Fresh Blueberry Pie


May 31 2020

My baby brother, Andrew, had a birthday yesterday.  Being that I wasn't able to celebrate with him (he lives across the country), I made a blueberry pie for him, and celebrated his birthday by devouring this incredible pie.  Happy Birthday, Andy Pandy!

So, let's talk about this pie:  First, use my Perfect Pie Pastry recipe and you'll be very happy with the results.  It's produces a wonderful flaky crust that is superb with the blueberries.  Having said that, I would never judge you if you wanted to save time by using a store-bought crust.  I promise.

Next, my love affair with this pie is that the crust can be made a day ahead, along with the cut-outs.  The day you're planning to serve it, just fill the crust and add the pretty cut-outs and let it sit 3-4 hours.  Fresh blueberry pie is ready to serve! 

Fresh

Blueberry Pie

Makes: 8 servings

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

1 double crust of my Perfect Pie Pastry or store-bought crust

1 egg for egg wash

1 tbsp turbinado or demerara sugar for dusting

1 tbsp egg white lightly beaten

4 cups blueberries rinsed and dried

1/2 cup water, plus another 2 tbsp water divided

2 tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot starch

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp fresh lemon juice

Pinch of kosher salt

Prepare the crust as per my Perfect Pie Pastry recipe. Divide into two disks. Wrap both in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes. If still too soft, chill for an hour.

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Remove one disk from the fridge and let warm up slightly for rolling out. Roll on well-floured counter to fit into a 9 inch pie plate.  Crimp as you desire. Place it in the freezer for 10 minutes.  Remove the other disk from the fridge at this time. Remove the chilled pie shell from the freezer and line it with parchment paper and fill it with beans or pie weights.  Place it on a baking sheet and bake in the lower third of the oven for 20 minutes.

Remove it from the oven, and carefully remove the parchment and beans.  Prick the shell with a fork along the bottom and sides.  Return it the oven and bake it for another 5-8 minutes, this time in the center of the oven, until just golden brown.  Check after 3 minutes to see if any bubbles are developing.  If so, prick these gently with a fork or push down with a tea towel.

Brush the bottom and sides with an egg white whisked with 2 teaspoons of water. Put the shell back into the oven for 2-3 minutes for the egg white coating to cook. It should be dry and shiny. Once cooled, this will create a barrier for any warm filling, so the crust won't turn soggy. Remove to cool.  The crust can be made a day ahead of filling it.

In the meantime, during the initial 20 minutes of baking, roll out the smaller disk on a well-floured surface to the same thickness of your pie shell.  I'm guessing around 1/6 of an inch or so...not too thick or thin.  Using your favorite cookie cutters, cut out shapes, enough to cover the top of a pie comfortably.  Place all of them onto a parchment lined baking sheet and put into the freezer for 5 minutes.  Remove, lightly brush with an egg wash (egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of water).  Sprinkle with the turbinado sugar.

Once the shell is out of the oven, drop the heat to 375°F.  Bake the 'cookies' in the middle of the oven until golden brown. This could take 15 minutes, but keep an eye on them and remove any that are turning brown earlier. Remove and cool on a rack.

Filling:

Measure out 1 cup of the blueberries, choosing any that are soft or slightly bruised.  Put them into a sauce pan along with 1/2 cup of water.  Cover and bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with the remaining 2 tablespoons of water to create a smooth slurry. When the blueberries and water have come to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, stirring constantly for 3-4 minutes, until the berries have started to burst and the juices are starting to thicken. Stirring constantly, add the cornstarch slurry, the sugar, lemon juice and salt.  Simmer for a minute or two until the filling becomes translucent. Immediately remove from the heat and add the remaining 3 cups of berries.

Pour this filling carefully into the cooled pie shell.  Smooth out the top.  Place your baked 'cookies' all over the filling to create a 'crust'.  Allow to sit at room temperature for at least 3 hours. When set, the berries will remain juicy, but will not flow out of the crust when you slice it. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream!

Chef's Note: This pie will keep at room temperature for 2 days or refrigerated for up to 5 days.


(Adapted from Rose Levy Berenbaum)


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