My friends Jessie and Dan brought me a pint of blueberries as a thank you for watering their plants while they were on vacation. It got me to thinking about a pie I made in July of 1997. I only remember the date because it was in the July/August issue of Cuisine Magazine. July is the perfect time to make a blueberry pie - the berries are fresh and inexpensive. I liked this recipe not just because it tastes so good but because it is beautiful and different from the way most pies look. I really struggled with the crust this go round. It was so fragile that I could hardly work with it. I used the food processor instead of my hands to make the crust and I didn't get enough water in it. Next time I'll know better.
(1- 9" Deep-Dish Pie)
Work Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
2-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cake flour
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 stick unsalted butter, chilled
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons Crisco shortening, chilled
1/2 cup ice water
1 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
6 cups fresh blueberries
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
Egg Wash & Glaze
1 egg white
1-1/2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon sugar
- Combine dry ingredients. Cut butter and Crisco (I use sticks) into fourths lengthwise-dice
- Cut in butter, then Crisco with pastry blender. Shoot for pea-size and smaller bits
- Lightly mix in ice water 1 tablespoon at a time. The curst is done when you can gently form a ball.
- Divide dough in half. Form into disks and place in gallon sized Ziplock bags. Chill 30 minutes (or day ahead).
- Rinse the berries . Mix the sugar, corn starch, salt and butter in a large Ziplock bag. Next add the berries, seal the bad and shake it all up. Turn the bag several times to make sure the berries are all coated.
- Remove one dough disk from the refrigerator. Cut the seams of the bag and begin rolling with the dough still in the bag.
- When dough is 3/8" thick turn it out from bag onto a floured surface. Flour top of dough. Roll from center out in all directions, to approximately 1/8" thick.
- Gently lift dough to pie pan. Trim edges flush; cover and chill. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- When chilled dock the bottom crust (poke holes with a fork) and paint it with the egg wash to keep the crust from getting soggy. Dump in the berries!
Making Leaves and a Braided Edge
- Prepare the top crust as we did the bottom by rolling to a 1/8" thickness. The braids are made by cutting linguini-width strips (3 at a time). Make braids by weaving 3 strips together (like braiding hair). Paint the pie's edge with water and secure braids along top edge.
- Make the leaves by cutting ovals in dough. Remove each oval and press (don't cut) with the back of a small knife to make veins.
- The berries tend to "pop" and bleed when cooking. So make two layers of leaves to keep them afloat. Now arrange them like a crown of laurels. Brush with egg wash/water mixture and sprinkle with sugar.
- Bake in bottom 1/3 of oven. Check in 20 minutes. Foil any part that's browning too fast. The filling bubbles when pie is done, but berries in center remain whole. Total baking time is 40 minutes.
The leaves are really easy to make, but I did see where King Arthur Flour sells a nice set of cutters that you can use to make this pie for $6.95: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/items/fruit-mini-pastry-cutters-set-of-6
Life is good - enjoy!