Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Blueberry Pie

Pie is one of the simplest and most delicious things I can think of, unfortunately it can be frustrating as well. So many things can go wrong with a pie. The dough could be too wet and stick to the counter as you roll it out, or too dry and crumble as you try to place it in the pan. If the filling is too wet it will fall out of the pie as you try to serve it. There are just so many things you have to worry about when making a pie, but I've found a method that works for me. I think the key to making a good pie is just taking it slowly and having patience, something which can be trying but is extremely important. Other than patience, there is a general formula for the filling, and the pie dough becomes easier with practice.
To begin, mix together the flour, salt, sugar, and shortening in a large bowl. Keep mixing until the ingredients look crumbly.
Next cut in the butter until some is almost completely combined and the rest is the size of peas.
Add just enough water to moisten the dough, but not enough to make it too sticky. It should hold its shape when squeezed.
In a separate bowl combine blueberries (thawed, if using frozen berries), sugar, and flour. 
Roll out enough dough for one crust and place in pie pan. Poke several light holes in the dough with a fork.
Pour blueberry mixture into prepared bottom crust. Dot the top with two tablespoons of butter, cut into small pieces. Brush the edges of the bottom crust with water so the top will stick.

Roll out the dough for the top crust. Place on top of the pie and cut off the excess dough. Fold the edge under and crimp. Brush the top with milk or half and half, then sprinkle with sugar.
Cut 4 to 8 holes in the top crust to vent steam as the pie cooks. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet (preheated, if using a metal pie tin) and place on the bottom rack in the oven, preheated to 400 degrees. Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue cooking for 40 to 50 minutes or until the top crust is golden brown, the filling is bubbling, and the bottom crust is cooked.

Blueberry Pie

For the crust:
1/2 recipe "Flaky Pie Dough"

For the filling:
5 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 to 1 cup of sugar, depending on the sweetness of the berries
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)

2 tbsp butter, cut into small pieces

Milk or half and half
sugar for sprinkling


Preheat oven to 400 degrees, along with a foil lined baking sheet.

Roll out the bottom crust, place in pie pan, and dock with fork. Combine filling ingredients and pour into prepared bottom crust. Dot the top with butter and brush the sides with water. Roll out top crust and place it on the pie; cut off excess dough. Crimp edges and brush the top of the pie with milk or half and half, then sprinkle with sugar. Cut several holes to vent the steam and place pie on preheated foil lined baking sheet. Bake on the bottom rack of the oven for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue baking for 40 to 50 more minutes. The pie should be golden brown on top, the filling should be bubbling, and the bottom crust shouldn't be soggy or limp. Serve with vanilla ice cream, enjoy!

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