Thursday, July 9, 2009

Blueberry Pie

Ah, it's the year of pies for me. After a successful strawberry rhubarb pie, I was excited for my next one. This time, it's blueberries. I didn't have time to peruse the farmer's market for fresh berries. I had to settle for the supermarket kind. I know it wouldn't achieve that really strong blueberry flavor that I found in Maine a while ago. But my baking itch was too strong. I found a great recipe from epicurious again. So I started prepping. The ingredients: flour, sugar, lemon, blueberries, butter, vegetable shortening, and cornstarch (not shown) For the crust, mix ingredients until a ball of dough forms. Chill in the fridge for at least an hour. Meanwhile, mix filling ingredients together. I like to do this a little ahead of time so that the berries have time to macerate. This seems to generate a more juicy filling. When chilled, roll out the pie dough onto 9 inch pie pan. Add filling, and dot with butter. Roll out second ball of dough and cover filling. Fold edges under to seal. You can create a fancy edge here if you want. I chose not to this time. Also, remember to cut slits into your pie for the steam to evaporate. Add eggwash over the top. Lastly, sprinkle with more sugar. Bake in oven until the filling in bubbly and the crust is golden brown. Cool completely. It tastes really good! The crust is so flaky and buttery. The filling is slightly thick but still really juicy. The blueberries aren't sour at all nor is it too sweet. It's just right. This is a really great recipe. A couple of tips: *Try to use the freshest seasonal fruits whenever possible. *Always roll out cold dough. Not only will it roll out easier, but it'll be flakier when baked. *Place pie plate onto a baking sheet covered with aluminum foil. The filling always spills over. *Bake the pie half way with aluminum foil and half without. This prevents the crust from burning before the filling is ready. *If the filling isn't bubbling, then it's not ready yet. *I always let my pies cool overnight for thoroughness. It lets the starches set the filling. Recipe courtesy of Wild Blueberry Pie Gourmet | July 1993 Yield: Makes 1 pie ingredients For the pâte brisée: 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into bits 2 tablespoons cold vegetable shortening 1/4 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons ice water plus additional if necessary For the wild blueberry pie: 6 cups wild blueberries, picked over 1/4 cup cornstarch 1 cup sugar plus additional for sprinkling the pie 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into bits 2 tablespoons half-and-half or milk preparation To make the pie: Preheat oven to 425°F. Roll out half the dough 1/8 inch thick on a lightly floured surface, fit it into a 9-inch (1 quart) pie plate, and trim the edge, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang. Chill the shell while making the filling. In a large bowl toss together well the blueberries, the cornstarch, 1 cup of the sugar, the lemon juice, the nutmeg, and the salt, mound the filling in the shell, and dot it with the butter. Roll out the remaining dough into a 13 to 14-inch round on the lightly floured surface, cut out a 1 1/2-inch star from the middle of the round, and drape the round over the filling. Trim the dough, leaving a 1-inch overhang, fold the overhang under the bottom crust, pressing the edge to seal it, and crimp the edge decoratively. Brush the crust with the half-and-half or milk, cut slits in the top crust around the crust, and sprinkle the pie lightly with the additional sugar. Bake the pie in the bottom third of the oven for 20 minutes, reduce the temperature to 375°F., and bake the pie for 30 to 35 minutes more, or until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbling. Transfer the pie to a rack and let it cool. To make the pâte brisée: In a large bowl blend the flour, the butter, the vegetable shortening, and the salt until the mixture resembles meal. Add the 2 tablespoons ice water, toss the mixture until the water is incorporated, adding the additional ice water if necessary to form a dough, and form the dough into a ball. Dust the dough with flour and chill it, wrapped in wax paper, for 1 hour.

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