frosting. Pipe a ring around the outer top edge of the cake to create a “dam”. Pipe a second ring of cream cheese frosting a couple of inches in from the outer ring, to create a “bulls-eye”.

Use a spoon to fill in the gaps between the rings of the cream cheese frosting with 1/4 to 1/3 cup (60 to 120ml) of the blackberry jam. Top with a second cake layer and repeat; place the final cake layer on top.

Crumb coat the cake with the cream cheese frosting and chill for 15 minutes. Frost the cake with the remaining cream cheese buttercream.

SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM

Put the egg whites and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Gently whisk them by hand to combine. In a medium saucepan, bring an inch or two (2.5 to 5cm) of water to a simmer over medium-low heat. Place the mixer bowl on top of the saucepan to create a double boiler (be sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water). Heat the egg mixture, whisking intermittently, until it reaches 160°f / 70°c on a candy thermometer.

Carefully affix the mixer bowl to the stand mixer (it may be hot) and fit the mixer with the whisk attachment. Beat the egg white mixture on high speed for 8 to 10 minutes, until the mixture holds medium-stiff peaks and the outside of the bowl has cooled to room temperature.

Turn the mixer down to low and add the vanilla. Add the butter a couple of tablespoons at a time, mixing until each is incorporated before adding the next. Stop the mixer and swap out the whisk for the paddle attachment.

Turn the mixer to medium high and beat until the buttercream is silky smooth, 3 to 5 minutes.

Note - If your buttercream is a little soupy, refrigerate for 15 minutes then re-whip. You need it to be firm enough to pipe with.

DECORATE THE CAKE

Tint a small amount of buttercream green for the leaves. Tint the remaining buttercream the colors of your choice for the flowers. Cut about 30 2-inch (5cm) squares of parchment paper. Dab a small amount of buttercream on a flower nail and secure a square of parchment on top. Fill piping bags fitted with various piping tips with the tinted buttercream (I like to use a coupler so that I can switch out the tips). I used a petal Wilton #103 and #104 tip, a Wilton #81 tip for the Mum flower, and a small round tip for the little blobby flowers. Tessa has a great tutorial , and there are lots online!

Pipe various buttercream flowers on top of the parchment squares, then transfer the flowers to a baking sheet or cutting board. Chill the piped flowers in the fridge until firm, at least 15 minutes.

To create the flower crown, pipe a ring of buttercream around the top of the cake, about 1 inch (2.5cm) from the edge. Carefully peel the chilled flowers off their parchment squares and use a small offset spatula to arrange them on the ring of buttercream, angling them slightly in and away from the center of the cake.

Fill a piping bag with a leaf tip with the green buttercream and pipe leaves to fill in any gaps between the flowers.

Chill in the fridge until 30 minutes before serving. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.

Lavender Blackberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and a Piped Floral Wreath. Layers of delicately flavoured lavender cake are filled with a cream cheese frosting and blackberry jam, and topped with a beautiful floral wreath made from piped swiss meringue buttercream flowers. #pipedflowers #lavendercake #swissmeringuebuttercream #icingonthecakebook

Mini Banana Bundt Cakes with Coffee Salted Caramel


 
Banana mini bundt cakes, made in a mini brilliance pan, finished with a coffee infused salted caramel. The perfect treat to have with your coffee. #bananabundt #bananacake #coffeecaramel
Banana mini bundt cakes, made in a mini brilliance pan, finished with a coffee infused salted caramel. The perfect treat to have with your coffee. #bananabundt #bananacake #coffeecaramel
Banana mini bundt cakes, made in a mini brilliance pan, finished with a coffee infused salted caramel. The perfect treat to have with your coffee. #bananabundt #bananacake #coffeecaramel
Banana mini bundt cakes, made in a mini brilliance pan, finished with a coffee infused salted caramel. The perfect treat to have with your coffee. #bananabundt #bananacake #coffeecaramel
Banana mini bundt cakes, made in a mini brilliance pan, finished with a coffee infused salted caramel. The perfect treat to have with your coffee. #bananabundt #bananacake #coffeecaramel
Banana mini bundt cakes, made in a mini brilliance pan, finished with a coffee infused salted caramel. The perfect treat to have with your coffee. #bananabundt #bananacake #coffeecaramel
Banana mini bundt cakes, made in a mini brilliance pan, finished with a coffee infused salted caramel. The perfect treat to have with your coffee. #bananabundt #bananacake #coffeecaramel

