Friday, September 14, 2012

Baking: Blueberry Pie

I really enjoy baking. It's one of the few things that I can do that other people can't. It's probably because I can follow instructions precisely as well as having patience. This also goes for cooking. I will take the time and effort to make something so that it comes out perfect. Yes, I love food that much.

Back to pie. I make a lot of fruit pies because the bounty of fresh fruit is amazing. And when they're in season, they're even more fantastic. I know it's not blueberry season anymore but I made this pie a while ago. Using fresh, in season fruit garners a better and stronger flavor without having to substitute it with sugar and butter. Not that sugar and butter is bad, per se. But I'd rather had a rich fruit flavor.

My pie making process takes 3 days from start to finish/when you can eat it. You can shorten some of the steps if you'd like but I find that this process works best to my taste. The crust is the first step. I mix the dry ingredients with butter and shortening. Make sure your fats are super cold. I mean from the freezer cold. See those little lumps of butter dotting my dough? Yeah, you want that. After the pie dough is mixed, I separate it into 2 disks as seen below and refrigerate it overnight or for about an hour for expediency.
While the dough gets cold again, I macerate the blueberries with sugar and tapioca powder. Some lemon zest brightens it up.
Once the dough is cold, I roll one disk out for the bottom layer. Then I place it into the pie dish and trim the edges leaving a little room for decoration. Then back into the fridge again for another hour(s).
After the dough is chilled, I pour the berries and all the juices into the dish.
With the other disk of pie dough, I roll it out and cut it into strips for the lattice work.
Over and under is the trick. It takes time and a little patience but I think it's worth it. Look how pretty it is! The edges are crimped too for aesthetic reasons.
At this point, you can refrigerate the pie again or bake it depending on fast you are with your lattice work. When you're ready to bake, make sure the oven is preheated. Then place the pie on a sheet pan and bake until the crust is golden and the filling bubbles. The sheet pan helps catch any of the filling that may spill over.
The pie would be extremely hot right now. You cannot eat it at this state. It's too loose and would probably burn your mouth. Let it rest on a wire rack until completely cooled and set. This usually means overnight for me.

The next day, you have a beautiful pie to slice and eat. The blueberries for this version were very good. Lots of natural sweetness. However, it needed more tapioca powder because it was very loose and didn't set enough. I'll add a little more next time. I'll also add some more lemon zest to counter the sweetness too. Otherwise, this was a very good pie indeed.

Recipe below courtesy of

Wild Blueberry Pie
Yields 1 9-inch 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
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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.


  1. Daaaaaamn that's a pretty pie.

  2. Pie crust is in intimdating to me. I've watched my mom make it when I was younger, but never tried it myself. It's on my 'to conquer' list for next year. hehe

    Looks delicious!

  3. Love your lattice work and the large chunks of fat in the dough are drool-worthy!!! =)

  4. Blueberry pie!! Drools.
    a la mode and I'd go to town...


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