Monday, April 19, 2010

Blueberry Pie

In Spring and early Summer, I love to bake fresh berry pies.  My mother made them regularly and believed in using most any kind of good berry when it was in season. She also did a great mixed berry pie. Shown here is a fresh blueberry pie. Recipe below  As you can tell, I like the deep dish variety!

Julian's Blueberry Pie
Nothing is really more satisfying a dessert than a fruit pie. You can even use the pre-made crust if you prefer.  My mother would then just select the fruit or berries in season, sprinkle them with a mixture of sugar and tapioca (or cornstarch), a pinch of salt and a sprinkle of lemon juice. She would toss them well to mix and turn them out into her unbaked pie shell. Then she dotted with a few pats of butter and added the top crust, which she painted with an egg wash and coated in a nice, coarse sanding sugar. To me, my father, sister and my sister's husband, they all seemed perfection!

Julian leans to cook and bake from mother, Helen Martin Alesiano
As you can see in the photo (circa 1961), my mother got me started in the kitchen early. There's no better way to teach a person a love for good food and its preparation.  If you have children in your life, be sure to take the time to let them help in the kitchen and you will endow them with a life filled with the pleasures of the table.

Julian's Fresh Blackberry Pie, Lattice Crust

Today I'm giving you my recipe for fresh blueberry pie. My recipes vary slightly for blackberry and mixed berry, but blueberry is probably the most common so today I'll give you this recipe.

Blueberry Pie

1 two crust pie dough (see note/recipe here)

6 cups fresh blueberries (about 30 ounces)
1 Granny Smith apple
2 teaspoons grated zest and 2 teaspoons juice from 1 lemon
3/4 cup sugar 
2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca, ground (see note)
1 pinch table salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 large egg, lightly beaten with a few drops of water or milk

Prepare the pie dough per the recipe or use store bought and place into your pie plate, metal or glass preferred.  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, slotted spoon or fork, mash about half of the berries to release juices. Continue to cook, stirring frequently until the mixture is thickened and reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 8 minutes. Let cool slightly.

Peel and grated apple on large holes of box grater. 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.

Carefully lay your top crust on the filled pie, leaving at least 1/2-inch overhang on each side. Using kitchen shears or a knife, trim bottom layer of overhanging dough, leaving 1/2-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 tines 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 heated baking sheet and bake 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue to bake until juices bubble and crust is deep golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes longer. Transfer pie to wire rack; cool to room temperature, at least 4 hours. 

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