“It Started With Yum” Blogging Exchange: Let’s make a pie!

Notice a little something different around these parts? Nope, You’re not crazy…DGD has undergone a little facelift in honor of its 2nd blogiversary!!! To celebrate the milestone, I’ll be back this afternoon with stats, talk of the future and a heartfelt thanks for all that you guys have allowed this blog to accomplish in the past 24 months. But first…

It’s that time again! Time for fellow blogger, Jessalyn (of It Started With Yum), and I to get together to exchange our own personal expertise with the other – It’s our little way of expanding our creativity into new realms, AND a good excuse for two friends to meet up and talk shop. In the past, our seasonal exchanges have consisted of shelf styling basics and DIY green cleaning solutions and, later on, DIY Christmas bunting flags made from holiday cards (hers|mine).

Here’s a photo of the two of us back in December because, of course, the one thing we FORGOT to do this particular trip was snap a photo. Before I jump into our collaboration, be sure to open a new tab with Jessalyn’s post explaining the basics of screen printing fabrics – My contribution to this fun blogging exchange of ours.

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When Jessalyn and I began to coordinate this trip (she and her husband live an hour away in Charlottesville, Virginia, thus the “coordination”) I immediately knew what I wanted her help with. I’ve never been much of a baker, preferring kitchen adventures like stir fries and pasta, but it was high time that I learned. My pastry of choice? Pie…

While the thought of pie alone sounds generally fantastic, Jessalyn took things one step further by suggesting strawberry pie. This was a whole new level of excitement. Is it just me, or does strawberry pie sound a bit exotic and unusual? Those little red berries happen to be my all time favorite variety (I eat them like chips, one after the other), so to say I was an enthusiastic student is an understatement – And Jessalyn’s tutorial did not dissapoint.

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Jessalyn’s Incredible Strawberry Pie

Pie Crust:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 sticks unsalted butter, cubed
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2-1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup ice-cold water

Whisk together dry ingredients. Cut in the butter using a pastry blender/cutter, working your way around the bowl until the butter is incorporated as pea-sized dots into the dry ingredients – This is a great arm workout, as I discovered! Next, add the ice water slowly in portions, using the pastry blender to work it into the dough. Once it starts to stick together, dust the counter with flour and dump the dough out of the bowl to work. Gently knead it together into a ball, then divide in half with a knife. Wrapping each in plastic wrap, refrigerate for one hour. Keeps in fridge for 1 week; freezer, for longer.

Pie Filling:
6 cups frozen strawberries
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine pie filling ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Stir together to incorporate. Set the mixture aside and roll out one of the dough rolls, laying it across the bottom of a pie pan. Continue to stir the pie filling as you do this – The frozen fruit will start to thaw, which gives the sugar its chance to dissolve a bit.

Once the dough is laid out in the pan, dump the pie filling into the pan. Roll out the second dough ball and, using a floured rolling pin to transport, roll it out on top of the pan. Then use your fingers to fold the edges of the dough up and over one another, squeezing as you go to seal it. Poke a few holes into the top of the dough using a knife to allow for ventilation.

Place the pie pan on a baking sheet (used to catch overflow) and put it into the oven on a low rack. Bake the pie at 400 degrees for 25 minutes, then lower the heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 45 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool and enjoy!

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Was it tasty? Oh, MY yes. The balsamic vinegar secret ingredient is the little POW that takes this pie from amazing to gone-in-five-minutes finger-lickin-good. Jessalyn sent me home with two pie dough rolls of my own and I ended up baking them right up at 9 pm. last night – All this pie talk has me ravenous, so I think I’m gonna go sneak a slice for breakfast. Don’t judge.

Before I sign off for the morning, here’s that link again so that you can check out Jessalyn’s post, all about how I taught her how to screen print. I was pretty new myself to this inking process, but managed to create something worth sharing AND showing off! Believe me, no one was more surprised than this gal.

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And don’t forget to come back this afternoon for a bonus post in honor of DGD’s 2nd birthday!

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