So, here we are again. Me and my berries. Last box I couldn’t fit in the freezer. Not that I’ve tried, cause these berries were set out for something greater. Blueberry pie. Nothing beats a good old classic blueberry pie. (Well, maybe apple pie…) I don’t make it that often, though. Neither of them. I don’t make pies as often as I’d like, actually! And I love pies! Why has it come to this, I wonder… Of all my favourite desserts, pie is high up there next to molten chocolate cake and cheesecake. And the best part – you can fill your pie with whatever you want – whatever’s in season or whatever craving you’re gonna satisfy – a freshly baked pie always works. A flaky colden crust, with a warm gooey filling, whether ist’s soft apples with cinnamon and sugar, pinkish rhubarb and strawberries, frangipane and plums or a black pool of bubbly blueberries. And paired with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. It’s not for nothing pie has become a smash-hit dessert world wide! I totally get it.
Still, pie finds its way to my table not as often as it should. I guess it’s just that little extra effort. And that little extra effort seems a lot when it’s just me and my boy. And it’s usually just the two of us. And the fact that my pie pan is huge doesn’t really help. But I guess it’s mostly lazyness. Pastry and chilling the dough and all. So pie has become more rare than I’d like, a dessert for special occasions, almost. Which is kinda funny, pie beeing the homey, rustic dessert that it is. And maybe not the “right” thing for special occasions, probably more for non-occasions. But whatever! Everyone likes pie, and that’s what matters.
This time, the occasion was dinner with my family. I’m going to Copenhagen to study, so I threw a little goodbye-dinner before I pack my bags and go. Secondly, and more importantly, it was those berries. The season’s last container of blueberries. (I have plenty more, don’t worry, but they are frozen for blueberry-craving winter days) I’d planned this pie for a month. I could not get it out of my head, and needed to get it out of my system. Glad I did, cause it was delish! It really satisfied my pie needs. The crust was golden, flaky and buttery. The filling was divine. A sweet and syrupy blackish blue sea full of juicy berries. It was still lukewarm when I served it, which was just perfect for the ice cream. And right now, I’m glad my pie pan is huge. Cause now I can munch on lots of leftovers! Yaay!
Blueberry Pie (Recipe from Joy of Baking)
Pâte Brisée Crust
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 cut into 1-inch pieces and well chilled or frozen. (1 cup = 2 sticks of butter)
1/4 to 1/2 cup (60 – 120 ml) ice water
4 cups (570 grams) fresh blueberries, washed and dried.
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated white sugar
2 tablespoons (20 grams) cornstarch (corn flour)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest (about 1 lemon)
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon cream
Prepare the 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 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. Or hearts. Or whatever cutter you have! Place the stars on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
Prepare the 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 or circles 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 circles, 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 vanilla ice cream. Pie oh my.