18 August 2011

Blueberry pie

Blueberry bonanza! We got a little out of hand the other day picking blueberries. Nine pounds of blueberries. So we had to find a home for a few of them.

Blueberries

Classic summer bbq fare is blueberry pie (or pah as they say in Texas).

In our home, pie is the domain of Mrs. Dude. She makes a pretty amazing crust. I copy this one from her delightful description of rhubarb pie:

2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
⅔ cup Crisco (Bbq Dude is always trying to make me use use leaf lard, but I just can’t do it. I like Crisco)
⅓ cup very cold water (mix 1 cup water with some ice cubes and let sit, pour off the 1/3 cup when you need it)


Add the salt to the flour and mix. Add the 2/3 cup Crisco and mash into the flour with your fingers until you’ve made something that looks like the photo. Don’t handle it too much, it should only take about 2 min. This will make mess out of rings on your fingers or bells on your toes, so put them someplace safe. Add the 1/3 cup very cold water and mix with fingers till it all starts sticking together. Don’t handle it too much. Have 4 sheets of wax paper or parchment paper ready to roll the pie crusts out in. Place about 1/4th of the dough in between 2 sheets of paper and “roll like mad” as my Mom says. Move the rolling pin around to generate an at least somewhat circular shape. You want the dough to be about 2-3mm (1/10th inch) thick.

For this pie, form an extra high ridge around the edge of the pastry. And chill the crust while you're making the filling. We take a slight twist on the classic blueberry pie as detailed on Epicurious:
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons (or more) sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
7 cups fresh blueberries
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Mix the all the filling components in a heavy pot. Heat over medium heat, stirring gently frequently until the blueberries liquify (a tiny bit) and make a thick, hot, bubbling mess.

Blueberry filling

You want largely whole blueberries, so be gentle. No one wants blueberry-paste pie.

Chill the pie filling for an hour.

Meanwhile, make the topping:
⅔ cup unbleached all purpose flour
4 ounces marzipan or almond paste
¼ cup (1/2 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
½ tsp salt
Combine all the topping ingredients in a food processor, pulse only until combined into a wet, chunky mess.

Ok, chill that, too. Now you've got crust, filling and topping in the fridge. After everything is cold (about an hour), fire up the oven at 400°F. Now you're gonna need to move fast, because you don't want the filling to soak into the crust. As soon as the pie gets assembled, you want it heading straight into the oven. Only a fool would pause to take the semi-assembled pie outside into sufficient light to get a good picture...

Blueberry pie filling

Ahem.

If you must, be quick about it.

Blueberry pie filling

Crumble the topping over the blueberries.

Pre-baked blueberry pie

Put the pie on a cookie sheet. Yeah, it's going to bubble and splatter, especially if you put in a few too many blueberries. Bake until the topping browns, around 70 minutes (but start checking it at 45 - your mileage may vary).

Remove from the oven, and if you can possibly stand it, let the pie cool so the filling can gel. Serve with ice cream.

Blueberry pie

It's pie, dammit. It's good.

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1 comment:

idevine said...

Ideally, you want to only cook 1 cup of berries in the cornstarch. After it thickens, you fold in the rest. Then you get whole berries, not paste. If you bake the crust blind, it eliminates the need for the whole pie to go into the oven. Who wants their oven on longer than necessary in August?

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