Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Classic Blueberry Pie (Disaster!!)

I will start with the good parts. The filling was wonderful. My mom and I had to fight over who got to stick their nose in the bowl to inhale the lovely berry and cinnamony goodness. It was a snap to make, and am more than happy to make it again, and branch out into other fruit pies. So far, I have made the occasional apple pie, and I love to make peach upside-down cake, but this blueberry pie, I expect, has given me the faith that other fruity pies are within my reach. Even more important, my previously fruit-pie-hating husband really liked this pie, so def. a keeper.

Also nice, the flaky pie dough (I thought) was really simple. Before I rolled it out, I would have told you that I thought it was the first time I'd tried to make my own dough. But when the rolling-out disaster happened, it jogged my memory. "O yah, I remember this. This is why I don't do this! Aaargh!" I followed the instructions, only adding enough ice water as I thought it needed (which ended up being less than half), I balled it, I chilled it, I loved it. The poor dough just wouldn't hold together when rolled. It cracked, it crumbled, I almost cried. I managed to salvage the top round, but I ended up calling the Ever Patient and Wonderful Man I Married in, and he went to the store for a pie crust. (Saved!)

So as we had our Mother's Day dinner of ribs, the pie baked and filled the apartment with a lovely smell. It would have been hard to leave it to cool for as long as we did, but we'd stuffed ourselves on dinner. :)

The pie went fantastically with the goat cheese ice cream. (Yay experiment!) Having the top round of homemade dough made me really wonder what the pie would have tasted like with the homemade bottom. I say this because the store bought dough seemed to vanish into the pie, I don't know that I ever had a bite of it, and it I did, it didn't stand out one bit. The dough I did use was so wonderful, I'd be willing to give it another go, if I knew what I did wrong the first time.

Thoughts??? Help me save future pies!

The leftover pie was not lost, however. I mixed the remaining pie with a pint of light vanilla ice cream and popped it into the freezer. :)

Classic Blueberry Pie
From Leslie Mackie’s Macrina Bakery and Café Cookbook

Makes 1 (9-inch) double-crusted pie

7 cups (3 ½ pints) organic blueberries
¾ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
½ recipe Flaky Pie Dough (recipe follows), chilled
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Egg wash made with 1 egg and 1 teaspoon water
Coarse raw sugar
Vanilla ice cream, for serving

Sort through the blueberries, removing any stems and leaves. Gently rinse the blueberries and lay them out on paper towels to dry.

Combine 3 ½ cups of the blueberries, granulated sugar, brown sugar, lemon zest, cinnamon, vanilla extract and flour in a medium saucepan and mix with a spoon. Cook over medium heat until the fruit juices have been released and the mixture has thickened, 5 to 8 minutes, stirring frequently to keep the mixture from burning. Pour the cooked fruit into a large stainless steel bowl and add the remaining blueberries. Stir with a spoon and set aside until the fruit has cooled to room temperature.

Divide the chilled pie dough into 2 pieces, making one piece slightly larger than the other. Coat your hands with flour and shape the larger piece of dough into a ball. Working on a floured surface, flatten the ball slightly, then roll it into a 12-ince circle, about 1/8 inch thick. Fit the rolled dough into a 9-inch pie pan, then trim the edges of the dough to leave a 1-inch overhang around the pan. Roll out the remaining piece of dough 1/8 inch thick and trim into a 10-inch circle. Set aside. This will be the top crust.

Pour the cooled fruit into the pie shell and dot with butter. Brush the top side of the overhanging dough with a little egg wash. Lift the top crust onto the pie, folding it in half to make it easier to accurately position. Lift the overhanging dough onto the top crust and crimp with your fingers. Mark the crimped edges with a fork, then brush all of the crust with egg wash. Sprinkle with coarse raw sugar and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place the pie on the prepared baking sheet. Using a sharp knife, cut 4 slits in the center of the crust. Bake pie for 50 to 55 minutes. The crust will be golden brown and the fruit will be bubbling in the center of the pie. Let cool for 30 to 40 minutes, then serve with vanilla ice cream.


Flaky Pie Dough
From Leslie Mackie’s Macrina Bakery and Café Cookbook

Makes enough dough for 2 double-crusted (9-inch) pies, or 2 (10-inch) rustic galettes or tarts

5 ¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon kosher salt
12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into ¼-inch pieces
1 ¾ cups solid vegetable shortening, chilled
1 cup ice water

Combine flour and salt in a large bowl and toss together. Add butter and cut it into the flour until the texture is coarse and crumbly. You can use a pastry cutter or your fingers, but I like to use two forks. Break up the shortening and add it in small pieces. Cut in the shortening until the dough is crumbly again. Add ice water and mix just until the water is incorporated and the dough sticks together when pinched. This dough is quite sticky, so dust your hands with flour before handling it. Pull dough from bowl onto a lightly floured work surface (chilled marble is ideal) and pat it into a block. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before using. Since this recipe makes enough dough for 2 pies or tarts, I recommend cutting it in half before chilling.

Flaky Pie Dough will last for up to 4 days in the refrigerator and for up to 1 month in the freezer. If you freeze half or all of the dough, it’s a good idea to double wrap it. Frozen dough needs to be fully defrosted before its used, and my preferred method is to transfer the dough to the refrigerator 1 day before I plan on baking with it. The dough can also be defrosted at room temperature, but it needs to be re-chilled in the refrigerator for 1 hour prior to using.


Janet said...

Hi Katie - Here is my favorite pie crust recipe.... no matter what pie I am making or what the recipe says - I ALWAYS use this recipe for the crust (and I generally use all the water and I use half shortening, half margarine).

9" one-crust pie:
1/3 cups plus 1 tbsp shortening
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp ice water

9" two-crust pie:
2/3 cup plus 2 tbsp shortening
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
6 tbsp ice water

Claire said...

Your "save" for making ice cream sounds great! Here is a link to my blueberry pie with crust recipe. I think it is VERY close what Janet left you. It always works. I use all shortening and all the water. Hope you find something that works!

veron said...

I have had my share of pie dough disasters so I know how you feel. Hey but don't they say it's what inside that counts ;).

Claire said...

I think I forgot to post the link! I'll try again:

Ali-K said...

Great work for trying Katie, I always chicken out. I could write a whole blog on baking disasters alone!

Anonymous said...

Leslie Mackie's flaky pie dough recipe was demonstrated on Julia Child's PBS show. When she make this, she dumped in the WHOLE cup of water at once. She rolled it out on a chilled marble surface. It's a very soft dough and you must work fast. Although recipes say to only use enough water to hold the dough together, dough will not roll out properly if its not wet enough, hence the cracking and crumbling. I usually use all the water a recipe states; it has given me the best results on a number of different recipes.