Last week I promised to post a patriotic recipe for the 4th of July, and what dish is more “All-American” than pie? Just think about it, we eat pumpkin and pecan pies for Thanksgiving and we eat fruit pies to celebrate Independence Day. When I was planning the recipes I wanted to share this summer, a pie just seemed so obvious. Even as write this I have an image of a family cooking out in a backyard, the table set with red and white checked napkins, and a fresh pie ready for desert. Maybe that is a Norman Rockwell painting or a Coca-Cola ad. I digress…
Let’s talk about blueberries. They’re awesome, they’re in season, and they’re blue. As in the red, white and blue. And if that isn’t enough Americana for you, there is a star spangled pie crust. Boo ya. If you are intimidated by making your own pie crust and topping, don’t be. This is ridiculously easy. And it looks and tastes amazing. All you need now is a scoop of vanilla ice cream, Bluebell of course.
Blueberry Pie, adapted from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook, serves 8Pie Crust:
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
- 1 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1/4-1/2 cup ice water
- 4 cups fresh blueberries, washed and picked through
- 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon cream (I used 1% milk and it was fine)
- 1 tablespoon coarse sugar crystals
Place the flour, salt and sugar in a food processor and pulse until well mixed. Add the butter and process until the mixture looks like crumbs. In a steady, slow stream pour the water and process until the dough just starts to stick together. This should not take longer than 30 seconds. Remove the dough and divide in half. Flatten the dough into disks and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for at least an hour or up to 2 days.
When the dough is chilled, remove one half from the refrigerator and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll the pastry into an approximately 12 inch circle, being sure to keep the thickness even throughout. Transfer to a 9 inch pie pan and crimp along the edges. Cover with plastic and refrigerate again for 30 minutes.
Remove the second half of dough from the refrigerator and roll out as before. Using a small star cookie cutter, cut about 20 stars. If you don’t get enough stars the first time, combine the excess pastry and roll out again. Place the stars on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, place the blueberries in a large bowl and in a small bowl mix together the sugar, corn starch, lemon juice and lemon zest. Add the sugar mixture to the blueberries and toss gently. When the pie crust is ready pour the blueberry filling into the shell. Then, in a small bowl combine the egg yolk and cream. Remove the pastry stars from the refrigerator and lightly brush with the egg wash. Also brush the rim of the pie crust. Sprinkle the stars with coarse sugar. Place the stars on the pie in a circular pattern, starting at the outside edge. Overlap the tips of the stars slightly. Once you have assembled the pie refrigerate for 30 minutes (last time, I promise!)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. When the pie is ready place it on a parchment lined baking sheet to catch any juices that bubble over. Place the baking sheet on the lower rack of the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees and continue to bake for 35-45 minutes. After the first 20 minutes I found the edges were sufficiently browned, so I lightly covered the outside with foil. The crust should be a golden and the juices should be bubbling in the end. Cool on a wire rack for several hours so the filling will set. The pie will keep for 2-3 days at room temperature.