You guys, it hit over the weekend that summer is nearly over.
As in, it’s officially almost August and the days are literally passing by me so fast that I can’t catch my breathe. Jeez, can time stop for just a second?!
Well, since that won’t happen, I feel the need to soak up every ounce of this fleeting summer as I can take. On my list of summer things that need to be accomplished, I need:
1. More days at the beach
2. Weekend adventures in the great outdoors. Rhode Island, Montauk, Vermont, Maine. I know I can’t do it all but I can try.
3. Late nights in the sweltering heat. It only seems fair that I spend most of my time in thsi great city for the next month, especially when it is just as hot inside my apt as it is outside.
4. A gigantic, utterly delicious lobster roll. In my face.
5. A trip home to glorious California
6. More pie. Preferably this tart and sweet blueberry pie.
When I made this pie, it struck me that it has become a bit of a summer staple for me. Last year, I made it while on vacation in California and served it to my greedy, hungry friends who proclaimed its deliciousness, even though they weren’t even fans of pie. The year before that I made it in my bittersweet state, when I knew that the days leading to my move to New York were coming faster than I could imagine. If I could just concentrate on one thing, on this plate of crushing blue and lightly browned dough… Well, it’s suffice to say that the pie brings back good memories and I made it especially for my mom who was recently in town to visit me.
We sat down, outside on my apartment stoop, sweating in the sticky summer, with our plates piled high with pie and vanilla bean ice cream. And it was perfect. The pie filling might have been the best filling I’ve ever made, as it was not watery or too juicy, which is the bane of a pie’s existence. And the dough was pretty stellar too, the best blend of soft and crispy.
Here’s to more summer adventures, before August flies away, and more pie. Always more pie.
Double-Crusted Blueberry Pie
Adapted from: Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours
Yields: One 9-inch pie
Pie Dough for Double Crust, chilled (below)
2 ½ pints fresh blueberries
1 cup of sugar, or a little more, to taste, plus more for dusting
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
1 large egg, beaten with 1 tsp of water, for egg wash
Sugar, for dusting
Butter a 9-inch pie plate (I used a foil plate because it is easier to cleanup)
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 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. Either fold the overhang from the top crust under the bottom crust and crimp the edges attractively 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.
Basic Pie Dough
Yields: Two 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 vegetable shortening, 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 (if your ingredients were very cold and you worked quickly, though, you might be able to roll the dough immediately: the dough should be as cold as if it had just come out of the fridge).
To Roll Out the Dough:
Have a buttered 9 inch pie plate at hand.
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 life 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.