By Leslie Savage
To celebrate the wrap up of local soccer team, my grandson and I made a video about making Soccer Berry Pie. We also made Hockey Puck Pizzas, which you can see next week as the Stanley Cup playoffs come to an end — great combo game supper.
This is cheesecake pie, really, with ricotta and mascarpone, and makes a great after-game snack — full of protein, but super delicious. The berry part consists of fresh berries atop soccer insignia. We wrote soccer words around the edge of the pie, which are fun but optional. The flavours are mild but delicious.
The pie crust is adapted from a Jamie Oliver recipe (Jamie’s Kitchen) for a sweet pie crust that is great because it needs no rolling out, and the filling is also a simplified version of a Jamie Oliver dessert. But credit for the soccer berry part is all to Thomas MacDonald, who came up with the idea. Watch the video to see how it’s done.
Sweet No-roll Pie Crust
This is fun to make and requires no tricky rolling out. You can use any pie plate — a springform pan with removeable sides makes a pretty presentation, but is a little more difficult to handle in that you need a big cake spatula to remove the crust and pie from the bottom of the pan.
1 cup plus 2 tbsp cold butter
1 cup plus 6 tbsp icing sugar
¼ tsp salt (omit if your butter is salted)
3 cups all purpose flour
4 egg yolks
2 tbsp cold milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp orange zest
1 egg white
Put into a big bowl or a food processor the sugar, butter, flour and salt. Whiz until it looks like fine crumbs. Depending on the size of your processor, you may have to do this in two batches.
Add the egg yolks, milk, vanilla and zest, and whiz again until the dough forms a ball in the middle of the bowl. Press together into a neat log and wrap in waxed paper or plastic wrap. Refrigerate one hour in the fridge, or ½ hour in the freezer.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Remove the wrapping from the dough and slice into pieces about 2 mm thick — a little less than a quarter of an inch.
Lay the pieces on a pie plate, close together, and press together so they form a single crust. Add side pieces and press them into the bottom crust with your fingers, Shape the whole crust this way, overlapping pieces slightly then pressing with fingers to even up the thickness. You will use up about 2/3 of the dough for a 9” or 110” pie crust. (You need some in reserve for the soccer shapes later on.)
Once the crust is complete, prick it all over with a fork to help let air escape so the crust won’t balloon up. To be sure it won’t, put a large piece of foil on the crust and fill the shell with pie weights, macaroni or dried beans.
Pre-bake the pie shell for 15 minutes in a 350°F oven. Remove and cool. Remove weights and foil after 5 minutes, and paint the bottom of the crust with the egg white. Return the crust to the oven and bake for 5 minutes. This thin layer of cooked egg prevents the filling from penetrating the crust and making it soggy. (This works well for fruit tarts as well.)
With some of the remaining dough, cut seven pentagon shapes approximately 2-3 inches across. Keep these in reserve on a flat surface.
Make the Filling
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup mascarpone cheese (the whole of the small 250 gram container)
7/8 cup icing sugar
2 eggs, separated
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup raspberry jam (optional)
Mix the ricotta, the mascarpone and the icing sugar together until smooth. Beat in the yolks of 2 eggs and the vanilla.
In a separate bowl, whip the 2 egg whites until stiff.
Fold the egg whites into the cheese mixture until well blended.
Spread the jam over the bottom of the pie crust.
Pour the filling into the pre-baked pie shell.
Arrange the soccer shapes on top of the pie so that they resemble a soccer ball.
Bake the pie in a 350 oven for 60 minutes. This seems like a long time but will produce a firm filling and a nicely browned top.
Finish the soccer berry pie
1 cup raspberries
1 cup blackberries or blueberries
½ cup water
½ cup sugar
Dissolve the sugar in the water in a small saucepan and boil like mad until the sugar begins to get thick, about 4 minutes at a high boil, stirring all the time with a long wooden spoon. Cool slightly.
With a small brush, paint the soccer shapes on the top of the pie. Some may have disappeared beneath the filling—don’t worry, paint on top of the shape anyway. Arrange the berries on top of the soccer pentagons, and drizzle the remaining syrup on top of the berries.