Two months ago Nimrod (my spouse) was on a three-week working trip to the US. Although the excuse for the trip was work, he also traveled quite a bit in the northwestern United States and even further north to Vancouver in Canada.
During all this time he sent me lots of pictures of breathtaking landscapes (e.g. amazing lakes that reminded me a little of New Zealand) and places he visited. But the thing that caught my eye the most was a picture of a blueberry pie he’d ordered in some diner in a small town. He described the pie in a way that really made me want (at least) one bite, and I was left with a strong desire to make blueberry pie at home.
It has been quite a while since then, and we were talking about it almost weekly since he was back, but it finally happened last week! I bought frozen blueberries in the supermarket and I went on a purposeful mission and started working on the pie.
The pie is made of double crust in fact – a crust of short crust pastry at the bottom that’s filled with luscious blueberry filling and strips of dough crisscrossed on top. The result look is especially impressive, very rustic and makes you want a hot piece with some h good vanilla ice cream next to it.
It’s a traditional classic American recipe and there’s not a lot of sophistication here. But if there’s anything I’ve learned in recent years is that classics always do the work and you don’t have to invent something new each and every time you bake. The recipe for the crust is a classic 123 short-crust pastry dough that I’ve been slightly improving its texture with cornstarch and a little less sugar powder. The recipe for the filling was adapted from the beautiful Sally’s Baking Addiction blog with some changes and adjustments I made.
For the crust:
- 280 grams (2 cups) all-purpose flour
- 20 grams (2 tbsp.) cornstarch
- 200 grams (1 cup) cold butter cubed
- 90 grams (3/4 cup) sugar powder
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 1 large egg
- 1-2 tbsp. water if necessary
For the filling:
- 750 grams fresh or frozen not thawed blueberries
- 150 grams (3/4 cup) sugar
- 30 grams (3 tbsp.) cornstarch
- 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
- Juice of 1/2 a lemon
For brushing and decoration:
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tbsp. milk
- 3-4 tbsp. light brown sugar
- sugar powder
In a food processor with a steel blade, put flour, cornstarch, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and salt and blend until a crumbly mixture is obtained.
Add the egg and continue to blend until large chunks of dough form. If the dough does not unite and remains dry - add a little water gradually and continue to blend.
Transfer the dough chunks to a lightly floured work surface, and form a disc shape.
Wrap in plastic wrap and cool in the refrigerator for about an hour before rolling.
Divide the dough into 2 pieces.
On a floured surface, roll one part of the dough (meanwhile refrigerate the second part of the dough) to a thickness of 3-4 mm and place in the pie pan to form a crust. Make sure you create a straight angle between the base and the sides of the crust so that the sides remain high while baking.
Pierce the base with a fork.
Freeze the crust for about 30 minutes.
In a large bowl, mix blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and lemon juice until the blueberries are coated with a thin layer of sugar.
Assemble the pie: pour the blueberry filling into the frozen crust and slightly squeeze it in. It will look like there are too much blueberries, but they lose quite a lot of volume during baking so it's ok.
Heat oven to 200c degrees.
Remove the second part of the dough from the refrigerator and roll it over a floured surface to about 3-4 mm thick. With a knife cut the dough into strips and arrange in a crisscross form on top of the blueberry filling.
Press the sides and get rid of excess dough.
In a small bowl, mix egg yolk and milk together and brush the top of the pie.
Generously sprinkle with sugar.
Bake the pie for 20 minutes at a temperature of 200c degrees, then lower the oven temperature to 160c degrees and continue baking for another 25-30 minutes or until the dough gets a deep golden color and is fully baked.
Remove from oven, cool at room temperature and serve with powdered sugar.
- Keep the pie in a closed container for up to 3 days.
- It is recommended to serve the pie warm and not cold from the fridge.
- Instead of blueberries you can use any other berries you like. If frozen fruits are used, it is important not to thaw them.
- If you do not like cinnamon, you can omit it.
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