by Nancy Sweet, Culinary Operations Manager, Lincoln Land Community College
Ted requested a good blueberry and gooseberry pie recipe. LLCC Pastry Chef Instructor Terri Branham provides one of her favorites.
Blueberry Gooseberry Pie
Flakey Vodka Pie dough (below)
2-1/2 cups prepared fresh or thawed gooseberries
1-1/2 cups fresh or thawed blueberries
2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup granulated sugar
1/8 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1 pinch salt
1 pinch nutmeg
1 tablespoon butter
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoon granulated sugar
Follow pastry dough recipe below and get rolled out and into refrigerator prior to making filling.
Filling: In large bowl, toss together gooseberries*, blueberries and lemon juice. In small bowl, stir together sugar, flour, cornstarch, lemon rind, salt and nutmeg; sprinkle over berries and toss to coat. Scrape into pie shell. Dot with butter.
Brush pastry on rim of pie shell with water; fit pastry top over filling. Trim, leaving 3/4-inch (2 centimeters) overhang; fold overhang under pastry rim. Seal and flute edge.
Glaze: Whisk egg yolk with 1 tablespoon water; brush over pastry. Sprinkle with sugar.
Cut 4 steam vents in center. Bake in bottom third of 425°F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°F. Bake until golden and filling is bubbly, about 40 minutes. If edges start to get too brown, cover with aluminum foil to prevent burning. Let cool on rack.
(Make-ahead: Cover and set aside at room temperature for up to 24 hours.)
*Additional information: To prepare gooseberries, top and tail with small knife by cutting away stem and flowers from top of berry then cutting off tail at bottom.
Flakey Vodka Pastry Dough
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cupcold butter, cut into small cubes
1/2 cup chilled solid vegetable shortening, cut into cubes (I prefer Crisco)
1/3 cupchilled vodka
1/8 cupcold water
Whisk flour and salt together in a mixing bowl.
Cut the cold butter and then the shortening into the flour mixture with a knife or pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle vodka and water over the top of the mixture. Fold together ingredients until mixture sticks together to form a tacky dough.
Divide dough into 2 halves; flatten each half into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate 1 hour to 2 days.
When you are ready to make your pie, remove dough from refrigerator, and on generously floured surface, roll out 1 of the pastry discs to scant 1/4-inch thickness. Roll around rolling pin; unroll over 9-inch pie plate, gently pressing in dough to fit. Trim to 3/4-inch overhang. Roll out remaining pastry to scant 1/4-inch thickness for top shell; transfer to rimless baking sheet. Refrigerate pastry and pie shell until firm, about 1 hour.
Tip: To flute pie crust, place index finger and thumb about 3/4-inch apart on outside edge of pastry. With other index finger, push pastry toward outside edge of rim to form scalloped edge, pressing to anchor pastry to rim of pie plate. Or press pastry on rim at 1/4-inch intervals with tip of chopstick or tines of fork.
Judy asks: How often should a person consume raw fish, such as in sashimi? Isn’t mercury poisoning an issue?
Mercury occurs naturally in the environment and can also be released into the air through industrial pollution. Mercury falls from the air and can accumulate in streams and oceans and is turned into methylmercury in the water. Fish absorb the methylmercury as they feed in these waters, and so it builds up in them. It builds up more in some types of fish and shellfish than others, depending on what the fish eat, which is why the levels vary.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the primary health effect of methylmercury for fetuses, infants and children is impaired neurological development. Symptoms of methylmercury poisoning may include impairment of the peripheral vision; disturbances in sensations (“pins and needles” feelings, usually in the hands, feet, and around the mouth); lack of coordination of movements; impairment of speech, hearing, walking; and muscle weakness. People concerned about their exposure to methylmercury should consult their physician.
In 2004 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration developed the guide “What You Need to Know about Mercury in Fish and Shellfish,” and an updated draft is now available. The guide advises an adult eat up to 12 ounces (2 average meals) a week of a variety of fish and shellfish that are lower in mercury. The FDA states that fish lower in mercury include salmon, shrimp, pollock, tuna (light canned), tilapia, catfish and cod. Meanwhile, the guide suggests avoiding tilefish from the Gulf of Mexico, shark, swordfish and king mackerel as these types of fish are highest in mercury. On the guide’s website, the FDA provides a chart of common fish and the amount of mercury in micrograms per four ounces of cooked fish.
The effects of mercury vary in humans based on weight, age, gender, history of heart disease and other medical factors. The Environmental Working Group website provides an online shopping tool and seafood calculator that helps people find sustainable seafood that’s lower in mercury and higher in omega-3 fatty acids. The seafood calculator offers a custom seafood list of more than 80 species of fish and shellfish that accounts for various individual physical factors. In addition, EWG’s Consumer Guide to Seafood provides a list of categories that include best bets, good choices, low mercury, mercury risks add up, and avoid. Each category has helpful information that recommends eating habits. For example, wild salmon is a best bet for having very high omega-3s, low mercury and being sustainable. The helpful tip states that one or two four-ounce servings a week of these fish have little mercury and optimum levels of omega-3 fatty acids for pregnant or nursing women and people with heart disease. EWG’s uses extensive analysis of the latest scientific research on seafood, omega-3s and mercury to develop the online guide.
The Natural Resources Defense Council website provides a Guide to Mercury in Sushi. In general, the apex predators of the food chain tend to be high in mercury. They suggest avoiding sushi choices that are highest in mercury altogether and offer a list of 32 sushi choices that are lower in mercury and 17 that are high in mercury. To obtain a quick estimate of your mercury intake, the NRDC website offers a mercury calculator. They also suggest a blood mercury test from your physician for a more accurate reading.
Lincoln Land Community College offers credit programs in Culinary Arts, Hospitality Management, Baking/Pastry, and Value-Added Local Food, and non-credit cooking and food classes through our Community Learning Culinary Institute. For more information, visit our website at www.llcc.edu.
Cooking or food questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org