Friday, June 24, 2011
Ah June, hockey season is finally over and blueberries are in season, fresh and abundant at the grocery store. On the day that the Stanley Cup would finally be handed over to either Boston or Vancouver I came across the most amazing looking blueberries while shopping. We were having friends over to watch the game and I decided that I would make a blueberry pie for dessert. Normally making a blueberry pie wouldn't even enter my mind (hubby doesn't like blueberries, or most fruit for that matter) but I had recently purchased Martha Stewart's Pie and Tarts and remembered an amazing looking blueberry pie in the book. Martha's version has a latticed topped pie but I find the process of proper "latticing", i.e. weaving the strips of dough, too time consuming so I opted for an easier method of just rolling out the dough and cutting out leaf patterns, with my nifty leaf pattern cutters from William Sonoma that would provide vents to allow the steam to escape and the leaf cutouts would be "glued" over the crust for a decorative finish.
The filling is so easy! Just wash the berries and pick through for any bad ones (I think I discarded only one from a 2 lb. container) and add some sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and lemon juice. This is far easier than making apple pie (which hubby loves - he likes apples) which eliminates the peeling and chopping. The blueberries are piled onto a pastry lined pie plate and topped with the decorative pastry.
The pie is fluted and brushed with milk and sprinkled with a dusting of sugar. Martha brushes her pastry with an egg wash but I find my method also works well. The pie is baked in a hot 400 degree oven for 20 minutes and then the temperature is lowered to 350 degrees and baked for 55 minutes more.
It comes out of the oven golden and beautiful, with some of the bubbling filling oozing from the vents.
After my son had a slice he asked me why I've never made blueberry pie before. Our friends enjoyed it as well, though they weren't happy at all that Vancouver had lost. Hubby on the other hand was so thrilled that Boston won (he was rooting for an original six team) he didn't even notice the pie.
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 to 1/2 cup of ice water.
Pulse flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor (or whisk together by hand in a bowl). Add butter, and pulse (or quickly cut in with a pastry blender or your fingertips) until mixture resembles coarse meal, with some larger pieces remaining. Drizzle 1/4 cup water over mixture. Pulse (or mix with a fork) until mixture just begins to hold together. If dough is too dry, add 1/4 cup more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse ( or mix with a fork).
Divide dough in half onto tow pieces of plastic wrap. Gather into two balls, wrap loosely in plastic, and press each into a disk using a rolling pin. Refrigerate until firm, well wrapped in plastic, 1 hour or up to 1 day. (Dough can be frozen up to 3 months; thaw in refrigerator before using.
Shortening Variation: Replace 1/2 cup of butter with 1/2 cup of cold vegetable shortening cut into to small pieces.
2 lbs. (about 7 cups) fresh blueberries, picked over and rinsed.
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 large egg yolk, for egg wash (I used milk or cream)
1 tablespoon heavy cream, for egg wash
Fine sanding sugar, for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 400 F. On a lightly floured surface, roll out 1 disk of dough to 13-inch round, about 1/8 inch thick. Fit dough into a 9-inch pie plate.
In a large bowl, toss together berries, granulated sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and lemon juice until combined. Pour mixture into pie plate piling in center.
On lightly floured surface, roll out remaining disk of dough to 13-inch round. To make lattice, cut dough into ten 1-inch wide strips using a fluted pastry wheel. Lightly brush edge of dough in pie plate with water. Carefully arrange dough strips on top, weaving to form a lattice. Trim dough to a 1-inch overhang. Fold edges under as desired, and crimp with a fork. In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolk and cream for egg wash; brush on top of dough strips and edge of pie shell. Generously sprinkle with sanding sugar. Refrigerate or freeze pie until firm, about 30 minutes.
Transfer pie plate3 to a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet, and bake until crust begins to brown, about 20 minutes. Reduce heat o 350 F. Continue baking until crust is deep golden brown and juices bubble, 55 minutes more. (If crust browns too quickly, tent pie with foil.) Transfer pie to a wire rack; let cool completely, at least 3 hours, before serving.