Thursday, May 10, 2012

Blueberry Pie

by Fine Cooking magazine

                                       Blueberry Pie

This week I should have been making pecan sticky buns for the Tuesdays with Dorie baking group to post this coming Tuesday. However I could not bring myself to make another butter-laden recipe. The first recipe (the group bakes two recipes a month) was Hungarian Shortbread which called for one pound, yes, four sticks of butter, which I made and really did not care for. The sticky buns call for even more butter - five sticks! Don't get me wrong, I am not one to shy away from any kind of sweets; especially baked goods. Reading through the recipe the sticky buns did not appeal to me.

So I baked a blueberry pie of which I have been craving and anxious to make ever since seeing the delicious, mouth-watering picture in this month's Fine Cooking magazine.

Cravings can make you do crazy stupid things like baking a pie when it is 90° outside; but the aroma while baking made it all worthwhile.

The pie turned out beautiful! The blueberry flavor was not as pronounced as I thought it would be, but very tasty just the same. I think the only other blueberry pie I had was when I was growing up and we would get the Hostess mini pies (remember those?), the ones you buy in the snack isle of your local grocery store which not only had added "real" flavoring but a lot of other ingredients too numerous to mention let alone pronounce. Hey, at the time I thought they were the best! Years later, now that I do my own baking and cooking, I have become a bit of a food snob. Even restaurant food does not impress me much anymore - oh the pitfalls of knowing how to cook.

Image found here.

The instructions which I failed to read required a cooling time of three hours. I would be in bed by then and there was no way I was going to retire without a taste of this enticing creation sitting on my cooktop. I highly recommend that you do wait the three hours or longer. I cut into it early and the slice did not hold its shape and the filling ran out. The next day the slice of pie held its shape beautifully and even tasted better in my opinion.

Success meter (1-3): 3

My dough was too fragile to weave so I just
criss-crossed them.

As well as too fragile to roll the dough over a rolling pin
 as instructed. I just flipped the parchment over directly
into the pan. Worked like a charm!

A sea of blueberries.

Flour, sugar and lemon zest to
thicken the pie.

Flip the parchment with the lattice
onto the pie.

Homemade pie cover as found in
Fine Cooking.
Start with a 12-inch square of
heavy-duty foil.
Fold in half.

Fold in half again to make a smaller square.
(note your center point)

Fold diagonally through the center point
to create a triangle.

Fold again through the center point for
a narrower triangle.

Cut across the triangle in a slight curve
about 4 inches from the tip.

Unfold and whoala!
Edge and top cover for your pie.

Edge is beautifully golden.
Time to cover up!

Yummy goodness.

This is what happens when you
don't let it cool for three hours.

Juice oozing out.

Much better the next day!

No oozing this time.


Classic Lattice-Top Blueberry Pie
Serves 10

For the dough
12 oz. (2 2/3 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
3 Tbl. granulated sugar
1 tsp. salt
6 oz. (3/4 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces
2 oz. (4 Tbl.) frozen vegetable shortening, cut into 4 pieces
5 Tbl. ice-cold water
1 Tbl. fresh lemon juice

For the filling
2/3 cups granulated sugar
1 ½ oz. (1/3 cup) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest plus 1 Tbl. juice (from 1 medium lemon)
Big pinch salt
6 cups (30 oz.) fresh blueberries, rinsed and thoroughly dried

For assembly
1 large egg
2 Tbl. coarse sugar, such as turbinado or white sanding sugar

Make the dough
Put the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse briefly to combine. Add the butter and shortening and pulse until the pieces are slightly larger than pea-size, 10 to 12 pulses. Drizzle the water and lemon juice evenly over the flour mixture. Pulse until the dough forms moist crumbs that just begin to clump together, 8 or 9 more pulses.
Dump the moist crumbs onto two large over-lapping pieces of plastic wrap and gather into a pile. With the heel of your hand, push and gently smear the dough away from you, rotating the plastic so you smear a different section each time, until the crumbs come together; 2 or 3 smears should do it. Divide the dough in half (about 12 oz. each); shape one piece into a 5-inch disk and the other into a 4x6 inch rectangle. Wrap each tightly in plastic and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours and up to 2 days (or freeze for up to one month.)

