Blueberry Pie

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When I think of pie, I think of America. A few years ago I read ‘American Pie: Slices of Life (and Pie) from America’s Back Roads.’ The book chronicles the authors journey for the perfect pie. While I don’t have the luxury of travelling across America, I think this pie is pretty delicious. The  pastry is buttery and soft, the blueberries simply melt in your mouth.

You may however ask how I came to bake a blueberry pie in the middle of summer? It starts with a trip to Costco with a friend who has a membership card. In the produce section, was a 1kg punnet of blueberries for $9.99. To compare my local supermarket is currently selling 250g of blueberries for $5. After making smoothies and enjoying them with yoghurt and breakfast, I decided to bake with them. I consulted one of my food encyclopedias “The Essential New York Times Cook Book’, and couldn’t look past this recipe by Amanda Hesser.

I used a 3:2 ratio of fresh blueberries and frozen cranberries I had left in my freezer from Christmas. It was the perfect combination. Sweet, yet tart. I was skeptical about the pastry method, which does not blind bake the pastry, but followed Hesser’s advice; cooking it in the lowest rack in the oven and that seemed to work well!

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Filling:

  • 2 cups Flour
  • 2/3 cup icing sugar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp baking powder
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
  • 1 large egg yolk, plus 1 more if needed
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream

Filling:

  • 5 cups blueberries
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

1. Combine the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder in a plastic freezer bag. Wrap the butter cubes in plastic wrap. Place in the freezer for at at least 30 minutes.
2. Pour the contents of the flour bag, in a food processor and pulse 1 or 2 times. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles flakes. Add the lemon zest, egg yolk and heavy cream and pulse 5 times. The dough is ready when it holds together when pressed between your thumb and forefinger.

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3. Turn the mixture out on your counter-top  Using the heel of your hand, smear the dough together until it forms a ball. Split into 2 balls, with one slightly larger than the other. Form into discs. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 3 hours.
4. Roll out the larger disc  between two baking paper. Turn the pastry out into your pie dish and press into the tin using a small piece of pastry as not to tear the delicate pastry. Chill. Prepare the lattice by rolling the small disc of pastry and cut into strips. Chill.
5. Place all the filling ingredients in a bowl and stir util combined. Add to the pie dish. Add the lattice on top.

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6. Pre-heat the oven to 400F/200C. As the oven heats, chill the prepared pie. Bake  on the bottom level of the oven for 45-50 minutes. Check it after 20 minutes and cover with foil if necessary.
7. Once cooked, let it cool to room temperature (if you can resist temptation!). Serve with ice-cream or cream.
8. Enjoy!

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