What: Blueberry Pie
Where: The Art of Simple Food
Who: Alice Waters
This really needs no fanfare. It’s its own parade.
Waters calls for 6 cups of blueberries; I used frozen wild blueberries (I did not defrost them before mixing them together with the other filling ingredients). Wild blueberries are smaller in size, more “blue” in flavor, and higher in antioxidants than regular blueberries. For sweetener, I substituted the sugar with 1 Tablespoon Super Sweet Blend, and substituted the tapioca (because I didn’t have any) with 2 Tablespoons Pamela’s Bread Flour. I did follow her wise direction in adding the juice and zest of 1 lemon, as I always do to any fruit pie (though she measures it out as 2 teaspoons lemon zest and 1 Tablespoon lemon juice). Waters uses her Tart and Pie Dough from p.174, but I used my own flaky piecrust recipe because I think there truly is none better.
The trick to this pie (any double-crust pie) is to bake it on the lower rack at 400° for 15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350° and continue baking on the lower rack for another 45 minutes, or until golden and bubbling. If you’re using my gluten-free pie dough recipe (below), the pie may need to bake a bit longer (being on the bottom rack) to get that perfect golden crisp. Once I saw that the crust was beginning to golden, I covered the edges with a ring of foil to protect them from browning too quickly. This whole business of the bottom rack ensures that the bottom crust is completely baked through by the time the top crust is perfect, and that the fruit filling becomes a luscious bubbling glory with a lovely syrup and “set” texture.
This recipe is for a 9-inch pie. Mix your pie filling up first, and set it aside to combine its flavors while you make the dough.
Hysa House Double-Crust Pie Dough
In preparation, whisk together:
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons iced water
In the bowl of a kitchenmaid mixer, combine:
2 1/2 cups Pamela’s Bread Flour
1 teaspoon Super Sweet Blend or Lakanto or xylitol
1/2 teaspoon salt
Add and mix until lima-bean size:
2 sticks (1 cup) cold butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (or so)
With motor running on low, add the egg mixture and watch the dough pull together as the blade spins. Be patient – this can take put to 60 seconds. If it does not come together but remains in pea-sized crumbles, or just looks too dry, add another teaspoon of water at a time, waiting a few seconds after each addition to see if the dough pulls together.
Divide the dough in half. Roll out the first half to a 12″ round onto floured parchment, and flouring as you go. Invert it into the pie plate. If it tears (and it probably will) just mend with your fingers. Pour the blueberries into the pie plate and dot with butter. Roll the second half of the dough, and invert over berries. If it tears, just mend it with your fingers, and gingerly fold the edges under and pinch. (I guarantee that the flavor of this crust will make up for any aesthetic imperfections. Prepare to be wowed).
Whisk 1 egg with a little water and brush the top crust with the egg wash before baking.
Second day. It travelled well.