Monday, March 15, 2010

blueberry pie and the camera's fixed!

Yay! The camera's fixed! Hopefully we'll get some better pictures out of it!

The rainstorms have passed here in Santa Barbara and there is a definite hint of summer in the air. All of a sudden I yearn for bar-b-ques, the lingering smell of sun screen and sunshine late into the evening. When summer starts to peak out through the clouds I start thinking about frolicking in the fields in shorts and bare feet just like the little girl in the childhood classic "Blueberries for Sal". And, of course, that gets me to thinking about blueberry pie because, truly, there are few things that epitomize summer like fresh blueberry pie.

The best way to transfer pie dough from the surface where you've rolled it out is to fold it into fourths and unfold it in your pie dish, that way there's less risk of it ripping

 Luckily for me, there are good-quality frozen blueberries that allow you to satisfy these summer urges, even in mid-March. The best thing about this particular blueberry pie is the ease with which it is prepared. It takes little time, especially if you have any prepared pie dough on hand. I also like to add a few little unusual twists to my blueberry pie.

You often see blueberries paired with lemon, but I actually prefer it with orange...I find it has a sweeter, spicier flavor. I also prefer to use brown sugar over white sugar, it's got a much rounder caramelized flavor.

Another little trick I wanted to call out here is something I learned from my mother. Whenever there was surplus dough after your pie is all assembled, you can make yourself a lovely teatime treat, that I call pinwheels. It's as simple as rolling out the excess dough and sprinkling it with brown sugar and cinnamon. Roll up the whole thing and slice it. Bake it in the oven with your pie for about 10-15 minutes.

I enjoyed this pie so much that I actually made it twice in one week. With each slice it seemed that summer just got a little bit closer.


simple blueberry pie
serves 10

sweet shortcrust
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup cold butter, diced
5-6 Tbsp ice water

- put the dry ingredients into the food processor and mix until blended
- add the butter pieces and pulse five or six times
- add in 4 Tbsp of ice water and pulse about 10 times, or until the dough forms a ball. If the ball doesn't form, add more ice water.
- separate the dough into two equal portions and form them into discs a chill for at least one hour, but ideally longer.
(this dough will freeze for several months)

 6 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)
the zest and juice of one orange
3/4 - 1 cup of brown sugar (depending on how sweet you like your pie)
4-5 Tbsp of tapioca or flour starch

- mix all of the filling ingredients together
- place one pastry disc on a floured surface and sprinkle flour on top of it.
- roll the disk out until it's about 1/4 inch thick
- place the dough into the pie pan and pour in the filling
- roll out the other piece of dough and place it on top of the filling. Pinch the two piece of dough together all the way around the pan. Cut four slits in the center.
- bake at 425 degrees for 25 minutes and then lower the temperature to 375 degrees for an additional 30 minutes.
- let cool 20 minutes before cutting into the pie.

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