I am an absolute shocker at buying bananas and then not eating them, which results in more banana baked goods than bananas being eaten in this household. I always have good intentions to make smoothies, or have them as a snack with some nut butter (which I love, I just always forget), so they inevitably end up weird and spotty, and I bake with them. It’s not the worst problem to have, seeing as I am married to someone with a banana bread addiction, so we always have some on hand in the freezer, pre-sliced, so rich can just pop it in the toaster when the need arises.

I’ve been wanting to work on a banana bundt cake for a while now, and a week or so ago we had an intense backlog of brown bananas, so I started testing. The testing process was actually quite quick, as my go-to banana cake recipe, which I use for a regular layer cake (super old photos, please excuse) and also a sheet cake, bundted like a champ, and I hardly had to make any tweaks. It’s always a little hit and miss when you try baking a recipe you know in a bundt pan - it either is a spectacular fail (like the first test of this cake), or it works first time and all is right with the world (this devil’s food bundt did exactly that and it was just the best day ever).

I topped these mini banana bundt cakes with a coffee caramel - infusing caramel is super easy as it is cream based, so to inject flavour all you have to do is infuse the cream. This time I steeped it with some coffee, and it came out great. Always remember that the flavour will be diluted once it is made into a caramel - I always get a bit worried for a second when the cream is super strong! The caramel was so lovely against the banana, and the coffee flavour complimented it perfectly. You definitely don’t need a caramel topping, but it looks amazing and is a little something extra!

I originally tested this in a regular sized bundt pan (I used this one), and it worked great, so if you don’t have these mini babies, then you can double the recipe - I have popped some instructions in the notes.

A few wee tips:

  • I made a single batch of this recipe twice so that I had 12 little cakes. I found flour settled in the grooves, so I just used some baking spray to help prevent sticking. I used this pan!

  • If you would like, you can double it and put it in a 10 cup bundt pan (I tested it in this), and bake for 55-60 minutes. Leave to stand for 10 min before turning out. Make sure the pan is well greased with baking spray and flour.

  • I like to give the caramel an overnight rest, which means it will likely have to be microwaved to get to the right texture once you are ready to use it, but if you like you can also make it before you make the cakes and leave it to cool while you bake them - if you put it in a shallow container to cool (rather than a jar) it will cool quicker because it has more surface area! I usually just pop it in a jar and leave in the fridge overnight because #lazy.

  • You want your bananas to be waaay on the ripe side for this if possible. Like, if you look at them and are like “ooooh that’s almost rotten” - that’s great. Regular spotty bananas work too!

  • This recipe has a slightly weird step in it - it gets you to dissolve baking soda in milk. This is how I’ve always done it, because this cake is adapted from the banana cake I grew up on. I think it may be to reduce the risk of baking soda bombs in the cake (when you bite into a lump), I guess NZ bakers are bad at sifting their baking soda, or it is to help it disperse? Anyway, it’s there because that’s how I’ve always done it, would love to know if you know the reason! If you don’t want to do this step you can probably just add the baking soda to the dry ingredients, and add the milk along with the vanilla and banana.

 

 

Mini Banana Bundt Cakes with Coffee Salted Caramel

- Makes 6 cakes -

Note: I made this recipe twice in order to give me 12 cakes - I baked them, then let the pan cool while I mixed up the next batch.

