What is there to regret about pie? Blueberry pie? Well, nothing…except for when it’s all gone. And I’ll take the last slice, thank you very much! I’ve been focused on pie lately and my grandmother chef Viola could make them in her sleep; so tasty and out-of-this-world. Some say it’s all in the crust…WRONG! To achieve pie orgasm (you heard me) takes a beautiful marriage of crust AND filling. But thankfully it’s not rocket science. Only a little guidance is needed for the misguided to receive rave reviews.
The filling here is a combination of cooked and uncooked berries. This creates a lovely “pudding” texture, one which I prefer, that the berries float in. And by cooking out some of the juices the color really punches making it visually delicious. I’ve included a crumble which can be added to kick this American icon up a notch (see bottom of this page). Then there’s the crust…you can refer to my Perfectly Perfect Pie Dough recipe for the secret to crust heaven.
While the pie dough is chilling, set your oven rack to the middle, preheat to 400° and make the filling:
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cold water
6 cups fresh blueberries, divided
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoon lemon juice
In a small bowl blend together sugar, cornstarch, salt and water until smooth. Pour into a saucepan over medium heat and add the remaining 3 cups blueberries. Mash most of them with a potato masher to release the juices. Then while stirring, bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened and bubbly. Remove from the heat. Add butter, lemon juice and remaining berries; stir until butter is melted. Set aside.
Assembly: On a floured surface roll out the dough for the bottom of the pie to about a 12-inch circle. Before lifting, run a flat metal spatula (or counter scraper) under the dough to make sure that no part is sticking to your work surface. Trim off any edges that go beyond the circle, lightly flour the dough and fold over in half. Lift and place the dough in the pie pan, unfold and trim around the outside lip of the pan. Punch a few times around the bottom with a fork and pour in the blueberry filling, spreading it out and creating a mound.
Roll out the dough for the top. Wet the exposed lip of the bottom dough with water all around and, using the same folding technique, place the dough on top and gently press down the outside edge to seal to the lip. Create your edge and make a few slices on top to release the steam. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove and let cool before serving.
Tip: Pie edges tend to burn easily. To avoid, cut three 3-inch strips of aluminum foil, fold and crimp the short ends together and cover the pie’s edge all around. Remove after 30 minutes of baking.
8 shortbread cookies, crushed
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons cold butter, unsalted and softened
Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon and butter and mix together with your fingers so that all the dry ingredients are absorbed by the butter. Stir in the shortbread cookies. Cover the bottom of the pie shell with 1/4 cup of the crumble mix. Pour in the blueberry filling. Sprinkle the remaining crumble over the top, spreading it out evenly. Finish with the top dough and bake.