There is something almost therapeutic about making a pie…the kneading of the dough, rolling it out and shaping it into the pie pan. It all can be so calming to me…like Ritalin but without the nasty side effects. I’ve never been too good at making pies though. The crust either ends up tasting hard or bland or the filling never quite works out the way I want. And don’t get me started on the many disasters that have come about with attempting a top crust. But I recently stumbled upon a lovely little recipe in Food and Wine magazine that not only solved my crust issue, it delivered a fantastic blueberry filling!
To kick off Market Week, I decided to use some of my favorite berries to make a pie. I will freely admit I adore blueberries…think of this as fair warning for the glut of blueberry recipes to come. When they’re in season, I tend to get a bit blueberry happy: blueberry waffles, blueberry muffins, blueberry pancakes, blueberry sauce for just about anything that stands still for five minutes. The first time I had a blueberry straight from the farm, I marveled at the intense flavor of the fruit. It was nothing at all like the bland blueberries I was used to from the grocery store. The first time I baked with fresh blueberries, I followed the recipe strictly and ended up with a muffin that was way too sweet. The reason? Recipes (unless otherwise noted) assume you are using store bought ingredients, so other ingredients are used to compensate for the lack of flavor. However, when you’re working with locally grown, fresh off the farm ingredients, there is no need to mask the ingredients. Their flavors are rich and vibrant and can stand on their own.
I picked up these little gems at the Falls Church Farmers market on Saturday morning (more about that trip later) and made the pie the very next day! Because the berries were so fresh, I reduced the amount of sugar the recipe called for and it turned out perfectly. If you’re using store bought blueberries, stick with the measurements given in the recipe. But I strongly encourage you to head out to a local farmers market (find one near you here), pick up some blueberries and get to makin’ a pie!
Blueberry Pie (from Food and Wine)
For the filling:
8 cups blueberries
3/4 cup sugar (if using fresh blueberries, only use 1/2 cup sugar)
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon corn starch
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
Pinch of salt
For the pie crust:
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cubed
1/4 cup lard, frozen and cubed
1/2 cup ice water
For the egg wash:
1 egg and 1 tablespoon of water, whisked together
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Make the pie crusts first: In a food processor, pulse the flour and salt. Add the butter and lard and pulse until you get a crumbly texture. Pour in the ice water and pulse just until the crumbs are moistened. Press the dough into a ball. Divide the dough into 2 pieces, one slightly smaller than the other. Flatten into disks, wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm, at least 30 minutes.
While the pie crusts are chilling, start on the filling. In a bowl, toss the blueberries with the 3/4 cup of sugar, the cornstarch, the lemon juice, the lemon zest and the salt. Set aside. Once the pie crust is appropriately chilled, roll out the larger dough disk to about 13 inches. Drape it over a pie pan like so:
Crimp the edges, removing any excess dough as you go along. My finished bottom crust looked like this:
Pour the blueberry filling into the pie crust:
Roll out the second dough disk to about 12 inches. Using a pastry brush, brush the edges of the pie crust already in the pan with water. Then place the second crust over the top of the blueberry filling. Crimp the edges together, forming a good seal around all of the edges of the pie:
Brush the pie with the egg wash and then make a cross in the center of the pie with a serrated knife.
Bake the pie until the filling is bubbling and the crust is golden brown, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Allow the pie to cool for at least 5 hours before serving.
More on my trip to the Falls Church Farmers market next time!Print This Recipe