Cake adapted from "Edmonds Cookbook"

Coffee Salted Caramel
230g heavy cream
30g coarsely ground coffee
200g sugar
90g butter, at room temperature
2 tsp kosher salt

Banana Mini Bundt Cakes
125g butter, at room temperature
150g sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
225g very ripe bananas (about two bananas), mashed
40g whole milk
1 tsp baking soda
250g all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
 

- PROCESS -

COFFEE SALTED CARAMEL

Place the cream in a small saucepan. Heat over gentle heat, until you start to see movement around the edges. Remove from the heat and add the ground coffee, stirring to combine. Cover, and steep for 20 minutes. Strain the cream through a fine mesh sieve, pressing down to get as much infused cream out as possible. Clean the saucepan. Weigh the cream, and top up to 120g if needed. Place over a low heat while you prepare the caramel.

Place the sugar in a medium sized heavy bottom saucepan. Heat on medium, stirring constantly. The sugar will start to form clumps, then begin to melt. Cook until is it amber in colour, then remove from the heat and immediately add all of the butter. Be careful as the caramel will bubble rapidly. Once the butter is incorporated, add the infused cream and stir well. Stir in the salt, and pour into a glass jar. Allow to cool completely - either in the fridge overnight, or for a few hours.

BANANA MINI BUNDT CAKES

Preheat the oven to 350°f / 180°c.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until incorporated before adding the next. Add the vanilla bean paste and mashed bananas, and mix to combine.

Warm up the milk either in the microwave or in a very small pan, then add the baking soda and mix to dissolve. Add to the mixture and beat to combine.

In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to the mixer, and mix on low until just combined.

Spray a 6-well bundt cakelet pan with baking spray (see notes on making this a full sized bundt cake), and evenly divide the batter between them. Tap firmly on the bench to help remove any air bubbles. Place on a sheet pan.

Bake the mini bundt cakes for 30 to 35 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to stand for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack and allowing to cool completely.

ASSEMBLY

Place the cooled bundts on a wire rack over a baking sheet. If your caramel has cooled, warm it up in the microwave slightly until it is a pouring consistency.

Drizzle the cakes with the coffee caramel, and finish with sea salt if desired.

Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature. If you aren’t planning on eating them all at once, you can store the caramel and cakes separately and assemble before eating to prevent them going too soggy.

Banana mini bundt cakes, made in a mini brilliance pan, finished with a coffee infused salted caramel. The perfect treat to have with your coffee. #bananabundt #bananacake #coffeecaramel

Strawberry Balsamic Pie


 
Strawberry Balsamic Pie - sweet strawberries are balanced out by Filippo Berio's Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, then wrapped up in a super flaky pie crust. Strawberry pie is the perfect summer dessert, is easy to make, and is ideal for taking along to an evening bbq or gathering. #strawberrypie #strawberrybalsamic #summerpie
Strawberry Balsamic Pie - sweet strawberries are balanced out by Filippo Berio's Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, then wrapped up in a super flaky pie crust. Strawberry pie is the perfect summer dessert, is easy to make, and is ideal for taking along to an evening bbq or gathering. #strawberrypie #strawberrybalsamic #summerpie
Strawberry Balsamic Pie - sweet strawberries are balanced out by Filippo Berio's Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, then wrapped up in a super flaky pie crust. Strawberry pie is the perfect summer dessert, is easy to make, and is ideal for taking along to an evening bbq or gathering. #strawberrypie #strawberrybalsamic #summerpie
Strawberry Balsamic Pie - sweet strawberries are balanced out by Filippo Berio's Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, then wrapped up in a super flaky pie crust. Strawberry pie is the perfect summer dessert, is easy to make, and is ideal for taking along to an evening bbq or gathering. #strawberrypie #strawberrybalsamic #summerpie
Strawberry Balsamic Pie - sweet strawberries are balanced out by Filippo Berio's Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, then wrapped up in a super flaky pie crust. Strawberry pie is the perfect summer dessert, is easy to make, and is ideal for taking along to an evening bbq or gathering. #strawberrypie #strawberrybalsamic #summerpie
Strawberry Balsamic Pie - sweet strawberries are balanced out by Filippo Berio's Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, then wrapped up in a super flaky pie crust. Strawberry pie is the perfect summer dessert, is easy to make, and is ideal for taking along to an evening bbq or gathering. #strawberrypie #strawberrybalsamic #summerpie
Strawberry Balsamic Pie - sweet strawberries are balanced out by Filippo Berio's Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, then wrapped up in a super flaky pie crust. Strawberry pie is the perfect summer dessert, is easy to make, and is ideal for taking along to an evening bbq or gathering. #strawberrypie #strawberrybalsamic #summerpie
Strawberry Balsamic Pie - sweet strawberries are balanced out by Filippo Berio's Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, then wrapped up in a super flaky pie crust. Strawberry pie is the perfect summer dessert, is easy to make, and is ideal for taking along to an evening bbq or gathering. #strawberrypie #strawberrybalsamic #summerpie

