Saturday, July 4, 2009

blueberry pie screams independence, right?

i was feeling inspired by the holiday and decided to give martha's fourth of july blueberry pie a whirl. i didn't actually have enough blueberries on hand to create the recipe in her baking handbook, but that didn't stop me. i just used a recipe in a very old school better homes and gardens pie cookbook my aunt gave me ages ago. anyway, my recipe ended up a little runny. i think i needed more flour or cornstarch in the filling. oh well, you never learn without mistakes!

anyway, any blueberry pie recipe will do. it is the crust that makes this little guy so awesome. i used a mini star cookie cutter to cut out lots of little stars and i over lapped them on top of the filling. after that, i just brushed the top with an egg wash (1/4 cup of water and one egg yolk). they cooked together in the oven. the filling bubbled over some of the stars, but you can see the pattern in center. i think martha used a larger cookie cutter for her pie - which would have been useful here, but i had to go with what i had. anyway, enjoy this holiday treat! as paula d would say, "from my kitchen to yours... ya'll!"

crust recipe (based on martha's)

2 1/2 cups of flour (plus about an additional cup for rolling out the crust)
2 sticks of salted butter (it is cheaper than unsalted - and you don't have to add salt that way)
ice water
egg wash (1/4 cup water + 1 egg yolk beaten)
coarse sugar (optional)

i put my flour in the freezer for at least an hour before i start and i take my butter out of the fridge right when i need it. the colder the ingredients, the easier the crust is to work with. this time i used a food processor to combine the butter and flour, but before i have used a pastry cutter and a little elbow grease (and i have used a potato masher before too - use what you got!). try to get the mixture into crumbles before adding the water (about 3-4 tbls at a time) in intervals. once the mix turns to a dough consistency, separate it into two balls. put one in the fridge (to use for the top later) and roll out the 2nd immediately. place in pie plate, trim edge so there is about 1/2" of dough hanging over the side, fill with the blueberry filling, then roll the excess crust into he plate (i didn't fork or flute it this time). then roll out the dough still in the fridge and cut out your stars. overlap them and brush with the egg wash then sprinkle with a coarse sugar (makes the finished pie almost sparkle). follow the directions in your pie recipe for baking.

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