Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Blueberry Birthday Pie

The first time we celebrated my now husband's August birthday in NYC he asked if instead of a cake, I would bake him a pie: a blueberry pie, his favorite. I had never made a pie by myself, from scratch before, but armed with this recipe from Gourmet Magazine, I set out to do it, and pretty much succeeded. My pies are still not the prettiest (making the edges even is so difficult!) but boy are they tasty -the crust as well as the filling. Try it for a birthday -or any special occasion.

Deep Dish Wild Blueberry Pie
Adapted from Gourmet 2006
Start to finish: 7 1/4 hr (includes making dough and cooling pie)

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup)
cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

cup cold vegetable shortening

teaspoon salt

5 to 7
tablespoons ice water

Special equipment:

a pastry or bench scraper

1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
5 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
6 cups fresh wild blueberries
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water

Special equipment:
a 9 1/2-inch deep-dish pie plate (6-cup capacity)

In a food processor, pulse together flour, butter, shortening, and salt just until mixture resembles coarse meal with some small (roughly pea-size) butter lumps.

Drizzle 5 tablespoons for a double-crust pie evenly over mixture and pulse until incorporated.

Squeeze a small handful of dough: If it doesn’t hold together, add more ice water 1/2 tablespoon at a time, stirring (or pulsing) until incorporated. Do not overwork dough, or pastry will be tough.

Turn out dough onto a work surface. Divide dough into 8 portions. With heel of your hand, smear each portion once or twice in a forward motion to help distribute fat. Gather all dough together with pastry scraper. For a double-crust pie, divide dough into 2 pieces, with one slightly larger, then form each into a ball and flatten each into a 5-inch disk. If dough is sticky, dust lightly with additional flour. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and chill until firm, at least 1 hour
. Pastry dough can be chilled up to 2 days ahead.

Put a large baking sheet on oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 425°F.

Whisk together brown sugar and tapioca and toss with blueberries and lemon juice in a large bowl.

Roll out larger piece of dough (keep remaining piece chilled) on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 13-inch round. Fit into pie plate. Trim excess dough, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang. Chill shell while rolling out dough for top crust.

Roll out remaining dough on a lightly floured surface with lightly floured rolling pin into an 11-inch round. Cut out 5 or 6 small holes with small decorative cookie cutters or use a small knife to slash steam vents toward center.

Spoon filling with any accumulated juices into shell, dot with butter, and cover with top crust. Trim top crust with kitchen shears, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang. Fold overhang of top crust under bottom pastry and press against rim of pie plate to reinforce edge, then crimp decoratively and brush with egg wash.

Bake pie on hot baking sheet in oven 30 minutes, then cover edge with a pie shield or foil to prevent overbrowning. Reduce oven temperature to 375°F and continue to bake until crust is golden and filling is bubbling, 45 to 50 minutes more. Cool pie completely on a rack, about 4 hours (filling will be runny if pie is still warm).


Kate @ Savour Fare said...

My husband's a pie fanatic, too, and always requests them for special occasions, even though I much prefer to bake cakes. I like to add a little lemon zest to my blueberry pie filling as well.

Leslie Klug said...

Great tip, Kate. Thanks for commenting. I'm of the opinion that most things benefit from a little citrus and have used zest successfully in other pie recipes.

Micherie said...

I can't wait to make this!

k8nyc said...

I'm sorry, did you imply this pie was not good looking?

You Pie Elitist, you!

Leslie Klug said...

It's just a little homely, k8. Though, it's homemade, so I'm okay with that.