Sunday, December 4, 2011

Fresh Blueberry Pie

This pie disappears in a flash to rave reviews wherever I take it. I frequently hear that it's the best blueberry pie those eating it have ever had. Try it and you'll see why.

Please forgive the poor phone pic of the final product.







Fresh Blueberry Pie

source: The Pie and Pastry Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum

Ingredients

  • Basic Flaky Pie Crust for a 9-inch pie (recipe below)
  • 1/2 large egg white, lightly beaten
  • 4 cups blueberries, rinsed and dried
  • 1/2 cup and two tablespoons water, divided
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch 
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Pinch of salt

For the Pie Crust

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
  • 1 1/3 cups (dip and sweep method) bleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 tablespoons ice water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder

    Preparation

    Make the Crust

    1. Divide the butter into two parts, about two thirds to one third
    2. Cut the butter into 3/4-inch cubes.
    3. Wrap each portion of butter with plastic wrap, refrigerate the larger amount and freeze the smaller for at least 30 minutes.
    4. Place the flour, salt and baking powder in a reclosable gallon-size freezer bag and freeze for at least 30 minutes.
    5. Place the flour mixture in a food processor with the metal blade and process for a few seconds to combine. Set the bag aside.
    6. Add the larger amount of butter cubes to the flour and process for about 20 seconds or until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
    7. Add the remaining frozen butter cubes and pulse until all of the frozen butter is the size of peas. (Toss with a fork to see it better.)
    8. Add 2.5 tablespoons of the ice water and the vinegar and pulse 6 times.
    9. Pinch a small amount of the mixture together between your fingers. If it does not hold together, add half the remaining water and pulse 3 times. Try pinching the mixture again. If necessary, add the remaining water, pulsing 3 times to incorporate it.
    10. The mixture will be in particles and will not hold together without being pinched.
    11. Spoon the mixture into the plastic bag.
    12. Holding both ends of the bag opening with you fingers, knead the mixture by alternately pressing it, from the outside of the bag, with the knuckles and heels of your hands until the mixture holds together in one piece and feels slightly stretchy when pulled.
    13. Wrap the dough with plastic wrap, flatten it into a disc and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes, preferably overnight.
    14. Remove the dough from the refrigerator. If necessary, allow it to sit for about 10 minutes or until it is soft enough to roll.
    15. Using a pastry cloth and sleeve rubbed with flour or two sheets of plastic wrap lightly sprinkled with flour, roll the dough 1/8 inch thick or less and large enough to cut a 13-inch circle.
    16. Use an expandable flan ring or a cardboard template and a sharp knife as a guide to cut out the circle.
    17. Transfer the dough to the pie pan, fold under the excess, and crimp the border using a fork or your fingers.
    18. Cover it loosely and refrigerate it for a minimum of 1 hour and a maximum of 24 hours.
    19. Preheat the oven to 425°F at least 20 minutes before baking.
    20. Line the pastry with parchment, pleating it as necessary so it fits into the pan, and fill it with rice or dried beans.
      I bought this pie weight chain to keep the crust bottom from
      puffing up but dried beans on a sheet of wax paper work just
      as well.
    21. Bake for 20 minutes.
    22. Carefully lift out the rice or beans with the parchment.
    23. With a fork, prick the bottom and sides, and bake 5-10 minutes, or until the crust is pale golden.
    24. Check after 3 minutes and prick any bubbles that may have formed.
    25. Cool the crust on a rack for 3 minutes, so it is no longer piping hot, then brush the bottom and sides with the egg white.

    Make the Filling

    1. Measure out 1 cup of the blueberries, choosing he softest ones.
    2. Place them in a medium saucepan together with the 1/2 cup water.
    3. Cover and bring them to a boil.
    4. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and the remaining 2 tablespoons of water. Set it aside.
    5. When the water and blueberries have come to a boil, lower the heat and simmer, stirring constantly for 3 to 4 minutes or until the blueberries start to burst and the juices begin to thicken.
    6. Stirring constantly, add the cornstarch mixture, the sugar, lemon juice, and salt.
    7. Simmer for a minute or until the mixture becomes translucent.
    8. Immediately remove it from the heat and quickly fold in the remaining 3 cups of blueberries.

    9. Spoon the mixture into the baked pie shell and allow to sit at room temperature for at least 2 hours before serving.
      Notice the unusual amount of crust still showing? It wasn't
      until I poured in the filling that I realized I bought a deep
      dish pie dish. It's nothing some extra whipped cream
      piled on top can't fix!
    10. When set, the berries will remain very juicy but will not flow out of the crust.