Posted August 12, 2014 05:23 pm - Updated August 13, 2014 10:24 am
Even folks who say that can’t make pie, especially a two-crust pie, can achieve success with “All Butter Crust Fresh Blueberry Pie.” Well-chilled butter makes it easy not to overwork the pie dough, resulting in a flaky, tender crust, which can be shaped by hand, or with the help of a food processor. The dough rolls well and is easily managed for placement in a pie dish, the point at which things can begin to go terribly wrong for would-be pie makers. The filling is a straightforward mix of blueberries, lemon zest, sugar, cinnamon and a bit of salt, with cornstarch used as thickener. The berries do not require any pre-cooking and the filling, once baked, will not turn into a runny mess oozing from either side of your cut pie, so long as you allow your pie to cool several hours after it is taken from the oven to give the filling time to “set up.” Fresh blueberries are abundant now, making it an ideal time to purchase some for consuming now and for freezing for use later. Frozen blueberries also make a great tasting fresh-baked berry pie and come winter, just when we need it most, I’ll show you how.
Sue Ade is a syndicated food writer with broad experience and interest in the culinary arts. She has worked and resided in the Lowcountry of South Carolina since 1985 and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All butter crust fresh blueberry pie
1 9-inch pie dish (I like to use a Pyrex clear glass pie dish.)
For the filling
5 cups fresh blueberries, picked over, rinsed, stems removed and dried
Grated zest from one small lemon
¾ cup sugar (if berries are not very sweet, add an additional 2 tablespoons sugar)
¼ cup, plus 2 tablespoons cornstarch
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter
1 egg, beaten with 1 teaspoon of water (egg wash)
Coarse “sanding” sugar for sprinkling on top of pie crust
For the pie crust
Makes pastry 1 double-crust 9-inch pie
2½ cups (10½ ounces) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (16 tablespoons, 8 ounces) cold unsalted butter, plus 2 tablespoons butter for dotting on top of pie filling
1 teaspoon white vinegar
Scant ½ cup ice water
Position oven rack on lower third of oven, then preheat oven to 400 degrees.
For the crust:
Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Dice the butter into small cubes. With a pastry blender, work butter into the flour mixture until it’s well distributed and resembles small peas. Add vinegar, then water, a tablespoon at a time, stirring with a fork until moist clumps form and dough holds together when squeezed. (Alternatively, if you have a food processor, place flour mixture and diced butter in the bowl of a food processor. Using on/off turns, cut butter into dry ingredients until the mixture looks like sand. Add vinegar, then water, a tablespoon at a time, and process just until a dough ball is formed.) With floured hands, place the dough on a lightly floured surface flattening into a disk. Divide dough in half, wrapping each half in plastic wrap. Chill for 30 minutes to 1 hour before using for ease of handling and to allow the glutens in the flour to rest. Roll out one of the pie crusts on a well-floured surface, or in a plastic lightly-floured zippered pie crust bag. Roll dough from the middle out, using even strokes until the dough circle measures 11 inches. Fold the dough to make a quarter by folding the dough in half, then in half again in the opposite direction. With floured hands, pick up the dough quarter and center the square corner in the center of a 9-inch pie dish. (You can also gently roll the crust onto a well-floured rolling pin and unroll it into your pie dish.) Open the crust to fit inside pie dish, then brush the bottom of the crust lightly with some of the egg wash. (This aids in keeping the bottom crust from becoming soggy.) Trim crust, if needed, to leave an overhang of 1 inch.
For the filling:
In a large mixing bowl, toss blueberries with lemon zest; set aside. In a separate bowl, mix the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and salt. Pour sugar mixture over blueberries, gently tossing to combine. Mound blueberries into prepared pie shell. Dot with butter. Roll the second pie crust to the same size or just slightly larger than the bottom crust. Place second pie crust over blueberries, tucking the top edge of the crust over and under the edge of the bottom crust; crimp and flute into a decorative border.
Brush pie crust with egg wash and sprinkle generously with coarse sanding sugar. Now make a few slits in the top crust (this will give the steam that will build up inside the pie while it is baking somewhere to go), or cut out openings on the top of the pie with mini cookie or piecrust cutters. (A ceramic pie bird is also a helpful tool for venting double-crusted pies.) Bake for 55 minutes to an hour, or until crust is golden brown and juices are bubbly and run thick. (Rotate pie halfway through baking time. Protect crust with foil and a pie crust shield, if browning too quickly. You may have to cover crust within the first 15 to 20 minutes of baking.) Remove pie from oven and allow to cool before serving. (Cooling the pie allows the filling to set up.) Makes 1 (9-inch) pie.