Monday, November 21, 2011

Simple as Blueberry Pie

One of the simplest pleasures in life is pie.

Not 3.14... though it's fun to imagine the connections between a pie's round shape and that famous infinite number. If we had, in fact, infinite amounts of pie, I think I'd be pretty happy. Dividing it in eighths is fun, but then again there are those people who are just tasters, who insist in "half a slice" (which creates challenges when you have a soupy fruit center), and those midnight pie eaters who attempt to evade detection with their tiny sliver slices. Oh yeah, you know who you are.  And we're watching you. 

So inevitably as the cold weather comes upon me, I want to bake.  Thanksgiving's coming, too... but I feel the need to have something bright and surprising after a lot of Halloween pumpkin related food.  I mean, we're going to have a lot of cold weather related food coming up soon, so why not have a quick taste of summer just before we go full boar into the Holidays? 

OK, that and I accidentally left out some frozen blueberries and they needed to be used asap. 

So, while I'll be making pumpkin pie later this week, I give you... Blueberry Pie!

I have a ridiculously simple "regular" gluten-filled pastry dough recipe that I've adapted for this recipe.  I literally keep it in my recipe box on a Post it.  Here it is in its original form:   

All you have to do to update this is use Gluten Free All Purpose Flour (I use Bob's Red Mill), and palm shortening (I use Spectrum Organics).  Seriously that's all there is to it ~ just put it in a plastic bag in the fridge for a few minutes, then roll it out.  This makes enough for one crust.  If you intend to put on a top crust, just double it. 

For those of you who cannot read my chicken scrawl, here you go:

Food Processor Pastry
1c. Flour
1/4 t. salt
1/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup cold water

Put flour and salt into the food processor.  Pulse 3 - 4 times.
Add shortening. Pulse 5 - 6 times.  Dough should look like coarse meal.
Then with machine running, add water 1 Tablespoon at a time until it suddenly WHOOSHes into a ball of dough.   Put in a plastic baggie (or something that will avoid its outsides from starting to dry out) in the fridge to cool for a few minutes. 

For a pre-baked crust:  Roll it out, prick sides and bottom with a fork here and there, and bake at 425 for 10 - 12 minutes.  Cool then add things like chocolate pudding etc.

For a non-pre-baked crust:  Roll it out, prick sides and bottom with a fork here and there, and then add your fruit mixture, pumpkin pie filling, etc. 


Blueberry Pie

Jessica and I made a blueberry pie last week.  She was very excited about making a pie for little one, and we had these frozen blueberries hanging around doing nothing... why not?   When I came down for lunch there was pastry rolled up into balls and waiting to be made into crusts, and a big bowl of defrosted blueberries.   How do we make that into pie?

Well, my mom always just told me to cover fruit with a few tablespoons granulated sugar, a couple tablespoons of flour, and let it sit awhile.  Vague but serviceable.  The New York Times Cookbook told us a little more.   They suggested that for 3 cups blueberries, we add 9 tsp of corn starch and 1/2 cup sugar!  Plus a little lemon juice.  Stir it up and you're all set.  More gluten free... yay.  If you have a corn allergy you can also use tapioca starch instead of corn starch.

Once the filling is ready, pour into your pie shell , cover with a top crust if you like.  I didn't have quite enough pastry for a 2 sided crust so I rolled it out and sliced it into strips to make a lattice work.  Looks pretty and covers up a multitude of sins like... well, not having enough pastry! 

Bake at 400 degrees for around 40 minutes or until the pastry becomes golden.  And there you have yourself a pie! 

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