Monday, July 28, 2008
Not a bad start
The Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook Copyright 1999
5 cups fresh blueberries
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Pastry for double crust 9-inch pie
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon sugar
Sprinkle berries with lemon juice; set aside.
Roll half the pastry to 1/8-inch thick on a floured surface. Place in a 9-inch pie plate.
Combine 1 cup sugar and next three ingredients; add to berries, stirring well. Pour into pastry shell and dot with butter.
Roll remaining pastry to 1/8-inch thickness. Place over filling; seal and crimp edges. Cut slits in top to allow steam to escape. Brush top of pastry with beaten egg and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sugar.
Bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes or until golden. Cover edges with aluminum foil to prevent overbrowning, if necessary. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream, if desired.
Yield: 8 servings
Extra-Flaky Pie Pastry (for a double crust)
Pie Copyright 2004
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 –inch pieces
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons cold vegetable shortening, cut into pieces
½ cup cold water
Put the flours, sugar and salt in the food processor. Pulse several times to mix. Scatter the butter over the dry ingredients and pulse 5 or 6 times to cut it in. Fluff the mixture with a fork, lifting it up from the bottom of the bowl. Scatter the shortening over the flour and pulse 5 or 6 times. Fluff the mixture again. Drizzle half the water over the flour mixture and pulse 5 or 6 times. Fluff the mixture and sprinkle on the remaining water. Pulse 5 or 6 more times, until the dough starts to form clumps. When it reaches this point, do not continue to process. Empty the crumbs into a large bowl.
Using your hands, pack the dough as you would a snowball. Divide the dough in half, making one half – your bottom crust – a little larger than the other. Knead each piece 2 or 3 times. Put each in the center of a piece of plastic wrap and flatten it into a disk about ¾-inch thick. Wrap the plastic and refrigerate until firm enough to roll, about an hour or overnight.
I've made a lot of pies but I haven't tackled making my own pie crust. The red box is just fine for most things but it's just not the same as a flaky homemade crust. I've had blueberry pie on my mind for a few weeks now and I finally made one.
The result - part success, part disappointment. The good news is that the crust was the success. It was so light and flaky - even the thick edges. It wasn't pretty as I didn't give it enough time to chill and it fell apart on me. I decided to sacrifice looks for texture. I didn't want to overwork it so I just slapped it together.
The bottom crust was a bit underdone. I had the pie plate on a cookie sheet but next time I'd put the sheet on the lower rack. There weren't any drips but there could be next time.
The filling was a huge disappointment but I saw it coming. I had beautiful sweet berries - I knew an entire cup of sugar was way too much but I didn't have the time or energy to search out a different recipe last night so I decided to take a chance with this one and maybe I'd be wrong but I wasn't. Not only was the filling too sweet - it was a liquidly mess, even this morning after setting all night.
Oh well, I was more concerned about the crust and I was just happy about that. This is the first time I used a food processor to make pie crust and that definitely made the difference since I tend to overwork the fat when I use my hands. The cookbook I got the pastry recipe from also gives directions to do it by hand or by electric mixer.
I'll keep working on the filling but I'll use this crust recipe again.
Question of the Day: When did you last eat a slice of pie? What kind of pie was it?