Founder Jenell Parsons from Vancouver-based The Pie Hole shares this mouthwatering recipe from her newest cookbook, You Wanna Piece of Me?
I had a little tea party one afternoon at 3 and served this creamy, elegant pie topped with chantilly cream and dried lavender. We use high-quality tea leaves and infuse the milk overnight to extract the lovely bergamot flavour.
½ recipe Double Butter crust (recipe below)
3 cups milk
3 bags Earl Grey tea
¾ cup sugar
½ cup flour
5 egg yolks, whisked
3 tbsp butter
¼ tsp salt
1½ tsp vanilla
1 batch whipped cream (recipe below)
2 tsp dried lavender
- Prepare a single 9-inch Double Butter Crust and partially blind bake (bake without the filling). Chill in the pie plate until you’re ready to assemble your pie. Line a baking sheet with parchment
- To get that beautiful Earl Grey flavour, in a medium saucepan warm the milk, but do not boil. Remove from heat and add the tea bags. Transfer to an airtight container and once the milk has cooled, put the lid on and steep for 4 to 12 hours in the fridge.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Remove the tea bags and transfer the milk to a large Add the sugar and flour and whisk until smooth. Over medium-high heat, bring the mixture to a boil, whisking constantly.
- When hot and starting to get thick (about 5 minutes), carefully pour about ½ cup of the mixture into a large bowl containing the egg yolks, whisking constantly to temper the eggs. Tempering gently brings the eggs to a higher temperature without cooking them and making them If you do get some lumps, use a fine-mesh sieve to remove them.
- Return the tempered eggs and Earl Grey mixture to the pot and whisk continuously until the mixture has thickened (2 to 3 more minutes). Make sure to whisk all over to keep any spots from sticking and burning on the bottom of the
- Once the mixture has thickened, remove from the heat and stir in the butter, salt, and vanilla. Continue to stir until the butter is melted and the ingredients are fully incorporated.
- Add the Earl Grey mixture to the pie shell and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until the filling has set. Cool the pie in the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight before decorating.
- Using a piping bag and star tip, top the pie with whipped cream. Roll the dried lavender buds between your fingertips to intensify the lavender flavour and sprinkle them over the pie.
My husband might love whipped cream more than anyone I have ever met. When he was growing up, his mom would make him and his brothers fresh whipped cream to eat by the bowlful. How he has stayed skinny I will never know. To this day, I have to keep an eye on him when I’m making whipped cream. Even his pie-to-whipped-cream ratio is way off (or right on, depending where you stand), but I get it, whipped cream is a wonderful pairing for pie.
MAKES 3½ CUPS
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 tbsp icing sugar
- 1 packet whipped cream stabilizer (optional) (see note)
- 1 tsp vanilla (optional) (see note)
NOTE: The whipped cream stabilizer is optional, but unless you plan to make and finish the pie the same day, it will help keep the whipped cream from falling flat. It can usually be found in little packages in the baking aisle at your grocery store. The vanilla is also optional, but if you have it, use it because it really elevates the whipped cream.
Makes one 9-inch single-crust pie
The Double Butter Crust
The crust of a pie should never take the back seat and simply be the vessel—a vessel that far too often gets left on the plate while the “good stuff” gets eaten. So I made it my mission to develop the most delicious, buttery, flaky crust possible. We use so much butter in fact that we call our pastry Double Butter crust. And let me tell you, we have all the flavour and all the flakes!
- 1 cup water, ice cold
- 1 tbsp vinegar, cold
- 2 cups butter, cold
- 4 cups flour
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- Egg wash (1 egg. Optional splash of milk or water and a pinch of salt)
NOTE: The amount of water mixture you need will vary each time you make the dough. A number of variables contribute to this, including the moisture content in the flour (influenced by how the flour is stored), the warmth of your hands, the time of year, and how hot or cold your kitchen is. You will most likely not use all of the water mixture, but it’s better to have a little too much than not enough. And don’t fret if there is a little extra flour in the bottom of the bowl.
- Start by mixing the water and vinegar together in a bowl or jug and putting it into the freezer so it’s icy cold when you need it. Cut the butter into 1-inch cubes and put them in the freezer too to keep as cold as possible while you measure the other ingredients.
To prepare the dough by hand:
Measure the flour, sugar, and salt into a large mixing bowl and mix to fully incorporate.
Add the cold butter to the flour mixture, and use your fingers to massage the butter into the flour, breaking it apart and coating it in flour. Continue massaging and rolling the butter between your fingers until you have a coarse mixture with pea- to almond-sized pieces of butter throughout.
