101 degrees. And I made a blueberry pie. Oh well.
I honestly cannot tell you why I wanted to make a blueberry pie, except for I thought it might look pretty when I took a picture of it.
Yesterday I had 45 minutes to kill, and the only thing I could think of to do was to make my brother come to Starbucks with me. While we waited for our iced coffees, we had an interesting conversation:
Me: I want to make a blueberry pie.
Michael (my brother, who throws his head back in laughter): HAHAHAHAHA…you are so weird. Why do you want to make a blueberry pie?
Me: I don’t know. I just feel like it.
Michael: How can you just randomly feel like making a blueberry pie?
Me: How can you just feel like playing stupid video games?
Apparently we enjoy different activities.
I’ve made a handful of pies before, most of which, if I say so myself, turned out relatively well. I always use the crust recipe in the William-Sonoma Pie & Tart book, because the dough does not use shortening and you do not have to refrigerate it. And, of course, I think it tastes good. BUT, it was so darn hot, that I accidentally creamed the butter and the flour. Good thing we had a surplus of ingredients, because I threw the entire plop of dough in the garbage and started over.
The second try was slightly more successfully, but I do not recommend trying to make a pie as fast as you possibly can in order to finish before the season finale of The Office. Still, I finished on time and the pie was in the oven before the first scene. Score!
I was convinced the pie would not taste good; I thought I rolled the crust too thin and the center was all saggy. I guess I was wrong, because I could have eaten the entire pie in one sitting. Maybe I will pour milk on it for breakfast. As an added bonus, my family liked it, too. My best friend, on the other hand, has no taste for what she deems as “baked fruit” and considers chocolate the only legitimate dessert. To her credit, she can eat more chocolate chip cookies and brownies than I can.
From: William-Sonoma Pie & Tart
2 rolled-out Basic pie Dough rounds
4 cups blueberries
1 tbls. fresh lemon juice, strained
¼ cup sugar
3 tbls. cornstarch
½ tsp. finely grated lemon zest
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tbls. cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Fold 1 dough round in half and carefully transfer to a 9-inch pie pan or dish. Unfold and ease the round into the pan, without stretching it, and pat it firmly into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Using kitchen scissors, trim the edge of the dough, leaving ¾ inch of overhang. Set the dough-lined pan aside, along with the second dough round, in a cool place until ready to use.
Place the berries in a large bowl, sprinkle with the lemon juice, and toss to coat evenly. In a small bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest, salt, and cinnamon. Sprinkle the sugar mixture over the berries and toss to distribute evenly. Immediately transfer to the dough-lined pan. Dot with butter.
Fold the reserved dough round in half and carefully position over half of the filled pie. Unfold and trim the edge neatly, leaving 1 inch of overhang, then fold the edge of the top round under the edge of the bottom round and crimp the edges to seal. Using a small, sharp knife, cut an asterisk 4-5 inches across in the center of the top to allow steam to escape during baking.
Refrigerate the pie until the dough is firm, 20-30 minutes. Meanwhile, place an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 375°.
Bake the pie until the crust is golden and the filing is thick and bubbling, 50-60 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely to set, 1-2 hours. Serve at room temperature or rewarm in a 350° for 10-15 minutes before serving.
Note: If fresh blueberries are unavailable, use frozen blueberries (without thawing them first) and increase the baking time by 10-15 minutes.
Basic Pie Dough
1 ¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tbls. sugar
¼ tsp. salt
½ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into ¼ inch cubes
3 tbls. very cold water
To make the dough by hand, in a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, and salt. Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut the butter into the flour mixture until the texture resembles coarse cornmeal, with butter pieces no larger than small peas. Add the water and mix with a fork just until the dough pulls together.
To make the dough in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, stir together the flour, sugar, and salt in the mixer bowl. Add the butter and toss with a fork to coat with the flour mixture. Mix on medium-low speed until the texture resembles coarse cornmeal, with the butter pieces no larger than small peas. Add the water and mix on low speed just until the dough pulls together.
Transfer the dough to a work surface, pat into a ball, and flatten into a disk. (Although many dough recipes call for chilling the dough at this point, this dough should be rolled out immediately for the best results.) Lightly flour the work surface then flatten the disk with 6-8 gentle taps of the rolling pin. Light the dough and give it a quarter turn. Lightly dust the top of the dough or the rolling pin with flour as needed, then roll out into a round at least 12 inches in diameter and about ¼ inch thick. Makes enough for one 9-inch single-crust pie or one 10 inch galette.
To make a double-crust pie: Double the recipe, cut the dough in half, and pat each half into a round, flat disk. Roll out one disk into a 12-inch round as directed and line the pan or dish. Press any scraps trimmed from the first round into the bottom of the second dish. Roll out the second dough disk into a round at least 12-inches in diameter and about 1/8 inch thick and refrigerate until ready to use.