There is a lot to worry about these days. The election, the stock market roller coaster, and the travails of the honey bee. I know these things are troublesome, but in spite of that, or maybe because of that, I think it's important to have a break. Somewhere to relax, think happy thoughts, and eat pie.
Yes, in case you didn't know or care, tonight is the return of Pushing Daisies, my favorite fantasy escape to a world of fabulous fashion, intrigue and puzzles, quirky characters, and pie. Always pie.
Last season I took on the ambitious task of making a pie a week to celebrate the show. Unfortunately for me, but fortunately for my thighs, the show was cut short by the writer's strike. I don't think I'm up for a pie a week this time around, but I'll certainly be working some pies into the baking schedule, and of course I had to celebrate the return with a pie. A pie I'd never made before.
A blue berry pie isn't out there, weird, nouveau cuisine by any stretch of the imagination. It's just that I've never made one before. I had a 1/2 flat of blueberries in my fridge and my son said, "Pie!" so I tried something new.
I used Dorie's Never Fail Pie Crust and her recipe for Blueberry Pie. My family was hovering in the kitchen while the pie was baking, drawn by the irresistible smell of baking pie. (Why doesn't someone come up with a perfume like that? Obvious answer: it would be annoying having to swat drooling men away all day long.) I was seasoned enough to know it had to cool down and firm up a bit before cutting into it, but it was hard work keeping away the eager tasters and resisting the siren call myself. Worth the wait, though, to get neat slices and lovely, dark blue oozy filling. None of the glutinous, nasty, canned filling here - this is the real deal, homemade blueberry pie. Worthy of the return of the pie maker!
- adapted from Baking by Dorie Greenspan
1 double-crust pie dough, either from here orBaking
2-1/2 pints fresh blueberries
1 cup sugar, or more, to taste
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Coarsely grated zest of 1/2 lemon
Squirt of fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1 large egg beaten with 1 tsp. water
Sugar, for dusting
1- Butter a 9-inch pie plate. Roll 1/2 of the dough to a thickness of about 1/8 inch. Fit the dough into the pie plate and trim the overhang to 1/2-inch. Roll the other half of the dough into a circle, 1/8-inch thick and place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Cover both halves of the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate while you preheat the oven and prepare the filling.
2- Place a rack in the lower third of the oven and pre-heat the oven to 425 deg. F.
3- Put the berries in a large bowl and gently stir in the sugar, flour, salt, zest and juice. Let this mixture sit for about 5 minutes then taste and adjust the sugar and lemon juice, if needed.
4- Remove the pie shell and top crust from the refrigerator. Sprinkle the bread crumbs into the bottom of the pie pan. Gently stir the filling then spoon it into the crust.
5- With your fingertips, moisten the rim of the bottom crust with a little cold water. Center the top crust over the filling and gently press the top crust against the bottom. Fold the overhang from the top crust under the bottom crust and crimp the edges attractively with a fork or pinch with your fingers.
6- With a small, sharp knife, cut 4 slits and a hole in the center of the top crust. Brush the top with the egg wash, then sprinkle the crust with a little sugar to give it sparkle.
7- Place the pan on a baking sheet (to catch any bubble over - your oven will thank you for this step) and place the pie in the oven.
8- Bake for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees F and bake for another 30 minutes or so until the crust is a beautiful golden brown and the filling is bubbling up through the slits. If the crust is browning too quickly, tent loosely with foil or use strips of foil around the edge of the crust to protect it.
9- Transfer the pie to a rack and let it cool and settle for at least 30 minutes before serving.