25 August 2014


I never seem to tire of those few songs that can play over and over again and still feel fresh, the swaying, the collective gathering, the permission to dance, ennui obliterated by rhythm. I love music, I am reminded. Music is now. At a concert recently, we drank from the ongoing beat, elsewhere. And then, we left, to find Uber in "surge" mode, charging double for midnight rides, I thought, I'd take a cabin in the woods making, slicing, eating this pie again right about now. We get home, eventually. We get on with it. Luckily, I have a minute this morning at our desk before any form of, to share some of this homey, wholesome, fresh blueberry pie with you.

An incentive for at least one pie before summer's end came in the form of a 6-inch pie plate I ordered on a whim, and an irresistible recipe I'd tagged when blueberries started appearing. Of course, I delayed, and made galettes. But this pie, from Rose Levy Berenbaum, was recently talked up on the Genius Recipes column on Food52. It's a pie that defies what makes pies sometimes too dramatic. It's the one that walked in in the little breezy dress and knocked everyone's socks off. Ok, you have to put in a little time, but, this is a fruit pie that only requires the oven to be on for 35 minutes. Yes, that's right. Now, go fetch a few pints of the last bushels of seasonal blueberries. We're going topless.

Rose is a good person to listen to. I don't need to say much more. She has you make and bake the crust first, brush a little egg white on it while it cools, and then cook roughly a third of your blueberries on the stove-top, mix in a little cornstarch, sugar and lemon juice and then fold in the rest of the berries raw. All this happens in the few minutes after blind baking the crust, so, you'll pour the berries into your crust and go, "that's it?" With this hack, they stay plump and glistening and magically glued together when you cut the pie. Then you just need to distract yourself because you have to let it sit for a few hours before cutting.

Now, about the crust. Rose included her own with the recipe, but I just had to go with the part-rye crust I love. You can use a pre-made crust if you lack time, or another you're comfortable with, but my favorite way to go here is to use the Chez Pim mix on the counter technique with a little rye flour (via Heidi) and apple cider vinegar (via Kim Boyce) thrown in. It makes for a nice flakey crust and I like the method. It gives you roll-and-fold and fraisaging, all in one. 


We cut slivers of this over the coarse of 2 days, which is how long Rose says it will keep, lightly covered in the dish at room temperature. The blueberries are jammy and plump, even after it has sat, and the crust  nicely maintained itself. I on the other hand, could not stop thinking about the pie. I'll make it again and again. Enjoy the last week of summer!

Fresh Blueberry Pie in a Rye Crust

barely adapted from Food52

Notes: Though I used a 6-inch plate and cut the recipe in half, using a half-recipe of standard pie dough for a single crust, I'll include the full recipe as it's intended for a 9-inch pie, below, because I assume you want more pie.

1 9-inch chilled pie crust, unbaked
4 cups blueberries, divided
1 Tbsp egg white, lightly beaten  
1/2 liquid cup and two tablespoons water, divided 
2 tablespoons cornstarch 
1/2 cup sugar 
2 teaspoons lemon juice 
Pinch of salt

Flaky Rye Pie Crust
37 g /  scant 1/3 cup rye flour
88g / 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
 4oz / 1 stick salted Euro/Irish butter
2.5  Tbs ice water*
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar (optional)

*I like to prep water this way: Fill a glass measuring cup with about 1/2 cup ice, then follow with a cup cold water. Stir in your apple cider vinegar, and set this in the fridge or freezer. Then when you go to take your measured water out, dip in the Tablespoon, and add the appropriate amount that way.

Make the crust: using the above ingredients, use this technique.  Fold as per in Pim's instructions 3x-4x. After it has rested, let it sit at room temp for about 10 minutes to take the chill off. Roll dough out to 1/8 inch thickness in confident strokes between two pieces of lightly floured plastic or parchment, giving a quarter turn often. Ease your pie crust into the plate, fold under excess and crimp. Chill, lightly covered, for an hour.

Make pie: Preheat oven to 425 15 minutes before baking. Line the pastry with parchment and fill with pie weights, pie rice or beans, and bake 20 minutes. Carefully remove parchment and weights and with a fork, prick the bottom and sides. Return to the oven for 5-10 minutes, until pale golden. Check and prick any bubbles with a fork after 3 minutes.

Cool the crust on a rack for 3 minutes, so it is no longer piping hot, then brush the bottom and sides with the egg white to prevent sogginess.

For filling: Measure out 1 cup of the blueberries, choosing the softest. Place in a medium saucepan together with the 1/2 cup water. Cover and bring  to a boil. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and the remaining 2 tablespoons of water. Set aside.

When water and blueberries have come to a boil, lower heat and simmer, stirring constantly for 3 to 4 minutes or until the blueberries start to burst and the juices begin to thicken. Stirring constantly, add cornstarch mixture, sugar, lemon juice, and salt. Simmer for a minute or until the mixture becomes translucent.

Immediately remove it from the heat and quickly fold in the remaining 3 cups of blueberries. Spoon mixture into the baked pie shell and allow to sit at room temperature for at least 2 hours before cutting. Store covered at room temp for up to 2 days.

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