Okay, here is my post for Weekend Cookbook Challenge, which incidentally, I am hosting this month. Yay! But, the real props go to Sara for starting and running such a great blogging event on a regular basis for a while now.
The theme for this July is Farmers Markets and at the Hollywood Farmers Market, (in Portland), I managed to find a whole bunch of beautiful blueberries. And, what’s a great thing to do with summer berries? Why yes, pie. You are so right.
For the cookbook, I turned to the one and only baking book a person could ever need, Baking from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan. Seriously, if you don’t have this book, go get it. I’ll wait.
Okay now, I am by no means a pie expert, but I’ve a couple made some tasty pies. That said, I’m still never really sure if a pie will turn out. I was a little concerned about not baking the bottom crust before adding the blueberries but I went ahead and followed the directions. And the bottom crust baked fine for me. One thing I did that may or may not have made a difference, was that I preheated a baking sheet in the oven and then placed the pie directly on that for baking.
I was also worried about using just flour as a thickener. It seemed to work out okay The filling was a little runny, but not out of the realm of what pie filling consistency should be. All in all, I was quite pleased and jwa seemed to really like it too!
The pie crust recipe is first (weirdly, I got enough dough with this recipe for about three 9 inch crusts). I have an extra ball of dough in the freezer right now…
Good for Almost Everything Pie Dough
For a 9 inch Double Crust (or possibly more)
3 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 sticks very cold unsalted butter, cut into tbsp size pieces
1/3 cup very cold vegetable shortening, cut into 4 pieces
About 1/2 cup ice water
Optional: (My additions):
1 tsp dried lavender (the eatin’ kind, not the potpourri kind)
1 tsp orange zest
Put the flour, sugar, lavender, orange zest and salt in a food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse just to combine the ingredients. Drop in the butter and shortening and pulse only until the butter and shortening are cut into the flour. You can of course, also use a pastry blender thingie or two forks or even your fingers.
Don’t overdo the mixing – what you’re aiming for is to have some pieces the size of fat green peas and others the size of barley. Pulsing the machine on and off, gradually add about 6 tablespoons of the water – add a little water and pulse once, add some more water, pulse again and keep going that way. Then use a few long pulses to get the water into the flour.
If, after a dozen or so pulses, the dough doesn’t look evenly moistened or form soft curds, pulse in as much of the remaining water as necessary, or even a few drops more, to get a dough that will stick together when pinched. Big pieces of butter are fine. Scrape the dough out of the bowl and onto a work surface. Honestly, I added about 10 tablespoons of water to mine. So, you may need more than 6 here.
Divide the dough in half. Gather each half into a ball, flatten each ball into a disk and wrap each half in plastic. Refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour before rolling.
You can roll the dough out onto a floured surface or between sheets of wax paper or plastic wrap or in a rolling slipcover. Butter or spray coat your pie pan and lay the dough down in it. trim your edges with a 1/2 inch overhang. I laid my bottom dough in the pie pan and my top piece out on some parchment on a baking sheet and refrigerated for about 30 minutes before assembling the pie.
Double-Crusted Blueberry Pie
double pie crust
5 cups fresh blueberries (about 2 1/2 pints)
1 cup of sugar, or a little more, to taste, plus more for dusting
1/2 cup all purpose flour
Pinch of salt
Coarsely grated zest of 1/2 lemon
Squirt of fresh lemon juice, or a little more, to taste (I used about 1 tablespoon)
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs (you can use packaged unseasoned crumbs)
1 large egg, beaten with 1 tsp of water, for egg wash
Sugar, for dusting (I used raw sugar here and the bigger crystals looked awesome!)
While your pie crusts (in the pan and on the baking sheet) are in the fridge, position a rack in the lower third of the oven and pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Put the berries in a large bowl and gently stir in the sugar, flour, salt, zest and juice; let sit for about 5 minutes. Taste the filling and add more sugar and/or lemon juice, if needed.
Remove the pie shell and top crust from the refrigerator. Sprinkle an even layer of the breadcrumbs over the bottom of the shell. Give the filling a last stir and turn it into the crust.
Using your fingertips, moisten the rim of the bottom crust with a little cold water. Center the top crust over the filling and gently press the top crust against the bottom. Either fold the overhang from the top crust under the bottom crust and crimp the edges attractively.
Using a small, sharp knife, cut 4 slits in the top crust crust and cut a circle out of the center, then lift the plate onto the baking sheet. If you have time, refrigerate the pie for about 30 minutes. The pie can also be wrapped airtight and frozen for up to 2 months. Brush the top crust with the egg wash, then sprinkle the crust with a little sugar, just to give it sparkle.
Bake the pie for 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees F, and bake the pie for another 30 minutes or so (total baking time is about an hour) or until the crust is a beautiful golden brown and the filling is bubbling up through the slits. If the crust seems to be browning too quickly, make a loose foil tent for the pie. I had to do this after the first 30 minutes.
Transfer the pie to a rack and let it cool and settle for at least 30 minutes before serving. We let ours sit for about 3 hours before digging in…really good!
Okay, don’t forget about WCC #30. Get me your posts by July 27th! And thanks again to Sara for letting me guest-host for July!