Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Blueberry Pie

Instead of a traditional lattice, I decided to have some fun with my tiny cookie cutters. The pie shell and top layer were 2 different pre-made doughs, so unfortunately I over-baked the shell a bit.

I also had a bizarre incident when making the filling, which I've made plenty of times in the past. Some recipes tell you to use a "non-reactive" bowl or pan. I must have used a "reactive" pan because when cooking the sugar and blueberries, the sugar started to crystalize into these really hard white chunks and they wouldn't dissolve. I ended up sieving them out and losing a few blueberries in the process.

This filling recipe is from my pastry course packet, by Nick Malgieri. What's great about this particular method is that you end up with 2 different textures in the fruit: A super soft, well-cooked portion, which is used to develop the syrup and a firmer batch, which is added right before baking.

2 pints blueberries (measure out 1 cup for cooking)
3/4 cup sugar
3 Tbsp cornstarch
3 Tbsp water
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1/2 tsp cinnamon (I prefer 1/4 tsp)
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 egg beaten (for the wash on top)

Preheat oven to 375

Combine 1 cup of blueberries with the sugar in a non-reactive saucepan. Bring to a simmer over low heat, stir till sugar is melted and the mixture is very liquid (5 min). In a separate bowl, mix the water and cornstarch and whisk into blueberry/sugar mixture. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly till it boils, thickens and "becomes clear" (loses the murkiness). Pour into a large bowl and stir in the seasonings and lastly the blueberries.

Pour into pie shell. Cover with lattice or top crust, brush with egg wash. Optional: Sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 40 min.

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