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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Blueberry Pie

Yesterday was Jon's birthday, so a few of the recipes this week will be parts of his birthday dinner.  Instead of our usual tradition of going to a fancy steak house, this year we bought fancy steaks to cook on the new grill!  The birthday boy came up with the menu, and blueberry pie was his request for dessert.  


Making pie crust from scratch is not hard.  It really only takes a few minutes in the food processor.  It's a little more time consuming by hand, but still not difficult.  And if you read the ingredients on refrigerated pie dough at the market, you may find even more incentive to make your own.  


Normally, even when I use someone else's ingredient list, I give my own version of the directions.  You don't mess with the baking queen herself, though, so I'll give you Martha's instructions straight.  With my comments in italics. 


Pate Brisee (Pie Crust)
recipe from Martha Stewart

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small
  • 1/4 cup ice water, plus more if needed

Directions

In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour and salt; pulse to combine. Add butter, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some larger pieces remaining, about 10 seconds. (To mix by hand, combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, then cut in butter with a pastry blender or two forks.)




With machine running, add ice water through feed tube in a slow, steady stream, just until dough holds together without being wet or sticky. Do not process more than 30 seconds. Test by squeezing a small amount of dough together; if it is still too crumbly, add a bit more water, 1 tablespoon at a time.

Turn out dough onto a clean work surface. Divide in half, and place each half on a piece of plastic wrap. Shape into flattened disks. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight. The dough can be frozen for up to 1 month; thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.


Blueberry Pie
recipe from Martha Stewart

Ingredients

  • All-purpose flour, for dusting
  • Pate Brisee
  • 8 cups (about 4 pints) blueberries, picked over - I used my special frozen Maine blueberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream

Directions

On a lightly floured piece of parchment paper, roll out one disk of dough to a 12-inch round. With a dry pastry brush, sweep off excess flour; fit dough into a 9-inch glass pie plate, pressing it into edges. Trim dough to a 1/2-inch overhang all around. Fold edge of dough over or under, and crimp as desired. Roll out remaining dough in the same manner; transfer dough (on parchment) to a baking sheet. Chill pie shell and dough until firm, about 30 minutes.


Ann comments: Rolling out dough can be challenging sometimes.  You go through a stage when you think it couldn't possibly ever be big enough for your pie plate, but persevere.  I also frequently end up with cracks along the edges that need to be pinched together to repair.  It's rustic.  I decided to attempt a lattice top crust for the first time.  I just used a paring knife to cut strips of the rolled dough, and wove them together on parchment paper.  It wasn't too hard, but next time I'll make thinner strips so there are more.  


Place blueberries in a large bowl; with your hands, crush about 1/2 cup of berries, letting them fall into the bowl as you work. Add sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice; stir to combine. 


Spoon mixture into chilled pie shell, mounding berries slightly in the center. Dot with butter. Remove dough from refrigerator, and place over blueberry filling. 


Tuck edge of top dough between edge of bottom dough and rim of pan. Using your fingers, gently press both layers of dough along the edge to seal, and crimp as desired.  Or, try to make the edges of your lattice look remotely presentable.


Using a paring knife, cut several vents in top of dough to allow steam to escape. Not required if you do a lattice crust.  In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolk and cream. Brush surface with egg wash, being careful not to let it pool. I skipped the egg wash step, and you can see my finished pie didn't have a glossy golden finish.  Next time I'll be sure to include the egg wash.  Freeze or refrigerate pie until firm, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees, with rack in lower third.

Place pie on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until crust begins to turn golden, about 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Continue baking, rotating sheet halfway through, until crust is deep golden brown and juices are bubbling and have thickened, 40 to 50 minutes more. Transfer pie to a wire rack to cool completely. The pie is best eaten the day it is baked, but it can be kept at room temperature, loosely covered with plastic wrap, for up to 2 days.


Amazing with vanilla ice cream.







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