Sometimes, I make specific desserts just to try to get my husband (!!) to like cooked fruit. The man does not enjoy cooked fruit. At first, I thought it was just some weird, random, very out-of-left-field dislike...because how can you not like cooked fruit?! Surely, there has to be SOME varietal of cooked fruit that you enjoy. And then I realized, I actually know a few others with the same opinion. I DON'T UNDERSTAND YOU PEOPLE. I'm pretty sure there is not a single preparation method that would deter me from fruit. I'll even eat durian, and that stuff literally smells like a gas leak.
I can't believe we're this far through summer and I hadn't thought to make a fruit pie yet this year. The beauty of this pie is that the method works with berries or stone fruit (or a mix!). It's pretty simple. Once you've got the crust made, there's relatively little effort involved. Toss your fruit with some sugar, flour and zest/juice, and you're golden. No pre-cooking of fruit required. The lattice top is not mandatory (but definitely fun, if you have the time and patience). You could even throw a streusel topping on this guy, instead of a pie crust top. Oh and...please don't be a wimp about the shortening in the crust. That's what helps make it extra flaky!
I think this pie is best served at room temperature, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or frozen custard. The crust is tender and flaky (without getting soggy on the bottom...thanks, panko breadcrumbs!!) and the filling is a nice balance of tart and sweet, while maintaining its distinctly blueberry-y flavor. I'm particularly impressed with the fact that the filling didn't lose shape and ooze across the pie dish once I cut a piece. That makes for a winner in my book.
recipe adapted from Cooks Illustrated & Dorie Greenspan
makes one 9-inch pie
for the double crust:
12 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour
2 TB sugar
1 tsp salt
8 TB vegetable shortening, chilled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
12 TB unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
6 to 8 TB ice water
1 egg, beaten with 1 TB water
sugar for sprinkling
for the blueberry filling:
2 pints fresh blueberries
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
zest of 1/2 lemon
a squeeze of fresh lemon juice
zest of 1 orange or minneola
a squeeze of fresh orange/minneola juice
1/2 cup unseasoned panko bread crumbs
- Bust out your food processor.
- Add flour, sugar, and salt to processor. Pulse a few times to combine.
- Scatter shortening over top and process until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal (about 10 seconds).
- Scatter butter over top and pulse about 10 times, until you have what resembles coarse crumbs.
- Pour mixture into a large bowl. Drizzle 6 TB of the ice water over the top.
- Using a stiff rubber spatula, stir and press the dough together until it sticks together. It will require some arm muscle, but give it a little time. If, after some time and effort, it doesnt stick together, add 1 tsp more water and mix some more. Repeat as necessary. I only needed 1 extra tsp of water for mine to stick.
- Divide dough into 2 even pieces. Turn each piece onto a sheet of plastic wrap, and flatten into a 4-inch disk. Wrap well with plastic wrap, and place in fridge for at least an hour.
- In a large bowl, combine blueberries, zests, juices, salt, sugar, and flour. Toss gently to combine. Set aside. Toss occasionally.
- Before rolling out your dough, it might need to sit on the counter for 10 minutes so it's pliable enough to roll without cracking (or, if you're like me and super impatient...if it cracks, just patch it up!)
- On a lightly floured counter top, roll out one round of dough into a 12-inch circle.
- Using your rolling pin to help you, gently lift and place dough round into pie plate, and press into bottom/sides.
- Trim overhang to 3/4 inch. If you want, you can either tuck the overhang under itself now, so it's even with the edge of the pie plate, or you can wait to tuck until you have the top "lid" of the pie crust on (if you're doing it that way.) For the lattice top, I ended up tucking mine under before adding the filling or lattice -- it was just easier to deal with that way.
- Cover loosely with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 20 min.
- Roll out second dough disk, according to whatever method you want to use for the top crust. For the lattice, I just rolled it out to about 1/8" thick, and cut strips with a pizza cutter.
- Remove bottom crust from fridge, and scatter panko breadcrumbs evenly over the bottom of the crust. This will help keep your bottom crust from sogging up.
- Pour in blueberry mixture.
- Add top crust. If you're having trouble getting your top and bottom crusts to seal together, you can dip your finger in a little cold water and use it as glue. You can also crimp the edges with a fork if you'd like. If you're using a full top crust, be sure to cut some vent holes!
- Refrigerate uncooked pie for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 425F. Make sure your rack is in the lower third of your oven.
- Brush top crust of pie with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.
- Place pie in the oven. Cook at 425F for 25 minutes, and then drop the heat down to 375F for another 25 minutes.
- Check pie periodically -- if your crust is browning too fast, create a loose foil tent for your pie.
- Cooking time will be about an hour. Crust should be golden brown, and filling should look a little bubbly around the edges.
- Set on a rack to cool for at least an hour (but preferably to room temp).
- It's fine to keep this leftovers of this baby at room temp for an extra day, but after that, I'd refrigerate.