If you think it’s just too difficult to make the beautiful pies and pastries you see on your favorite cooking shows, think again!
While some aspects of pastry cooking are unavoidably difficult, others can be handled with a simple short-cut.
Take this berries and cream pie with a braided crust. You probably took one look at the crust and thought: “Nope, too hard.” But it’s much easier than you’d think!
The braid gives this pie a truly unique appearance, and the cream cheese and fresh berry filling is so delicious that you’ll want seconds… and thirds… and maybe even fourths.
If you’re tempted by this recipe, here’s what you need to do!
1. Start by preheating your oven to 325°F. Now it’s time to make your dough. Take a packet of active dry yeast and combine it with lukewarm milk, stirring until the yeast is dissolved.
2. Add butter, egg, sugar and flour, then knead until the dough is smooth and not too sticky. Place the dough in a bowl, cover with cling film or a tea towel, and leave it for 45 minutes.
3. When the dough has proved, it’s time for the magic to happen! On a flour-sprinkled work surface, roll out the dough into a circle shape, like you’re making a pizza. Then take the lid from a large pot and press it into the middle.
4. The excess dough around the pot can now be cut into small fringes. Use a knife to do this. They need to be about a finger-width in thickness.
5. Now for the trickiest part! Braid the fringes, one on top of the other, until the entire outer section of the dough is plaited. You might want to check out the video at the bottom of this article to see how it’s done.
6. Place the braided dough onto a baking tray and leave it for around 15 minutes to rest. Then, with a fork, poke holes into the dough to allow air to get in during the bake.
7. Make an egg wash by mixing your egg and milk, then brush it all over your dough braid. You don’t need to brush it on the middle of the dough, as this will be covered with the filling.
8. To make the filling, combine the cream cheese, egg, sugar, vanilla bean and corn starch in a bowl, then carefully pour it into the middle of your pie. Put the pie straight in the oven and leave it to bake for 30 to 35 minutes.
9. Take the pie out of the oven once it has taken on a golden-brown color and a crisp texture. Garnish it with fresh berries and icing sugar – and voila! You’re all done.
This recipe is so simple, yet looks like a real show-stopper. If you can’t wait for the day when you can start hosting dinner parties at your home again, this is a dessert well worth perfecting before then!
You can find the ingredients and instructions listed below.
You will need:
For the yeast dough:
- 4¾ cups flour
- 1 packet active dry yeast
- 1 cup lukewarm milk
- ½ stick butter, softened
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 egg
- egg wash (1 whisked egg + 2 tbsp milk
For the cream filling:
- 16 oz cream cheese
- 1 egg
- ½ cup sugar
- vanilla bean
- 1 tbsp corn starch
For the garnish:
- Powdered sugar
What to do:
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Mix dry yeast with lukewarm milk. Stir to dissolve yeast.
2. Add butter, egg, sugar and flour. Knead until dough is smooth and not too sticky. Place in a bowl, cover, and leave for 45 minutes.
3. Roll out the dough on a flour-sprinkled work surface. Press the lid from a large pot into the middle.
4. Use a knife to cut the excess dough into small fringes.
5. Braid the fringes, as shown in the video below.
6. Place on a baking tray then leave for 15 minutes to rest. Poke holes into the dough with a fork.
7. Mix egg and milk to make a wash, then brush it all over the dough braid.
8. Make the filling. Combine cream cheese, egg, sugar, vanilla bean and corn starch. Pour in the middle of the pie, put in the oven, and bake for 30 to 35 minutes.
9. Garnish the pie with fresh berries and icing sugar. Enjoy hot or cold.
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