Food & Swine

Blueberry Pie

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For all of the pie-purists I know, a two-crust fruit pie (meaning pastry crust on top and bottom) is the most cherished pie of all.  As a pie baker, if you are worth your salt (according to my Grandma), you can bake a two crust pie.  This time of year, blueberries are $1.50 per pint and they are the perfect start to a ‘beginner’s pie’.  No peeling, crushing, pre-cooking etc. for this recipe.  Just some blueberries, thickener, lemon zest and juice and a dash of salt and you’ll be on your way!

The lattice work on this pie is pretty simple, I chose to do it on a diagonal (my first time) to try and make it look fancy.  I like it and may do it again.  (I will add finished-product pictures once the pie is cooled and ready to eat!)  You can find all sorts of tutorials on YouTube for creating lattice crusts.  Easier than you think, I promise.

Yesterday was my husband’s birthday.  He’s the sweetest thing around (sweeter than this pie, even.)  Here is a flashback picture of his Dad holding him when he was a few months old.  I love it.

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He is a great Dad.

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Handier than a heart attack.

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And supportive of whatever I do.  Not to mention, silly, fun etc.  Happy Birthday MC!

Let’s get to work.

Blueberry Pie
By: Cristen      www.foodandswine.com
Makes 1 9-inch pie
Ingredients for Pastry Crust:
2 1/2 C flour
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 C fat, cubed and well chilled (lard, butter, shortening)
1 egg, well beaten
1/2-2/3 C water
1 tsp vinegar
Add flour, sugar and salt to a large mixing bowl.  Whisk well to combine.  Add fat and cut into butter with fingers or pastry blender, until pea sized pieces of fat remain.  Add egg, 1/2 C water and vinegar.  Mix with hands.  Add more water if pastry dough is not coming together.  Separate mixture into 2 portions.  Cover with plastic wrap, pat into a disk and refrigerate for 30 minutes.  (This refrigeration is optional but I think it is necessary to relax the gluten and firm the fat up prior to rolling, which will be easier if the dough is chilled.  I chill my dough and mix the filling in the meantime.)

Ingredients for Blueberry Filling
2 1/2 – 3 Pints Blueberries, picked over (remove stems or bad berries)
3/4 C sugar
zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 C cornstarch or flour (I can’t decide which is better, I’ve used them interchangeably)
1 TBSP minute tapioca *optional (I have HUGE berries with tons of juice today, using tapioca is my insurance policy for not having a runny pie.)
Pinch of salt
Add blueberries to large mixing bowl.  In a separate bowl, rub lemon zest into sugar with fingertips.  (This releases the oils of the zest into the sugar, giving better flavor.)  Add sugar/zest mixture to blueberries.  Add juice of lemon, flour, tapioca if using and pinch of salt.  Stir around and let sit 5 minutes.

Pie Assembly:
You’ll need
1 TBSP butter
1 egg + 1 tsp water, well mixed
2 TBSP coarse sugar
Meanwhile, grab 1 pastry dough disk out of refrigerator.  On a well floured smooth surface, using a rolling pin, roll out into a 13″ circle.  Set into pie plate.  Pour in filling.  Dot with 1 TBSP butter. (Break this butter up in your fingers and place tiny pieces of it over the top of the filling, before adding top crust.  Remove other pastry dough disk from refrigerator.  Roll out to 13″ circle.  Cut strips to weave lattice or leave top crust solid.  Place over filling, tuck both crusts under. Cut 4 vent slits if solid top crust is used.  Pinch edges of pie between fingers decoratively to make a scalloped edge.  Wrap outer crust in a ring of foil.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, reduce heat and bake at 350 for 40-55 minutes until juices of pie make slow bubbles.  Remove foil ring for last 20 minutes of baking, to brown crust further, if desired.  Remove from oven at end of baking.  Let stand 4 hours to ‘set’.  Serves 8-12.

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