Oh, dear. This was tough. Why? Because my mom rarely made the same dessert twice. I was the primary cookie baker, and I went through a phase where I made chocolate pudding on a regular basis. But I wouldn’t call those “family favorites.” We had ONE family favorite, and that was flan. And I like flan plain – I did not like the thought of putting it in a crust. The only other thing that my mom made on a regular basis (when we had a peach tree) was peach pie and peach ice cream.
The peaches in the store are pretty bad right now. So I made one of my current family favorites: blueberry pie. I used scraps of leftover dough to make the lattice, and that’s why it looks so awful, but I’m not about to waste good, butter-laden pastry crust.
The Pies with That gang has baked some gorgeous pies this month – go check them out!
Adapted from a recipe by Dorie Greenspan in Baking: From My Home to Yours
6 to 8 cups frozen blueberries
1 cup of sugar, or a little more, to taste,
½ cup all purpose flour
Pinch of salt
Coarsely grated zest of ½ lemon
Squirt of fresh lemon juice, or a little more, to taste
¼ cup dry bread crumbs (you can use packaged unseasoned crumbs)
1 large egg, beaten with 1 tsp of water, for egg wash
Sugar, for dusting
Getting Ready: Butter a 9-inch pie plate
Working on a well-floured surface (or between wax paper or plastic wrap), roll out one piece of the dough to a thickness of about 1/8 – inch. Fit the dough onto the buttered pie plate and trim the edges to a ½ inch overhang. Roll the other piece of dough into a 1/8 inch thick circle, cut it into strips, and place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat. Cover both the circle and the pie plate with plastic wrap and refrigerate while you pre-heat the oven and prepare the filling.
Getting Ready to Bake: Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Put the berries in a large bowl and gently stir in the sugar, flour, salt, zest and juice; let sit for about 5 minutes. Taste the filling and add more sugar and/or lemon juice, if needed.
Remove the pie shell and top crust from the refrigerator. Sprinkle an even layer of the breadcrumbs over the bottom of the shell. Give the filling a last stir and turn it into the crust.
Using your fingertips, moisten the rim of the bottom crust with a little cold water. Center the top crust over the filling and gently press the top crust against the bottom. Weave the strips from the top crust and tuck under the bottom crust. Crimp the edges or press the top crust against the bottom crust and trim the overhang from both crusts even with the rim of the pie plate. If you’ve pressed and trimmed the crust, use the tines of a fork to press the two crusts together securely.
Using a small, sharp knife, cut 4 slits in the top crust crust and cut a circle out of the center, then lift the plate onto the baking sheet. (If you have time, refrigerate the pie for about 30 minutes. The pie can also be wrapped airtight and frozen for up to 2 months. Glaze and sugar it before you put it in the over and add at least 15 minutes to the baking time).
Brush the top crust with the egg wash, then sprinkle the crust with a little sugar, just to give it sparkle.
Bake the pie for 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees F, and bake the pie for another 30 minutes or so (total baking time is about an hour) or until the crust is a beautiful golden brown and the filling is bubbling up through the slits. If the crust seems to be browning too quickly, make a loose foil tent for the pie.
Transfer the pie to a rack and let it cool and settle for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Good for Almost Everything Pie Dough
Adapted from a recipe by Dorie Greenspan
For a 9 inch Double Crust
3 cups all purpose flour
¼ cup sugar
1 ½ tsp salt
2 ½ sticks very cold unsalted butter, cut into tbsp size pieces
1/3 cup very cold cream cheese, cut into 4 pieces
About ½ cup ice water
Put the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse just to combine the ingredients. Drop in the butter and shortening and pulse only until the butter and shortening are cut into the flour. Don’t overdo the mixing- what you’re aiming for is to have some pieces the size of fat green peas and others the size of barley. Pulsing the machine on and off, gradually add about 6 tbsps of the water- add a little water and pulse once, add some more water, pulse again and keep going that way. Then use a few long pulses to get the water into the flour. If, after a dozen or so pulses, the dough doesn’t look evenly moistened or form soft curds, pulse in as much of the remaining water as necessary, or even a few drops more, to get a dough that will stick together when pinched. Big pieces of butter are fine. Scrape the dough out of the bowl and onto a work surface.
Divide the dough in half. Gather each half into a ball, flatten each ball into a disk and wrap each half in plastic. Refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour before rolling.
To Roll Out the Dough: Butter a 9 inch pie plate and set aside.
Roll the dough out onto a floured surface or between sheets of wax paper, or plastic wrap, or in a rolling slipcover. If you’re working on a counter, turn the dough over frequently and keep the counter floured. If you are rolling between paper, plastic or in a slipcover, make sure to turn the dough over often and to lift the paper, plastic, or cover frequently so that it doesn’t roll into the dough and form creases.
Slide the rolled out dough into the fridge for about 20 minutes to rest and firm up.