Perfect blueberry pie

 

Blueberry pie

Blueberry pie

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It is hard to find a good pie these days. Making pastry at home is almost a lost art. But if you want to make it all you need to do is practice. 

When I was just married I thought making pastry crust was an impossible skill. Then I watched Julia Child do it on television. “If you want to make perfect pastry,” I remember her saying, “make it every day for a month.” I tried it that night. I had success and then made it almost every day for a month. My husband who loves pie and quiche was very happy. I now can make pastry almost in my sleep. 

Pastry

Pate Brisee Sucre

3½  cups all-purpose flour

White Lily all purpose is perfect for this (but often a bit more rolling out if it gets sticky. **

 

¼ cup sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces

2 large egg yolks

2- 3 tbsp. very cold water

 

In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour and sugar.

Add very cold butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, 10 to 20 seconds.

Pulse the butter and the mixture will be and should be very dry.

 

In a small bowl, lightly beat egg yolks, add, and pulse.

Add ice water, pulse until dough holds together without being wet or sticky; be careful not to process more than 30 seconds. To test, squeeze a small amount together: If it is crumbly, add more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time. The water is important; do not leave it out.

Divide dough into two equal balls on top of plastic wrap. Flatten each ball into a disk, and wrap in plastic. Transfer to the refrigerator, and chill at least 1 hour.

 

I use this same dough sometimes with slightly less sugar for savoury pies (2 tbsp. keeps the dough tender).

 

I always roll this after 10 to 15 minutes and then chill the completed pie in the freezer for 20-30 minutes. It works better for me that way and makes the pie very tender.

 

How to roll:

 

I like to roll the dough on wax paper.

Sprinkle the paper with a little flour and flour your rolling pin.

Roll from the center out.

Lift and flip your dough at least once to make sure it is not sticking.

If the crust breaks, stick it back together. Do not over-handle the dough. Making crust is a matter of practice. The dough will break if is it is too wet, too dry, or if it has too much butter in it, and it will also break if you are too rough.

If it breaks often and becomes a mess, re-roll it. You will need to chill it again before you can work with it.  You can rework it once before you need to toss it and try again.

 Preheat oven to 475 f 

**A note on flour: In the U.S. South, all-purpose flour is much softer, meaning that it has less protein or gluten. In the rest of the U.S. and in Canada, flour is harder, meaning it has more gluten or protein. This will change the texture of your pastry if you do not adjust for it.

White Lily all-purpose flour works perfectly in French pastry recipes like the one above.

I get good results baking pastry with 2/3 all-purpose flour and 1/3 cake and pastry flour when using harder Sorthern U.S./Canadian flour. All pastry flour from most brands is too crumbly. This is a suggestion that I found in one of the old Julia Child cookbooks and it has worked very well for many years.

 

Blueberry filling

2/3 cup granulated sugar

In a large bowl mix:

¼ cup and 2 Tbsp. flour

2 tbsp. melted butter

Wash 1 lemon well (organic is much better) grate zest and juice

½ tsp Kosher or sea salt

6 cups fresh blueberries rinsed and thoroughly dried, or use frozen blueberries, well-drained.

 

Assemble the pie and place it in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes.

 

Brush the top of the pie with egg yolk. Sprinkle with coarse sugar. Cut slits with a very sharp knife for steam. 

1 large yolk egg beaten

2 Tbsp. coarse white sanding sugar to decorate the pie (optional) 

Place pie on a foil-covered baking sheet to catch possible drips

I decorate the pie with cut-outs and coarse/sanding sugar. 

Bake the pie on a foil-covered sheet for 10 to 15 minutes to brown. Watch it to avoid burning. 

Cover loosely with foil (just place a piece of foil over the top of the pie do not fasten it) and reduce heat to 325F for 60 to 75 minutes, depending on your oven. 

A dark pie plate will bake faster and darker – I use glass which also allows you to check the even browning of your crust.

 

 

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