I LOVE the summer season when fruit pies are plentiful. It’s the best time of year for it since fruit is at its’ peak season. And that itself is the key to a great fruit pie- the fruit has to be great. That means if you make a strawberry pie when the strawberries are flavorless then its’ not going to have much flavor, just sweetness. Same thing for blueberry pies. I can’t stand blueberries when they are out of season. Especially when you get a pint that has that weird grittiness to it- do you know what I mean? Well, blueberry season really starts to take off this month so I thought this would be an appropriate recipe to share with you. Now you’ll be able to take advantage of the fruit at its best : )
This is actually my favorite pie. Most likely because blueberries are my favorite fruit… but despite how much I bake, I feel like pies make a rare appearance at my house. They are a fairly time consuming process and particularly in the summer time you don’t want to spend that much time in the kitchen. Unless you’re like me : ) Well, when the mood strikes at least. It’s always far easier to throw together a batch of cookies or bars. But I think the effort required to make a pie is totally worth it. That’s why this summer I am going to make as many pies as I can fit into my baking rotation (I’ve already shared a delicious Cherry Pie!). I miss them : ( Plus pies are a really fun thing to take to summer BBQ’s and parties!
This Blueberry Pie recipe comes from Cooks Illustrated which would explain why there is a shredded granny smith apple in the filling… Cooks is always coming up with crazy new techniques to get the results they want. Well, their theory is that the apples pectin acts as a thickener while cutting the one note sweetness at the same time. You know how most fruit pies have you add some sort of lemon zest/juice to add more dimension? Well, its kind of the same principle with the granny smith since its a pretty tart apple. Guess what though!? I HATE that! I can’t stand that tartness that the lemon gives the pies. I think it masks the true flavor instead of enhancing it. It like muddles the blueberry flavor with the flavor of lemon. But hey, that’s just me, if you think it “brightens” the flavor like most say, then you go for it. For that reason alone I didn’t enjoy this pie. There was just too much tartness along with the blueberry. I am ultra sensitive to it though, I don’t think most people would mind as much. I figured this would be the case going into making this recipe too, I just thought that the apple technique was so interesting, I wanted to see how it would play it. Well, it definitely helped with the texture I think. The way the juices thickened and the partially cooked blueberry filling really made for a great pie, but I think next time I make a blueberry pie I will try an old-fashioned recipe without any apple or lemon, see if I really do like that better.
Oh and by the way this is my FAVORITE pie crust recipe. I just love it. I talk about it in depth in this post.
- Foolproof Pie Dough
- 2½ cups (12½ ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into ¼-inch slices
- ½ cup cold vegetable shortening, cut into 4 pieces
- ¼ cup cold vodka
- ¼ cup cold water
- Blueberry Filling:
- 6 cups fresh blueberries
- 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and grated on large holes of box grater
- 2 teaspoons grated zest and 2 teaspoons juice from 1 lemon
- ¾ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons instant tapioca, ground
- Pinch table salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted better, cut into ¼-inch pieces
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon water
- FOR THE PIE DOUGH: Process 1½ cups flour, salt, and sugar in food processor until combined, about 2 one-second pulses. Add butter and shortening and process until homogeneous dough just starts to collect in uneven clumps, about 15 seconds (dough will resemble cottage cheese curds and there should be no uncoated flour). Scrape bowl with rubber spatula and redistribute dough evenly around processor blade. Add remaining cup flour and pulse until mixture is evenly distributed around bowl and mass of dough has been broken up, 4 to 6 quick pulses. Empty mixture into medium bowl.
- Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture. With rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix, pressing down on dough until dough is slightly tacky and sticks together. Divide dough into two even balls and flatten each into 4-inch disk. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 45 minutes or up to 2 days.
- Remove 1 disk of dough from the refrigerator and roll on generously floured (up to ¼ cup) work surface to 12-inch circle, about ⅛ inch think. Roll dough loosely and rolling pin and unroll into pie plate, leaving at least 1-inch overhang on each side. Working around circumference, ease dough into plate by gently lifting edge of dough with one hand while pressing into plate bottom with other hand. Leave dough that overhangs plate in place; refrigerate while preparing filling until dough is firm, about 30 minutes.
- FOR THE FILLING: Adjust oven rack to lowest position, place rimmed baking sheet on oven rack and heat oven to 400 degrees. Place 3 cups berries in medium saucepan and set over medium heat. Using potato masher, mash berries several times to release juices. Continue to cook, stirring frequently and mashing occasionally, until about half of berries have broken down and mixture is thickened and reduced to 1½ cups, about 8 minutes. Let cool slightly.
- Place grated apple in clean kitchen towel and wring dry. Transfer apple to large bowl. Add cooked berries, remaining 3 cups uncooked berries, lemon zest, juice, sugar, tapioca, and salt; toss to combine. Transfer mixture to dough-lined pie plate and scatter butter pieces over filling.
- Roll out second disk of dough on generously floured (up to ¼ cup) work surface to 11-inch circle, about ⅛ inch thick. Using 1¼ inch round biscuit cutter, cut round from center of dough. Cut around 6 rounds from dough, 1½ inches from edge of center hole and equally spaced around center hole. Roll dough loosely around pin and unroll over pie, leaving at least ½ inch overhang on each side.
- Using kitchen shears, trim bottom layer of overhanging dough, leaving ½-inch overhang. Fold dough under itself so that edge of fold is flush with outer rim of pie plate. Flute edges using thumb and forefinger or press with times of fork to seal. Brush top and edges of pie with egg mixture. If dough is very soft, chill in freezer for 10 minutes.
- Place pie on heating baking sheet and bake 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue to bake until juice bubbles and crust is deep golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes longer. Transfer pie to wire rack; cool to room temperature, at least 4 hours. Cut into wedges and serve.