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Monday, April 28, 2014

Memories of BlueberryPie

I was lucky in life to have some wonderful individuals teach me life lessons. Life was not always easy in our little rural community and most of my grandparent worked on farms taking care of animals, crops and the land. All of the adults I knew worked hard in one way or another. One of my grandmothers prepared a Sunday diner where each of her children would attend with their families. The dinner would be packed with delicious goodies and lots of time dessert would be one made by her hands and the berries that she would pick on her hike. In honor of her I share a recipe, not her recipe but  tasty as well.

Pie Dough 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp table salt
3 tbsp sugar
11 tablespoons unsalted butter
7 tablespoons vegetable shortening, chilled
1/2 cup of ice water
Pie Filling
3 pints fresh blueberries (6 cups), rinsed and stems removed
1 cup sugar
1/2 lemon, juiced and zested
1/4 tsp ground allspice
pinch ground nutmeg
7 tsp corn starch
2 tbsp unsalted butter
The algorithm:
Make sure butter has been in the refrigerator, rather than the freezer. Take it out and, with a sharp, thin knife (not a butter knife), cut the butter into small cubes, approximately 1/4 inch per side. The smaller the cubes, the easier it will be to integrate the butter with the flour later. Then put the cubed butter in the freezer. Cut the shortening into cubes, too, but the size doesn't matter. Put cubed shortening into the freezer as well.
Combine the flour, salt, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add chilled butter and toss to coat with flour. Cut the butter into the flour, preferably with a pastry blender (or in a food processor). Add chilled shortening and continue to cut it in until no pieces of butter or shortening are bigger than peas. Add ice water to the mixture. Fold the mixture together with your hands, and/or a rubber spatula, until the dough comes together and starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl. The less water you have to use to get it to this point, the better.
Divide dough into two balls, but leave one of the balls slightly larger than the other (because the bottom crust has to be larger than the top crust, due to the curvature of the pie dish). Press each ball flat into a disk several inches wide. Dust with flour, and wrap each disk in plastic wrap. Refrigerate dough for at least 30 minutes, letting it rest.
At this point, making the filling. Toss fruit with sugar, lemon juice and zest, spices, and corn starch. Let that stuff stand for 15 minutes or so.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees before you start rolling out the dough. Roll out the larger ball of dough until its diameter is about four inches larger than your pie pan (should be about 13"), flouring your surface and rolling pin occasionally as you go. When it's rolled out, place dough into pie pan by doing the following: Sprinkle flour onto the top of the circle of dough, and then fold half of the circle onto the other half, creating a semi-circle. Then sprinle dough on top of the semi-circle and fold again, creating a quarter-circle. Then pick up the dough and put it into the pie pan, point in the center, and unfold it to cover. Gently press the dough so that it sits along the sides of the pie pan. Leave any overhanging dough, because it'll be used to seal the crust later.
Now pour the filling, juices and all, into the pie pan, and refrigerate while you roll out the top crust. Roll the smaller disk the same way as the first, but only roll it out to about ten inches in diameter. Just like with the bottom crust, use the folding method to place the top crust onto the pie. Lay it over the fruit and unfold. Now trim the top and bottom dough edges to somewhere around half an inch past the lip of the pan. Tuck that rim of dough underneath itself, so that its folded edge is flush with the lip of the pan. Press the rim of folded dough with the tines of a fork in order to seal it. Then cut four or five slits on the top crust to allow steam to escape. If the pie dough is very soft, put it in the freezer for a few minutes before baking.
Put the pie on a baking sheet, or on top of a large piece of aluminum foil (that'll keep your oven clean when the filling inevitably bubbles out of the pie and falls). Bake at 400 degrees until the top crust is looking golden, about 20 to 25 minutes. Then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and keep baking until the filling gets all bubbly and the crust is golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes longer.
Afterward, transfer the pie to a wire rack, or somewhere else it can sit and cool. You have to let it cool to almost room temperature so that the corn starch can work its magic and thicken the filling. You'll probably have to let it cool for about two hours before that will have happened

recipe source here

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