Happy Memorial day weekend! I caught myself doing a wee happy dance at the farmer’s market recently when I discovered Strawberries have arrived for the season! Growing up, there were loads of pick your own strawberry places near us, so I have all kinds of memories of hiding within the rows sneaking strawberries that we most definitely should have paid for before I ate them. I hadn’t baked with strawberries too much until I moved here - we usually just have them fresh with a little powdered sugar (which is still one of my favourite ways to have them), but I also love how they bake up - particularly in this strawberry balsamic pie!

Strawberries are definitely on the sweet side, so when I bake with them I like to balance them out with something either tart or acidic, which is why you so often see them paired with rhubarb. Instead of using rhubarb, in order to really let the strawberry flavour shine through, I balanced out the sweetness with a little Balsamic Vinegar of Modena from Filippo Berio. It is the perfect pairing - the balsamic balances out the sweetness of the strawberries just enough, while not taking away from the flavour. The first test I found was a little soggy for my liking - strawberries are about 92% water, similar to that of watermelon, so you either need to remove some of the liquid, or add more starch than you think, or a combination of both, to avoid a sog fest! I went for a wee combo of both - macerating the strawberries to help draw out some moisture (which makes a super yum strawberry syrup), and then using more starch than I would for an apple or stone fruit pie.

I hope that you give this one a go - it would be perfect to take to a summer bbq as an easy dessert, and it is fairly quick to put together thanks to strawberries being fairly no-fuss when it comes to prep. The sweet fruit goes so well with the flaky crust, and then the Filippo Berio vinegar rounds everything out. I gave this a pretty easy lattice - using a multi-wheeled cutter (which I think is a pasta cutter), I just cut loads of strips, and used three small strips in the place of one larger strip when making my lattice. This is a super easy way to switch things up a little when it comes to latticing, without having to worry about any fancy weaving techniques or braiding. I think it is going to be my new go to, just like this pie! Happy pie making! x

A few wee tips:

  • I have included a recipe for a regular double crust pie here, but I sometimes like making a little extra so that I don’t have to worry about running out of crust - so if you like, you can make a 1.5x of the recipe to have some wiggle room.

  • I found that the first time I made this, it was a little on the soggy side, so I included a step of macerating the berries a little in some sugar to help draw out some excess moisture. I found 15 min was enough, but you can leave them up to an hour.

  • Berry pies do tend to be a bit wetter than other fruit pies, so make sure that your bottom crust is nice and thick, and gets nicely cooked - having the pie near the bottom of the oven at the start of the baking process helps this a lot.

  • Ideally, you want to give your dough an overnight rest so that it is easy to work with, but a few hours works in a pinch.

  • I like using a wee tip that my friend Erin taught me to make the pie dough nice and smooth and easy to work with. I make the dough, shape it into two rectangles, rest it in the fridge wrapped for about an hour, then remove it and roll it out into a rectangle on a lightly floured surface. I then give it a letter fold (as you would a letter), roll out to a rectangle, letter fold again, then roll out slightly, and shape into a disc or a rectangle (I usually do a disc for the bottom crust and a rectangle for the piece I will use for a lattice). I then re-wrap it, and leave it to rest overnight. This makes the dough more homogenous without compromising the flaky texture that you want in the pie dough, and it makes it a total dream to work with. For me, it’s a game changer.

  • You want to let this cool completely before slicing, or it’s going to juice everywhere. Trust me on this.

  • Don’t bake this without a sheet pan underneath. Strawberries are juicy, and will very likely leak. A sheet pan helps catch everything nicely and avoid an oven disaster.

