Happy Labor Day weekend! This post is a little overdue because of our trip to Alaska, but I felt it was fitting since this is the last official weekend of summer. At the beginning of August, my husband and I went blueberry picking for the first time. It gave me a greater appreciation for those who pick blueberries on a consistent basis because I was done after just doing a few bushes. I had no idea that there were specific blueberries for baking and others for plain eating. The baking ones have a more distinct blueberry flavor whereas the eating ones are supposed to be sweeter. I personally liked the baking ones better. With all of these blueberries, I needed a couple of different items to bake. I will have a later post about the Lemon Blueberry bread which was quite delicious!
I have made fruit pies for as long as I can remember, but this was my first time making a blueberry pie. Now you might be thinking “Not another Ina Garten recipe”, but I absolutely love her cookbooks. I trust that even if I have not made the recipe before, it will be a success. My goal someday is to create more of my own recipes. This Blueberry Pie recipe is from the Barefoot Contessa “Make it Ahead” cookbook. Since I do not cook with alcohol, I just omitted the liqueur.
4 cups fresh blueberries, washed and dried
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
1 egg beaten with 1 T milk for egg wash
12 T (1-1/2 sticks) very cold unsalted butter
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 T sugar
1 tsp sugar
1/3 cup very cold vegetable shortening such as Crisco
1/3 cup ice water
The nice thing about this dough is that it is very easy to work with and it is more on the savory side versus the pie dough for the Strawberry Pie which is more for sweet pies in my opinion.
Start with making the dough because it will need to chill for about 30 minutes. While the dough chills in the fridge, you can make the filling.
Cut the butter into 1/2 inch pieces and put back into the fridge while you prepare the rest of the dough mixture. It is best to keep the butter cold, so that way it melts in the oven and not prior. It helps create the flakiness in the dough. In a food processor, add the flour, sugar and salt. Pulse a few times to mix it all together. Add the butter and shortening and pulse until the butter is the size of peas, about 10 to 12 pulses. Keep the machine running and add the ice water. Stop pulsing when the dough begins to come together in a ball. On a floured surface, form the dough into a ball and wrap it in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper to catch any overflow from the pie. In a large bowl, mix together the blueberries, sugar, flour, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Set aside.
Cut the dough in half to form two disks. Roll out each disk into a 12-to-13 inch circle on a floured board. This is to fit into a 9 inch pie plate. The larger circle ensures that it will fit into the pie plate and have some overhang. I like to roll the extra dough with cinnamon sugar and bake in the oven separately for a little snack. Slightly roll the dough up using the rolling pin to easily transfer the dough from the board to the pie plate.
Add the blueberry mixture to the pie shell and spread out evenly. Add the top crust on top of the blueberry mixture. Remove any extra overhang and fold the edge of the top crust under the bottom crust. This creates a better seal and prevents the juices from escaping. Then pinch the dough with your fingers to create your own design. Mix together the beaten egg with the milk in a small bowl to create the egg wash. Brush the egg wash all over the crust, so it allows the crust to become golden during baking. Using a knife, cut three slits into the top.
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes on the lined baking sheet until golden and the filling is bubbling. Let the pie cool before serving. It is best to let it cool, so the filling can solidify.
This got a thumbs up from my coworkers and it was even more fun to use Michigan grown blueberries. It is nice to be able to support the local farmers!