Add 3 tbsp of the cold vinegar-water mixture. Slowly mix in the water with your hands, gently squeezing the butter and flour to help it come together.
Continue adding the vinegar-water mixture just 1 tbsp at a time, mixing it in gently with your hands. The goal is to add just enough water to get the dough to come together into a shaggy mixture—and once it gets to that point, hands off.
Turn to chill the dough
To prepare the dough by food processor:
In a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar, and salt until mixed. A few quick pulses should do it. Add the cold butter, a few pieces at a time, pulsing until you have a coarse mixture with pea- to almond-sized pieces of butter throughout. Do not overmix! It’s very easy to overmix, so be careful.
Add 3 tbsp of the cold vinegar-water mixture. Pulse a few times. Continue to add vinegar and water, 1 tbsp at a time, pulsing a few times between each addition. The goal is to add just enough water to get the dough to come together into a shaggy mixture—and once it gets to that point, no more pulsing (see note)!
Transfer to a floured work surface, and carefully fold any loose bits of flour and butter into the ball of dough. Folding it a few times will create layers. Next, read below for how to chill the dough.
NOTE: The more you work the dough, the more the gluten develops, and the tougher your dough becomes, so it’s really important not to overwork it.
To prepare the dough by stand mixer:
Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, and salt on low speed.
With the mixer running on low speed, add the cold butter, a few pieces at a time, mixing until you have a coarse mixture with pea- to almond-sized pieces of butter throughout. Do not overmix.
With the mixer still running on low speed, add 3 Tbsp of the cold vinegar- water mixture. Continue to add vinegar and water, 1 Tbsp at a time, mixing for 30 seconds between each addition. The goal is to add just enough water to get the dough to come together into a shaggy mixture—and once it gets to that point, stop mixing (see Note)! I find that using a stand mixer takes the most practice and that it is easy to add too much water if you are not patient.
Once the dough just comes together, remove it from the mixing bowl, cleaning off the paddle so as not to miss out on any of the delicious buttery dough. Next, read below for how to chill the dough.
Then, chill the dough:
- Bring your dough together to form a ball, divide it in half, and wrap each piece snugly with plastic wrap. At this point the dough is quite pliable, so press it down until it forms disks about 1 inch thick. This will save both time and effort when you start rolling the dough, as it’s more difficult to roll once chilled. Place the disks in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes to relax the gluten in the dough, which gives you a much more tender pastry. At this point you can also freeze the dough.
Or, for a double-crust pie:
- Repeat steps 1 and 2 of Rolling the Dough with your second disk of dough. If you are creating a full lid for your top pie crust, try to roll the dough into an even circular shape. If you are preparing the dough for a lattice design try to roll it into more of a rectangular shape to help you cut nice even strips that will fit across the pie without stretching. Keep chilled until you are ready to assemble the pie.
- Once you have added the pie filling to the bottom crust, use a pastry brush to brush the edges of the crust with egg wash. Make sure to get it into all the nooks and crannies as this helps the top pie crust to adhere to it.
- Top with the top pie crust and secure the edges by pinching the bottom and top crusts together. Trim off any excess dough and flute the edges.
- Brush the whole surface with egg wash. Follow the individual pie recipe for baking and serving the pie. Double crust, double yum!
For blind baking:
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Line the inside of the prepared pie crust with parchment paper to protect the dough. Tip: Large coffee filters can also be used here instead. Add pie weights (see page 8) to keep the pastry in place, and so the heat of the oven doesn’t just melt the pastry into a buttery puddle in the bottom of the pie plate.
Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven, but keep the oven on. Remove the weights and parchment paper and brush the base of the pie crust with egg wash.
For a fully blind-baked pie, return to the oven for 8 to 10 minutes; for a partially blind-baked pie, return to the oven for 3 to 5 minutes. This cooks the additional egg wash and creates a barrier between the filling and the crust to keep the crust from becoming soggy.
NOTE: The dough can be made in advance and kept in the fridge for up to 3 days, or the freezer for up to 3 months. You will likely have extra dough left over from this recipe. gather the scraps together, wrap in plastic wrap, and store in the fridge or freezer.
Makes one 9-inch double crust (or two 9-inch single crusts)
Excerpted from You Wanna Piece of Me? by Jenell Parsons. Copyright © 2020 The Pie Hole Holdings Corp. Photography by Janis Nicolay. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.