Rustic Blueberry Pie

There is nothing better than fruit in the summer, especially when you live in Minnesota. I have been itching to make a dessert with some of the fruit that is in-season but have been distracted with baking chocolate treats over the past few weeks. I vowed to make something different this weekend and a blueberry pie sounded like just the thing. I watched America’s Test Kitchen yesterday morning and lo and behold – their whole segment was on blueberry pies! Oh, and it looked so deceptively easy. So delicious too.

Yesterday, before PB and I left to enjoy a summer Saturday, I whipped up the “fool proof” pie crust so it would have time to chill in the fridge. I have used this same recipe before when making apple pie and I really like it. However, if you are a pie aficionado and have your favorite crust then this recipe might cause some moments of panic. For starters, you purposfully leave a lot of extra flour un-incoprorated in the dough. Then you pour 1/4 cup water and 1/4 vodka into the loose, crumbly mixture until you get something that resembles a tacky paper mache consistency. In fact, this recipe makes you feel as if you’re probably doing something wrong the entire step of the way. But not to worry – you cannot mess this dough up. It’s fool proof!

Pie Crust
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 sticks cold butter, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
1/2 cup cold shortening
1/4 cup chilled vodka
1/4 cup cold water

What to do

  1. In a food processor with a dough blade, combine 1 1/2 cup flour (leaving out 1 cup), salt, and sugar until combined, about 2 1-second pulses
  2. Add butter and shortening and process until crumbles form, about 15 seconds
  3. Scrape down sides and add 1 cup flour. Process just for 4 to 6 quick pulses (not all flour will be incorproated)
  4. Pour mixture into medium-sized bowl and add water and vodka. Using a spatula, incorporate liquids
  5. When dough starts to stick and becomes tacky, divde into 2 4-inch disks and wrap separately with plastic wrap
  6. Chill for 1 hour or up to 2 days

Pie Filling
6 cups washed blueberries
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca (ground)
1 Granny smith apple, peeled and grated
1 teaspoon lemon zest and 2 teaspoons lemon juice
Pinch table salt
2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into 1/4 cubes
1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon water

What to do

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit
  2. Remove 1 disk from refrigerator. Roll out to about a 12-inch diamter for a 9-inch pie pan
  3. Gently set in pie pan and lightly press into bottom. Chill for 30 minutes
  4. Over medium heat, add 3 cups of blueberries to a medium-sized pot
  5. With a potato masher, mash blueberries and stir frequently for about 8 minutes. Consistency will resemble jam
  6. Pour mixture into a medium-sized bowl
  7. Grind 2 tablespoons tapioca
  8. Peel and grate Granny smith apple. Place in kitchen towel and wring out excess moisture (this was amazing)
  9. To the heated blueberries, add remaining 3 cups of whole blueberries, sugar, salt, tapioca, apple, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Mix until combined
  10. Remove bottom pie crust from refrigerator. Pour blueberry filling into pie pan. Top with butter cubes
  11. Roll out remaning disk of dough to another 12-inch diameter. Cut 7 holes with bisquit cutter or spice jar lid (I used a cinnamon lid) for steam ventilation
  12. Gently lay on top of filling
  13. Trim overhanging dough and fold under until it’s flush with pie pan. Flute edges using fork or fingers
  14. Brush top crust with egg mixture
  15. Place on cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes at 400 degrees. Reduce temp to 350 degrees and bake 30-40 minutes or until crust is golden brown
  16. Cool for 4 hours