Fresh Blueberry Pie
This old time favourite has a whisper of gin to boast the flavour of the blueberries as the juniper berry, a relative of the blue, is a major ingredient in gin.
- 6 cups fresh blueberries
- 1/4 cup gold sugar
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
- Pinch table salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
- 1 ounce gin
- milk for wash
- 1 double crust
Place 3 cups berries in a medium saucepan and set over medium heat. Using a potato masher, mash the berries several times to release the juices. Continue to cook, stirring frequently and mashing occasionally until about half of the berries have broken down and the mixture is thickened and reduced to 1 1/2 cups. It should take about 8 minutes. Let cool.
Add the cooked berries, the remaining 3 cups of uncooked berries, sugar, corn starch, and salt. Toss to combine.
Transfer mixture to a dough-lined pie plate and scatter the butter pieces over the filling. Top with second disk of dough.
Place the pie in the freezer for 1 hour to rest.
Brush the pie with milk then place the pie on a heated baking sheet and bake 30 minutes at . Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue to bake until juice bubbles and crust is deep golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes longer. Transfer the pie to a wire rack. Cool to room temperature; at least 4 hours.
Cut into wedges and serve.
Ultimate Pie Crust
Vodka is essential to the texture of the crust and imparts no flavour. Do not substitute.
This dough will be moister and suppler than most standard pie doughs and will require more flour to roll out; up to a 1/4 cup.
- 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon table salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (11/2 sticks), cut into 1/4-inch pieces – freeze
- 1/2 cup lard, cut into 1/4-inch pieces-freeze
- 1/2 cup ice cold
- Process 1 1/2 cups flour, salt, and sugar in food processor until combined using two one-second pulses.
- Add butter and lard and process until homogeneous dough just starts to collect in uneven clumps; about 8 seconds – dough will resemble cottage-cheese curds and there should be no uncoated flour.
- Scrape bowl with a rubber spatula and redistribute dough evenly around processor blade.
- Add the remaining cup of flour and pulse until mixture is evenly distributed around bowl and mass of dough has been broken up; 4 to 6 quick pulses.
- Empty mixture into medium bowl.
- Sprinkle water over mixture. With a rubber spatula, use a folding motion to mix, pressing down on the dough until it is slightly tacky and sticks together.
- Divide dough into two even balls and flatten each into 4-inch disk.
- Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 45 minutes or up to two days.
This is the best recipe for short/pie crust. Here are a few more tricks to insure a perfect pie crust
- Freeze the butter and lard.
- Flavour your crust with a 1/2 tsp of your favourite spice. I use mace, the filigree coating of nutmeg.
- Whir the dry ingredients and the fats in the food processor until the fat pieces are the size of peas.
- You can substitute ¼ cup vodka and ¼ cup water.
- You can substitute cream cheese for the lard.
- Do not – I REPEAT DO NOT – add your water into the food processor as you will get a gummy crust.
- Rest your pie after you have rolled out the dough and placed it in the pan for 1 hour in the fridge, before you bake it off.
Note: You will see the butter and the lard in the dough when rolled out. This is proper as you will have the fats to do their work in creating a light, crispy, and flaky crust.
Now go bake your pie.