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Blueberry Pie Recipe & Video

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Nothing reminds me more of summer than a freshly baked Blueberry Pie full of big and plump, sweet and juicy berries. The important thing to remember when making a fruit pie is to start with good quality blueberries. If using cultivated blueberries make sure they are firm, plump, fragrant, and dark blue with a dusty white bloom. The white bloom is the blueberry's natural protection against the sun and is a sign of freshness. 

 

It is also important to pick through the blueberries and discard any soft, moldy, or crushed ones.  Because blueberries have such a wonderful flavor all this pie filling needs, besides the berries, is a little cornstarch (corn flour) to thicken its juices and a little sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest. Of course, all fruit pies need a crust and, for me, nothing beats this delicious Pate Brisee (short crust pastry), which has a wonderful buttery flavor and crumbly texture. You will notice from the picture that while this pie has a top crust it is in the form of pastry stars. I know that this step is a little more time consuming but it does make for a very festive pie, especially at your next 4th of July celebration. (This innovative idea comes from Martha Stewart excellent new book called 'Martha's Stewart's Baking Handbook'.)  Lastly, when you pull the baked pie out of the oven there is the temptation to cut into it right away. Resist if you can. Fruit pies need several hours to set so that when you finally cut into them the fruit is juicy but these juices will not run. Excellent plain but even better with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

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Pie Crust:  In a food processor, place the flour, salt, and sugar and process until combined.  Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal (about 15 seconds). 

Pour 1/4 cup (60 ml) water in a slow, steady stream, through the feed tube until the dough just holds together when pinched. If necessary, add more water. Do not process more than 30 seconds.

Turn the dough onto your work surface and gather into a ball. Divide the dough in half, flattening each half into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about one hour before using. This will chill the butter and relax the gluten in the flour. 

After the dough has chilled sufficiently, remove one portion of the dough from the fridge and place it on a lightly floured surface. Roll the pastry into a 12 inch (30 cm) circle. (To prevent the pastry from sticking to the counter and to ensure uniform thickness, keep lifting up and turning the pastry a quarter turn as you roll (always roll from the center of the pastry outwards).) Fold the dough in half and gently transfer to a 9 inch (23 cm) pie pan. Brush off any excess flour and tuck the overhanging pastry under itself, crimping as desired. Refrigerate the pastry, covered with plastic wrap, for about 30 minutes before filling with the berries. 

Meanwhile, remove the second round of pastry and roll it into a 12 inch (30 cm) circle. Using a 2 1/2 inch (6 cm) star cookie cutter, cut out about 20 stars. Place the stars on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. 

Make the Blueberry Filling: In a small bowl mix together the sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice and zest. Place the blueberries in a large bowl. Add the sugar mixture to the blueberries and gently toss to combine. Pour the mixture into the prepared pie shell. Then, in a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and cream. Lightly brush the rim of the pastry shell with the egg wash. Starting at the outside edge of the pie, place the cut out pastry stars in a circular pattern on top of the blueberries, making sure the tips of the stars are touching. Once the top of the pie is completely covered with the pastry stars, brush the entire surface with the egg wash, making sure that it does not pool. Place the assembled pie back in the refrigerator to chill for about 30 minutes.  

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) and place the oven rack in the lower third of the oven. Remove the chilled pie from the fridge and place on a larger baking pan, lined with parchment paper, to catch any spills. Bake the pie for about 20 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Continue to bake the pie for about 35-45 minutes or until the crust is a deep golden brown color and the juices are bubbling and thick. If the edges of the pie are browning too much during baking, cover with a foil ring. 

Place the baked pie on a wire rack to cool for several hours.  Serve at room temperature with softly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Store any leftovers for 2 - 3 days at room temperature.

View comments on this recipe on YouTube

References:

Editors of Saveur Magazine. 'Saveur Cooks Authentic American'. Chronicle Books. San Francisco: 1998.

Stewart, Martha. 'Martha Stewart's Baking Book'. Clarkson Potter/Publishers. New York: 2005.

Pie Crust (Short Crust Pastry):

2 1/2 cups (350 grams) all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoon (30 grams) granulated white sugar

1 cup (226 grams) unsalted butter, chilled, and cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) pieces

1/4 to 1/2 cup (60 - 120 ml) ice water

Blueberry Filling:

4 cups (570 grams) fresh blueberries

1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated white sugar

2 tablespoons (20 grams) cornstarch (corn flour)

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon lemon zest

Egg Wash:

1 large egg yolk

1 tablespoon cream

Garnish:

Softly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream

 

 
 
     
 

 

 

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