The Gleeful Gourmand: Blueberry Pie Calling

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Blueberry Pie Calling

In Anne Dimock’s short, sweet book “Humble Pie: What Lies Beneath the Crust,” she talks about how everyone who enjoys making pie eventually finds their “pie calling,” or the pie they most enjoy making. She’s right – in the past I had made tons of pumpkin pies, and a few apple pies, but I never felt any particular affinity for either of them. Then the summer Buck and I got engaged I decided to try my hand at making blueberry pie.

Despite the fact that when I cut into it the filling completely oozed out into the pie plate and I was left with just a piecrust with some filling heaped on the side, it was delicious, and I was hooked. I started fooling with the recipe and perfecting it to my liking. It’s been 7 years, and I look forward to summer each year just so I can start making my blueberry pies. I know this pie inside and out, and I never get tired of making it. I never get tired of making it for my husband, or for potluck dinners, or for friends who have had babies, or are in need of a pick-me-up. It fills me with joy knowing that what I’ve made is filled with a lot of passion and love. And I have to boast that more than one person has claimed it’s the best pie they’ve ever had in their lives. Blueberry is my pie calling.

The recipe is very simple and it comes from Southern Living’s Ultimate Cookbook, with my own additions. Here are some things you need to know about this pie: You need to set aside some time to really pick over the blueberries making sure you have the best ones for the filling. They don’t have to be overly big (in fact, it’s the smaller ones that are usually better), but they do have to be free from stems and general smushed yuckiness. You definitely need to use fresh lemon juice. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, it doesn’t make a difference. But I’m here to tell you that it really does. So don’t skimp on the quality of your ingredients.

Also, I still haven’t made my own piecrust yet, but you’ll see that the recipe guides you in using your homemade piecrust. I use Pillsbury’s prepared piecrust in the refrigerator section. Don’t judge.

Blueberry Pie

5 cups fresh blueberries

1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Pastry for double-crust 9-inch pie

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup all-purpose flour (I do not level this. I use a heaping cup full)

1/8 tsp. salt

½ tsp. ground cinnamon (I don’t skimp here either)

1 tsp. cornstarch (this is my own addition, it really helps to thicken the filling)

2 Tbsp. butter or margarine

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 tsp. sugar

• Sprinkle berries with lemon juice, set aside.

• Roll half of pastry to a 1/8-inch thickness on a floured surface. Place in a 9-inch pieplate.

• Combine 1 cup sugar and next 3 ingredients; add to berries, stirring well. Pour into pastry shell, and dot with butter.

• Roll remaining pastry to 1/8-inch thickness. Place over filling; seal and crimp edges. Cut slits in top of crust to allow steam to escape. Brush top of pastry with beaten egg, and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sugar.

• Bake at 400˚ for 35 minutes or until golden. Cover edges with aluminum foil to prevent overbrowning if necessary. Yields 8 servings.


Kirsten Oliphant said...

I really do love that you have this great recipe where you MUST use fresh lemon juice, and yet you can use a store-bought crust. It's very freeing! This sounds delicious--thank you!

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Shauna said...

I'll have to share that "pie caliing" information with the rest of my family. My sisters and I all stay up late the night before Thanksgiving making pies, and we make more Thanksgiving day. Even my dad makes a pie! I think we had 14 different pies last year. I always make pumpkin. I made an apple pie once and swore I'd never do it again.

Jenna said...

Keeks, that's why they pay me the big bucks, to make important distinctions like that. ;)
Shauna - that sounds awesome! I bet you all have a blast doing it too. Do you all bake together or on your own?

Shauna said...

It's the best part of Thanksgiving! My sisters and I make pies together until midnight or later.

Kirsten said...

This pie IS awesome!!!! My whole family loved it! Thanks for sharing your recipe. :)

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