Tuesday, August 14, 2012

double-crusted blueberry pie

To be honest, sometimes I think most of us would be better off if we could just learn to give up more often. I know it sounds counter-intuitive, but hear me out. I'm not talking about giving up on the big things like dreams or degrees or doing the right thing. I'm talking about giving up on making it to the six am gym class, mastering the art of eyeliner, and mixing up your own granola, all on the same weekday morning. Giving up on maintaining a color-coded closet for longer than a three days, or finding the time to starch your sheets with lavender-scented spray. 

Giving up on the pursuit of perfect hair when it's ninety-percent humidity. Giving up on reading Steinbeck when you really just want to watch Shark Week. And giving up on eating anything else for dinner if there's blueberry pie in your kitchen. It's the right thing to do. So give up. Give in. Get over it. You'll feel better. I promise.

Double-Crusted Blueberry Pie
Slightly Adapted from Baking from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

For Dorie's Good For Almost Anything Pie Dough
3 cups all purpose flour, plus extra for flouring surfaces
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, very cold and cut into pieces
1/3 cup vegetable shortening, very cold and cut into pieces
1/2 cup very cold water

For the Filling
5 cups blueberries
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 pinch salt
zest of 1/2 lemon, grated
a dash of fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup dry, unseasoned bread crumbs

For Assembling the Pie
1 large egg, beaten with a bit of water
sugar, for dusting

To Make the Pie Dough
Combine flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine. Drop the butter and shortening into the food processor and pulse until just combined. Don't over mix the dough--you want pieces the size of green peas. Gradually drizzle about 6 tablespoons of water into the processor, pulsing the machine on and off as you go. Give the machine a few long pulses. The goal here is to sufficiently moisten the dough so that it doesn't look dry, and holds together when pinched. You may or may not need the full half cup of water. Turn the dough out onto a clean, floured surface. It's okay if there are some pieces of butter or flour that don't look like they're incorporated.  Divide the dough in half, gather each half into a ball, and flatten each ball into a disc. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least an hour. (If I am going to leave my dough in the refrigerator longer, say overnight, I slip each plastic wrapped disc into a Ziploc bag to protect against refrigerator odors. 

To Make the Filling
Combine all ingredients except for breadcrumbs in a large bowl. Let sit for about five minutes. Taste, and add more sugar or lemon juice if necessary.

To Roll Out the Dough and Assemble the Pie
Remove your dough from the refrigerator, and let it stand for a few minutes at room temperature. You want your dough to be cold, but not so stiff that it will crack and tear when you try to roll it out. Place one disc of dough on a clean, floured work surface. Sprinkle some flour on top of the disc of dough and on your rolling pin. Working from the center of your disc of dough, roll the dough out towards the edges. Every few rolls, turn the dough in a clockwise direction to prevent it from sticking to the countertop. When your dough is about 1/8 inch thick and large enough to fit in a 9-inch, deep dish pie plate, position the pie plate behind your dough, place your rolling pin in the center of your circle of dough, and fold the back half of your dough over the rolling pin. Holding onto the pin, quickly and carefully lift the dough into the pie plate. Gently press the dough down into the pie plate, and use a kitchen scissors to trim the edges. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs in an even layer over the dough (this will help keep the crust from getting soggy). Roll out the second disc of dough in the same manner as the first. Spoon the filling into the bottom crust.  Lightly moisten the edges of the bottom crust with a bit of water, and place the top crust over the pie. Press the top crust and bottom crust together, and crimp the edges to seal using your fingers or a fork. 

Getting Ready to Bake
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Using a sharp knife, cut several steam vents in the top of the crust. Brush the top of the pie with the egg wash, and sprinkle it with sugar. 

Baking the Pie
Bake the pie for 30 minutes at 425, then lower the heat to 375 and continue cooking for 30 minutes, until the crust is brown and the juices are bubbling. Cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes before serving.

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