Thursday, July 22, 2010

The blues are still blue


Despite the heat and ample sunshine we've been showered with so far, this summer has been tinged with sadness. In just a matter of weeks, we'll be packing up and saying goodbye to the west coast, the friends we've made and the life we've built out here to start a whole new chapter in a new city. It's hard to say goodbye, harder still to be sad when there's pie.
This streusel-topped blueberry pie (not for me elaborate lattice work crusts) has a rustic, unfussy appearance that belies the effort involved and the flavour within. I love the way the different textures came together-the flaky pastry shell, the gooey filling and the crunchy crumble topping. I think I caught this batch of blueberries at their peak, so the filling was a riot of sweetness. Alone, with vanilla ice cream or topped with whipped cream, this is a perfect coda for a summertime supper, a dessert to lift the darkest clouds from the heart.

Forest Pie 1
Blueberry Pie with Crumb Topping (Adapted from Everyday Food)

  • 1¼ Cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 1 stick (½ Cup) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 5 Cups blueberries
  • ¾ Cup granulated sugar
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1½ Cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ Cup light-brown sugar
  • 1/3 Cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  1. 1½ sticks (1¼ Cups) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  2. Make crust. Start by mixing salt and sugar in a medium-size bowl. With a pastry blender, cut in butter, working until mixture resembles coarse meal.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons ice water; work with hands until dough comes together. If dough is still crumbly, add more ice water a tablespoon at a time. Do not over work or over water.
  4. Flatten dough into a disk, wrap with plastic and refrigerate for an hour.
  5. To form the pie shell, roll the dough on a floured surface into a 14-inch round. Wrap around rolling pin and carefully unroll over a 9-inch pie plate. Fit gently into bottom and side of plate. Use kitchen shears to trim dough to a 1-inch overhang; fold under, and seal to form a rim. Crimp rim with fingertips and knuckle.
  6. Make filling. Combine 5 cups blueberries or other fruit with 3/4 Cups granulated sugar, 3 tablespoons flour, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Pour into pie shell.
  7. Make crumble topping. In a bowl, mix flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and 1salt and cinnamon. Cut butter into pieces, add to flour mix and work in with your hands, until large clumps form. Divide mixture in half; spread 1 Cup worth over the pie filling and freeze rest in a plastic bag for future use.
  8. Place pie on foil-lined baking sheet in lower third of oven; reduce heat to 350 degrees. Bake until fruit bubbles and crust browns, 1 1/2 hours. If topping begins to brown too quickly, tent with foil. Let cool overnight.

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