Sunday, August 5, 2012

summer blueberry pie

It's hard for me to believe that it's August. My last day of work is next Friday and Daniel and I are moving out of our apartment at the end of the month. I start school in September.

Change is in the air. 

But for now, I'm just trying to focus on enjoying August. 

Blueberry pie helps.

I love pie but I don't make it all that often. The last berry pie I baked was back in 2010 and had a crust that resembled nothing so much as shoe leather. But after buying several pounds of blueberries at Costco earlier this week, I decided it was time to try again.

After consulting numerous recipes, I decided to go with Melissa Clark's all-butter crust, mostly because I already had butter on hand but no vegetable shortening. For the filling, I looked to the  the New Best Recipe cookbook.

The pie came together easily (one of the great things about blueberry pie- no pitting, no slicing) and within a few minutes was burbling away in the oven, perfuming the apartment with the smell of butter and syrupy fruit. 

We took the finished product over to our friends' place and ate it for dessert with heaping scoops of vanilla ice cream. The crust was excellent, if I do say so myself- light and buttery and not at all reminiscent of leather. It made for a singularly toothsome summer blueberry pie.

Happy August.

adapted from The New Best Recipe Blueberry Pie
double crust pie dough (recipe below)
6 cups blueberries
3/4 - 1 cup sugar, to taste
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp lemon zest
3 tbsp tapioca starch
2 tbsp butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 large egg white, lightly beaten

Adjust oven rack to lowest position, place a rimmed baking sheet on it and heat the oven to 500 degrees. Remove pie dough from refrigerator and let sit for a few minutes before rolling out. Roll out the dough into a 12-inch circle and transfer to a 9-inch pie plate. Leave the dough that overhangs the lip of the pie plate in place. Refrigerate.

Toss the berries, sugar, lemon juice, zest and tapioca starch in a medium bowl. Let stand for 15 minutes.

Roll out the second piece of dough into a 12-inch circle. Spoon the berries into the pie shell and dot with the pieces of chilled butter. Place the second piece of dough over the filling. Trim the top and bottom edges to 1/2 inch beyond the pan lip. Tuck the rim of the dough underneath itself so that the folded edge is flush with the pan lip. Flute the edge. Cut four slits in the top of the pie and place in freezer for 10 minutes. Brush the top of the pie with the egg whites.

Place the pie on the baking sheet and lower the oven temperature to 425 degrees. Bake until top crust is golden, about 25 minutes. Rotate the pie and reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees; continue baking until the juices bubble and the crust is a deep golden brown, 30-35 minutes longer.

Transfer the pie to a wire rack and allow to cool to room temperature, at least 4 hours.

Melissa Clark's All-Butter Pie Crust
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
20 tbsp unsalted Plugra (or other high-fat European-style butter) chilled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2-5 tbsp ice water

Pulse the salt and flour together in a food processor. Add the butter and pulse until mixture forms pea-sized pieces. Add ice water 1 tbsp at a time and pulse until mixture is just moist enough to hold together.

Form dough into two equal sized balls, wrap with plastic and flatten into disks. Chill for at least one hour or overnight before using.

Yield: One double crust

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