Fresh Blueberry Pie

Everyone seems to go crazy for blueberries and strawberries around the 4th of July holiday, so it seemed like the perfect weekend to whip up a blueberry pie with one of my favorite people, Annie. Annie, by the way, appears to be superhuman – she gave birth only a little over 2 weeks ago and has been in the kitchen whipping stuff up left and right. She is definitely my hero! I have only made pies twice before (an apple pie and lemon meringue pie) and was anxious to give it another go and, more importantly, I wanted to try making a lattice top. After finally settling on a recipe, we were off to gather blueberries and assemble this beautiful pie!

More about assembling the pie and recipes after the break.

So first let’s talk about the base of the pie – the crust. I am definitely a crust girl, so to me it’s even more important than the pie filling (that might be blasphemous, I know!). I have yet to find a recipe that is my “go to” and since I haven’t made many pies I haven’t experimented with many different types of recipes. For this go-round I turned to the Martha Stewart Baking Handbook, given to me by my friend Kayte. It called for a simple mix of flour, salt, butter and ice water, using the food processor to combine. This seemed to come together pretty easily and let me tell you, I might not ever try another crust recipe again. This crust was so incredibly flaky (this was helped by the amount of time I kept the dough chilled before baking) and amazingly buttery. I can’t stop breaking off pieces. I do need to work on my crimping, but this time around I focused on the lattice, and was so pleased with how it turned out!

And now the star of the show – the blueberries. The flavor of the blueberries is enhanced with some fresh squeezed lemon juice, lemon zest, and sugar, and cornstarch is added as the thickening agent for the moisture that is released. We all know I’m not a fan of lemon, but this was the perfect complement for the berries and helped to create a very pleasant flavor – not overly sweet, and not tart. All in all, this pie was everything I had hoped for, and more! I love this crust recipe and the blueberries were just delectable. Paired with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, this was the perfect summer dessert.


Blueberry Pie

(Adapted from Williams Sonoma)

Ingredients:
2 rolled-out rounds of basic pie dough (recipe follows)
4 cups (2 pints) blueberries
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, strained
¾ cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 egg, whisked with 1 teaspoon water, for the egg wash (optional)

Directions:
Fold 1 dough round in half and carefully transfer to a 9-inch pie dish. Unfold and ease the round into the pan, without stretching it, and pat it firmly into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Using kitchen scissors, trim the edge of the dough, leaving ¾ inch of overhang. Set the dough-lined pan, along with the other dough round, in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Place the blueberries in a large bowl, sprinkle with the lemon juice and toss to coat evenly. In a small bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest, salt and cinnamon. Sprinkle the sugar mixture over the berries and toss to distribute evenly. Immediately transfer to the dough-lined pan. Dot with the butter.

Fold the reserved dough round in half and carefully position it over half of the filled pie. Unfold and trim the edge neatly, leaving 1 inch of overhang, then fold the edge of the top round under the edge of the bottom round and crimp the edges to seal. Using a small, sharp knife, cut an asterisk 4 to 5 inches across in the center of the top to allow steam to escape during baking. (I did a lattice top because I have been dying to make one!)

Refrigerate the pie (I actually put mine in the freezer) until the dough is firm, 20 to 30 minutes. Meanwhile, position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 375°F.

Bake the pie until the crust is golden and the filling is thick and bubbling, 50 to 60 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely to set, 1 to 2 hours. Serve at room temperature or rewarm in a 350°F oven for 10 to 15 minutes just before serving. Makes one 9-inch pie; serves 8.

Note: If fresh blueberries are unavailable, use frozen blueberries (without thawing them first) and increase the baking time by 10 to 15 minutes.


Pâte Brisée

(Source: Martha Stewart Baking Handbook, page 224)

Makes enough for one double-crust or two single-crust 9-inch pies.

For the flakiest crust, make sure all ingredients (including the flour) are cold before you begin.

2½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces
¼ cup ice water, plus more if needed

In the bowl of a food processor, cimbine flour and salt; pulse to combine. Add the butter, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some larger pieces remaining, about 10 seconds. (To mix by hand, combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, then cut in butter with a pastry blender.)

With the machine running, add the ice water through the feed tube in a slow, steady stream, just until the dough holds together without being wet or sticky. Do not process more than 30 seconds. Test by squeezing a small amount of the dough together; if it is still too crumbly, add a bit more water, 1 tablespoon at a time.

Turn out the dough onto a clean work surface. Divide in half, and place each half on a piece of plastic wrap. Shape into flattened disks. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight. The dough can be frozen for up to 1 month; thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.

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23 Responses

  1. Wow! Your pie turned out awesome :)

  2. What a pretty pie crust! I’ve never made a lattice crust but have always wanted to because I love the way they look- maybe next time I make a pie. I am totally with you on liking the crust- I think most of the time it’s a lot better than the filling!

  3. I think lattice top crusts are so gorgeous, but I’m completely afraid of them. Heck I’m kinda afraid of all double crusts!

  4. Your lattice looks just gorgeous! Where did you get that awesome pastry cutter? ;-) Thanks for doing this with me, I had fun and we love the pie!

  5. Its absolutely beautiful!!! So very “4th-of-July-ish”!!!

  6. Wow…it’s beautiful! I could eat my screen right now :)

  7. gorgeous job!

  8. yumm!!!!! i have been wanting to make a blueberry pie all summer long. and i’m so glad that you found a crust recipe you love. because pie crust is something i have not mastered yet. i will definitely be trying this recipe, but i don’t think i’m brave enough to do the lattice yet. your lattice work is gorgeous!

  9. it looks delicious. great job w/the lattice crust. too bad you didn’t make the dorie recipe as well so you could compare the two :P

  10. Lovely! Looks to me like you are getting the hang of pies!

  11. wow–great looking pie, with a perfect latttice!!

  12. i’m a crust fan myself, and yours is stellar–your lattice work is magnificent. :) methinks you should be making pies more often. :)

  13. This pie looks delicious! Your lattice work is beautiful!

  14. beautiful job Chelle!!! i’ve had Martha’s pate brisee recipe bookmarked in my recipe binder for a while now and it’s great to have a review of it. we’re going blueberry picking later this month and i just might give these recipes a-go! thanks!

  15. W-O-W!!! Your pie came out sooooo beautifully! GREAT JOB!

  16. Beautiful lattice top on your pie!

  17. I really like the tart pastry recipe in my Fannie Farmer cookbook (I have the 1979 edition). And I’m a pie-crust girl too. I like a good filling, but it’s all about snacking on the edges of the crust.

  18. Wow Chelle, your pie looks amazing! The lattice is beautiful.

  19. I’ve made lots of lattic pies, but I’ve never made one as pretty as your first try. I’m jealous! Great work:)

  20. Made 2 HUGE Blueberry Pies. Wow I even tried the lattice top and it turned out great. Not enough pastry for the next top so I made a crumble topping… They both are so gorgeous! I remember picking blueberries with my Grandma on her farm land and eating almost as many as we put in our silver berry pails. It was so much fun, we came away with Blue fingers, tongues and scratched arms. And Grandma baked that afternoon, pies, muffins and cakes… She was the Best!

  21. As soon as I found this internet site I went on reddit to share some of the love with them. “The result justifies the deed.” by Ovid.

  22. […] (Adapted from Sugar and Spice) […]

  23. So far so good. Pies are finally in the oven! I needed to use more like a 1/2 cup of ice water in the crusts. Picked blueberries this morning so they are fresh. Made 2 pies and they took almost the whole afternoon! Next time I may just use premade crust. Unless these come out fabulous!

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