It’s Summer. It must be pie season. Pies, cobblers and the like are probably my favourite American desserts and I embraced them wholeheartedly. A flaky, barely sweetened crust enhances any fruit. Once a basic crust is mastered, the rest is easy. Any impromptu dinner invitation or friends dropping by are a perfect excuse for a pie – it looks great and it only takes 30 minutes to put together.
Last week-end I had some blueberries in the fridge so that’s what went in the pie but any fruit combination will do. I didn’t have any tapioca flour, my thickener of choice, and I used old plain cornstarch (which I don’t love because it can often be tasted). Served with slightly sweetened whipped cream, it made everyone smile.
For the crust (makes 2 9” disks)
2 1/2 C AP flour
16 T Butter (2 sticks), cut into small cubes and kept cold
1 ts Salt
1 ts Sugar + more for sprinkling
A/N Ice Water
- Place the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a standing mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment (or in a food processor). Mix on low.
- Add the butter all at once and mix on medium until the dough is crumbly, with butter pieces no bigger than a pea.
- Keeping the mixer running on low, start adding the ice water, about 1/4 cup or until the dough comes together. It shouldn’t be too sticky or too dry.
- Remove the dough from the bowl, divide it into two disks, wrap them in plastic and refrigerate.
For the filling
2 pints of blueberries (or other berries or Summer fruit)
1/2 C Sugar
1/4 C Cornstarch
2 T Brandy (optional)
- Place the sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan, with enough water to make a slurry. Heat the mixture on low, whisking until smooth.
- Pour all the blueberries in the pan, mix until combined and remove from heat. Add the brandy if using.
- Roll the first disk of dough to 1/4” thickness and lift it, using the rolling pin, and fit it into a 9” pie plate. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
- Remove the bottom crust from the fridge, fill it with the blueberry mixture and place it back in the fridge while you roll the top crust. If you wish, use cookie cutters to cut decorative shapes or, else, place it on top of the pie, joining the edges and crimping them with your fingers. With a sharp knife, make three long cuts in the center.
- Mix the egg with a fork and brush it all over the top crust. Sprinkle some sugar on top (Demerara looks prettier) and bake at 425F for about 20 minutes. Lower the temperature to 350F and keep on baking for another 30 minutes or until the crust looks golden and the fruit mixture is bubbling.
- Remove from oven and let cool before serving.