Sunday, August 01, 2010

One Crust Fresh Blueberry Pie

This delicious recipe is adapted from the Pastry Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum. It is easy, can be made ahead and incredibly good. Make it and enjoy the raves of friends and family. I've never served it and not gotten raves and recipe requests. To really make it easy, use pre-made Pillsbury piecrust. That said, there is no comparison to homemade crust and trust me, it is very easy to make pie crust if you have a food processor. I suppose you could even use a cookie crust or a graham cracker crust if you like.

1 Single Pie Crust (your own recipe or see the one below)

4 cups fresh blueberries. Really good ones. Big plump yummy ones.
1/2 egg white, lightly beaten (sometimes I can't be bothered to separate the yolk out, and it's still good)
1/2 cup of water plus 2 T, divided
2 T cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
A pinch of salt

Roll out the dough and put it into a pie pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 - 24 hours. This helps the dough relax and not shrink before baking. If using prepared pie crust, follow whatever directions they give.

Preheat the oven to 425 at least 20 min before baking. Line the pie crust with parchment, pleating it as necessary for it fits into the pan and fill it with dried beans. (or you can use a great big paper coffee filter - those work very well). Bake for 20 minutes. Carefully lift out the parchment with the beans in it and place them aside. You can use the beans many more times as pie weights. Prick the bottom and sides (gently) with a fork and put the crust back inot the oven and bake 5-10 minutes until the crust is nice and golden brown.

Cool the crust on a rack for a few minutes and then brush on the egg whites. Set aside.

Measure out one cup of blueberries. Place them in a medium saucepan with 1/2 cup of the water. Cover and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and remaining 2 T of water. Set aside.

When the water and blueberries have come to a boil, lower the heat and simmer, stirring constantly for 3-4 minutes until the berries begin to burst and the juices start to thicken. Stirring constantly, add the cornstarch mixture, sugar, lemon juice and salt. Simmer for a minute or two or until the mixture becomes translucent. Remove from the heat and quickly fold in the remaining 3 cups of berries.

Spoon the mixture into the baked pie shell and allow it to sit at room temp at least 2 hours before serving. You can store it for up to 2 days at room temperature, but believe me, there won't be any leftovers to store.

(It's great for breakfast...ask my son)

(Food processor method. In my never humble opinion, there is no other way to make it.)

8 T unsalted cold butter (Land O Lakes is best )
1 1/3 cups bleached flour OR 1 1/3 cups plus 4 teaspoons pastry flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp baking powder
2 1/2 to 3 1/2 tablespoons ice water
1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar

Keep the butter in Combine dry ingredients in the bowl of the food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse many times to mix it all up. Now get your butter out of the fridge & work fast so it stays cold. Cut it into little cubes and toss the cubes into the processor. Pulse (1 sec pulses) 12 times. The mixture should have the texture of coarse meal with no butter pieces larger than a small pea. Pulse a few more times if you're not there yet. Add the smallest amount of ice water and vinegar and pulse 6 ish times. Pinch a small amount of the mixture together between your fingers. If it does not hold together, add a little bit of the rest of the water and try it again. I have never had to add more water than the minimum so you probably won't have to either. The mixture will be in particles. Dump it into a bowl and smush it together until it forms a ball. Try to do this with minimal handling so you don't toughen up the dough.

On a piece of plastic wrap, flatten the ball of dough into a disc about 4-5 inches in diameter. Wrap it up and put it in the fridge for at least an hour and up to a couple of days. You can freeze the dough at this point if you like.

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