 

 

Strawberry Balsamic Pie

- Makes one 9” pie -

Pie Dough
2 1/2 cups (375g) Flour
Pinch of Salt
2 tsp (8g) sugar
225g (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 cup (240ml) cold water
1 cup ice
1/4 cup (60ml) Apple cider vinegar

Filling
1200g trimmed and quartered strawberries (weight was taken after they were trimmed)
80g granulated sugar
6 Tbsp tapioca starch
75g granulated sugar
75g raw / turbinado sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
2 Tbsp Filippo Berio Balsamic Vinegar of Modena

Egg wash - 1 egg whisked with 1 Tbsp water
Raw sugar to finish (optional)

 

- PROCESS -

PIE DOUGH

Place flour, salt, and sugar in a large bowl. Mix to combine. Cut butter into chunks, and add to the flour. Toss lightly to coat. Working quickly, using a pastry blender or  your fingers,  cut the butter into the flour mixture until there are only pea-sized chunks left. You want a few lumps of butter remaining to keep the pastry nice and tender.

Combine ice, water and cider vinegar in a bowl. Sprinkle a few tablespoons of the ice water into the flour and butter mixture, and using a stiff spatula or your hands, mix in well. Continue adding water a tablespoon at a time ( I normally need about 1/2 to 3/4 cup, but add slowly) until you have a dough that holds together well, but is not too wet. Squeeze together with your fingertips to make a homogenous dough. Divide the dough into two - I like to do a 1/3 to 2/3 split. Shape the smaller portion into a disc and the larger into a rectangle. If desired, roll out and perform letter folds (see notes) Rest in the fridge for at least two hours, or preferably overnight. 

FILLING AND ASSEMBLY

Place the chopped strawberries into a large bowl. Sprinkle with the first measure of sugar, then toss to combine. Leave to stand for 20 minutes at room temperature.

Meanwhile, on a lightly floured surface, roll the disc into a circle slightly larger than your pie dish. You want it to be approximately 1/8 inch (3mm) in thickness. Line a 9" pie dish, leaving the extra dough overhanging. Trim the dough so there is about 1 inch overlapping the edge of your dish. Place in the fridge while you prepare the lattice.

Roll out the second piece of dough (the rectangle) into a rough rectangle approximately 1/8 inch thick. Use a pastry cutter to cut strips for your lattice. Place your strips onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet and store in the fridge until ready to use. Press together the scraps and re-roll - these are good for extra lattice strips or for using pie stamps to cut out for the border.

In a small bowl, whisk together the tapioca starch, granulated sugar, raw sugar, and salt. Drain the strawberries, reserving the liquid if you like - it is delicious in soda water or cocktails! Add the whisked starch and sugar mixture, then add the vanilla and Filippo Berio Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, and mix well to combine.

Transfer the filling to the prepared pie dish, packing the strawberries in slightly - it is ok if they mound a little as they cook down a lot.

Arrange the strips of pie dough on the top of the pie, weaving into your desired lattice. Either crimp the edges, or trim them flush to edge of the pie dish using kitchen shears or a sharp knife. If you are crimping, trim the crust with a little overhang and then crimp as desired.

Rest the pie in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. While the pie is resting in the fridge, preheat the oven to 425˚f/ 220˚c. Place a baking sheet on the bottom rack of the oven. 

Brush the pie with egg wash, and sprinkle liberally with raw sugar. Bake at 425˚f / 220˚c for 20 minutes, or until the pastry is set and beginning to go golden. Reduce the temperature 375˚f / 190˚c, and bake until the pastry is deeply golden and the filling is bubbling - 40 to 50 minutes. 

Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Allow to cool completely before serving. Store leftovers at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Strawberry Balsamic Pie - sweet strawberries are balanced out by Filippo Berio's Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, then wrapped up in a super flaky pie crust. Strawberry pie is the perfect summer dessert, is easy to make, and is ideal for taking along to an evening bbq or gathering. #strawberrypie #strawberrybalsamic #summerpie

Thank you so much to Filippo Berio for sponsoring this post! All opinions are my own.