2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
2/3 cup cold butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces plus 1 tablespoon butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces, divided
1/2 vanilla bean
4 cups blackberries
4 cups raspberries
3 cups blueberries
2 tablespoons Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise (or any sweet white wine)
1/2 cup granulated sugar, or more to taste if fruit is especially tart
5 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca, or 3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon Demerara sugar (or any large-crystal sugar, such as Sugar in the Raw)
1 (8-ounce) carton creme fraiche
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
Combine the flour, 3/4 teaspoon of the salt and the nutmeg. Add the 2/3 cup of butter pieces. Use tip of a knife to scrape seeds from the vanilla bean onto butter. Use a pastry blender or your hands to work butter into dry ingredients just until small pieces of butter remain and flour resembles coarse-ground meal.
Sprinkle 4 tablespoons ice water over flour mixture and stir with a fork until dough holds together and forms a ball. Place dough on a lightly floured surface and form dough into two flat rounds. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate about 1 hour or until firm.
Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, toss together the blackberries, raspberries and blueberries with the Muscat. Allow to macerate for 5 minutes.
In a small bowl, combine the granulated sugar, tapioca and remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt. Pour mixture over fruit, tossing to coat fruit evenly. Let fruit stand 20 to 25 minutes while rolling out crust; if using cornstarch to thicken mixture, fruit needs to stand only 5 minutes.
Remove dough from refrigerator and allow to sit out for 10 to 15 minutes. Roll out one portion of dough on a lightly floured surface into a 12-inch circle, about 1/8 inch thick. Roll dough loosely around rolling pin and carefully unroll it onto a 9-inch, deep-dish pie plate. Gently press dough onto bottom and sides of pie plate, leaving excess dough hanging over edge.
Roll out second round of dough into a 13-inch circle. Cut a 4-inch circle from center. Use a 11/4-inch star cutter to cut stars out of dough around cut-out circle; additionally, cut stars out of 4-inch circle that has been removed from dough. Set aside cut-out stars to decorate edge of pie.
Fill pie shell with fruit and juices. Sprinkle the remaining 1 tablespoon of cut-up butter over top of pie. Roll dough loosely around rolling pin and carefully lift dough and unroll it over pie.
Trim edges, leaving a 1-inch edge. Fold edges under to fit pie plate, gently pressing it flat on rim of pie plate. Brush crust with the beaten egg.
Press stars around edge of pie plate. Brush stars with the beaten egg. Sprinkle with the Demerara sugar. Put pie on a baking sheet and bake 55 to 60 minutes, until it is golden brown and bubbly. If pie browns too quickly while baking, loosely tent top of pie with foil. Let pie cool on a wire rack to warm.
Whip the creme fraiche until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the powdered sugar. Cut pie into serving-size pieces. Serve with a dollop of creme fraiche on top of each slice.
Makes 8 servings.
From the Aug. 1, 2007, Mail Tribune