Make the lattice-top crust (See a video of how to weave a lattice-top at
Position a rack in the center of the oven and set a foil-lined heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet on the rack. Heat the oven to 425°F.
Remove the rectangle of dough from the refrigerator; if it’s very firm, let sit at room temperature until it’s pliable enough to roll, 10 to 20 minutes. (If the disk of dough is also very firm, let it sit at room temperature while you make the lattice.)
On lightly floured parchment, roll the dough with a floured rolling pin into a 9 ½ x 14 ½-inch rectangle that’s 1/8th inch thick. Roll from the center of the dough to the edges and try to use as few passes as possible to avoid over-working the dough. After every few passes, run an offset spatula or bench knife under the dough to be sure it isn’t sticking, and give the dough a quarter turn. Re-flour the parchment and the rolling pin only as needed –excess flour can make the crust tough.
Using a fluted pastry wheel or a chef’s knife, trim the dough into a 9x14-inch rectangle. With the wheel or knife, cut 12 strips of dough that are 14 inches long and ¾ inch wide. If at any point while making the lattice the dough becomes too soft to work with, slide the parchment onto a cookie sheet and chill the dough until firm.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment. Arrange 6 of the strips horizontally ¾ inch apart; these will be the “bottom” strips. Fold back every other bottom strip to the left slightly more than halfway. Slightly left of center, lay down on “top” strip vertically over the bottom strips, dabbing the bottom strips with a wet finger where the top strip will overlap them. Dab the top strip where the folded strips will overlap it, then unfold the strips. Fold back the other 3 bottom strips to the left. Lay a second top strip ¾ inch to the right of the first, dabbing with water as before. These are the two center strips. Unfold the bottom strips. Repeat the process on both sides with the remaining top strips of dough. Press gently where the strips overlap to seal. Loosely cover the lattice with plastic wrap and refrigerate on the cookie sheet while you roll out the bottom crust and make the filling.

Roll and shape the bottom crust
On a lightly floured parchment, roll the disk of dough into a 14 ½ -inch circle that’s 1/8 inch thick. Carefully and gently roll the dough around the rolling pin and position the pin over a 9-inch glass pie plate. Unroll, easing the dough into the pan. Gently press the dough against the side and bottom of the pan, being careful not to stretch or tear it, and allowing the excess dough to hang over the edges. Let sit at room temperature while assembling the filling.

Make the filling
In a large bowl, combine the sugar, flour, lemon zest and juice and salt. Add 1 cup of the blueberries and crush them into the dry ingredients with a potato masher or fork to make a paste. Add the rest of the berries and toss to coat. Scrape the filling into the crust with a rubber spatula, spreading evenly.

Assemble and bake the pie
Remove the lattice from the refrigerator. If it’s stiff, let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes. Put your palm under the parchment at the center of the lattice. Lift the paper and invert the lattice onto the filling in a swift, smooth motion. Press the top and bottom edges together and trim both crusts so there’s about a ¾-inch overhang. Roll the overhang under itself to form a high edge of crust that rests on the rim of the pie plate. Using your fingers, crimp the sough into a fluted edge.
In a small bowl, beat the egg and 1 Tbl. water until blended. Using a small pastry brush, brush the egg mixture evenly over the lattice and edge, and then sprinkle generously with the coarse sugar.
Put the pie on the heated baking sheet and reduced the oven temperature to 375°F. Bake until the edges are pale golden, about 30 minutes, then cover the edges with foil and continue to bake until the lattice is golden-brown and the filling is bubbling about 2 inches from the center, 80 to 90 minutes total. (If the lattice is golden-brown before the filling is bubbling, cove it loosely with foil.)
Let the pie cool on a rack to room temperature, about 3 hours, before serving. It’s best eaten on the day it’s made, but you can make it up to 1 day ahead and store it, covered when cool, at room temperature. Leftovers keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.


  1. Lovely pie.
    The sticky rolls were good, but it was definitely a boatload of butter...

  2. Blueberry Pie is my favorite pie - yours looks so absolutely delicious. You certainly invested a lot of love and time in this pie and this post.

  3. I skipped the sticky rolls too. the blueberry pie looks like an awesome substitute.


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