Sunday, October 4, 2009

Blueberry Pie made to order...

Blueberry Pie

Happy Monday my fellow foodies!

Mr. Sweet and I were invited to a birthday dinner this evening and a blueberry pie was requested. At first I was a little trepidatious about making a pie because my experience with pastry is nil. The last pie I made was when I was seventeen, a bittersweet 14 years ago. A cherry pie incident that never really faded from memory. But I digress. I thought it is now or never, if I really want to call myself a baker (and I do, I really do) than I must take on...the pastry.

So, remembering a conversation with my mom about lard and shortening (shortening makes a great crust for those that are experienced crust makers)I bought a pound of Tenderflake (lard) and two bags of frozen wild Canadian blueberries.

The crust was so easy I thought I must have screwed it up. Seriously, I think I had the crust for both pies rolled out in a matter of tennish minutes? Maybe fifteen. The filling was equally easy since it was just sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, cornstarch and...blueberries. Four cups per pie!

The crust recipe is from the box of Tenderflake, I made the three double crusts and froze one of them.

5 and 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
2 teaspoons of salt
1 lb of Tenderflake Lard
1 tablespoon of vinegar
1 egg, lightly beaten

Mix together the flour and salt

Cut in Tenderflake Lard with a pastry blender or 2 knives until the mixture resembles coarse oatmeal or peas.

In a 1 cup measure, combine the vinegar and egg. Add water to make the 1 cup measure full. Gradually stir liquid into the flour/lard. Add only enough liquid to make dough cling together. I used my hands, and had no remaining liquid but I like to keep my surfaces floured.

Gather this into a ball and divide it into 4 portions. Be sure to cover whatever you are not using at the moment with saran wrap to keep from drying out.

Roll out each portion as you need it on a lightly floured surface.

For the Pie Filling I used the recipe from Joy of Baking.

4 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch (corn flour)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest

Egg Wash:

1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon cream

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. The pie needs time for the cornstarch to thicken and leaving it be (or putting it in the fridge) for a couple to three hours is recommended. We tried to eat it warm and it was good but the juiced leaked out where we sliced into it. We then put the second pie in the fridge to cool completely and just warmed it in the oven at the party and it was perfect. We also chilled the pie we sliced into and waited till evening to eat it and it turned out great as well.

Blueberry Pie

This pie is super simple and super tasty. I am so happy with it that I intend on making tarts with the renmaining frozen dough. I am really happy though because now all those recipes that call for crust (quiche for example) can now be added to the to-do list. Also, with Thanksgiving next week I am now adding pie to my roster of treats to bake! For serious I think Mr. Sweet fell in love with me all over again today. ♥