Tag Archives: blueberries

The Best Blueberry Pie

Nothing completes a 4th of July BBQ quite like a homemade piece of berry pie (a la mode of course!).  But this isn’t just any berry pie.  According to Cook’s Illustrated, this is the BEST Blueberry Pie.  And with the addition of our handpicked fresh blueberries, this pie just got even better.

If it weren’t for our over abundance of berries, I may have never considered making this pie.  Like I have mentioned before, I rarely have the heart to bake or cook with my fresh fruit.  I love it so much that it is it is hard for me part with it.  But with blueberries coming out of our ears, I had no problem putting them to good use in this delicious pie.

When it comes to baked goods, I rarely get this fancy.  I have made many pies in my lifetime, and have even made my own crust.  But to be honest, nowadays, if I can get away with using store bought crust, I will usually take advantage of the short cut (no shame in my game…).  And while we are in the midst of confessions, I planned on using store bought crust for this pie too.  Especially since I was pressed for time and coming down with a cold.  But my neighbor (who had recommended this recipe and had made his own pie the day before) offered to help me.  So this pie ended up being a joint effort :)

Ingredients

Foolproof Pie Dough

2 1/2 cups (12 1/2 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface

1 teaspoon table salt

2 tablespoons sugar

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch slices

1/2 cup cold vegetable shortening, cut into 4 pieces

1/4 cup cold vodka

1/4 cup cold water

Blueberry Filling

6 cups (about 20 ounces) fresh blueberries

1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and grated on large holes of box grater

2 teaspoons grated zest and 2 teaspoons juice from 1 lemon

3/4 cup (5 1/2 ounces) sugar

2 tablespoons instant tapioca, ground

Pinch table salt

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch pieces

Egg Wash

1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon water

Preparation

1.  FOR THE PIE DOUGH:  Process 1 1/2 cups flour, salt, and sugar in food processor until combined, about two 1 second pulses.  Add butter and shortening and process until homogenous dough just starts to collect in uneven clumps, about 15 seconds; will resemble cottage cheese curds and there should be no uncoated flour.  Scrape bowl with rubber spatula and redistribute dough evenly around processor blade.  Add remaining cup flour and pulse until mixture is evenly distributed around bowl and mass of dough has been broken up, 4 to 6 quick pulses.  Empty mixture into medium bowl.

2.  Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture.  With rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix, pressing down on dough until dough is slightly tacky and sticks together.  Divide dough into 2 even balls and flatten each into 4 inch disk.  Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 45 minutes or up to 2 days.

3.  Remove one disk of dough from refrigerator and roll out on generously floured (up 10 1/4 cup) work surface to 12-inch circle, about 1/8 inch thick.  Roll dough, loosely around rolling pin and unroll into pie plate by gently lifting edge of dough with one hand while pressing into plate bottom with other hand.  Leave dough that overhangs plate in place; refrigerate while preparing filling until dough is firm, about 3o minutes.

4.  FOR THE FILLING:  Adjust oven rack to lowest position, place rimmed baking sheet on oven rack, and heat oven to 400 degrees.  Place 3 cups berries in medium saucepan and set over medium heat.  Using potato masher, mash berries several times to release juices.  Continue to cook, stirring frequently and mashing occasionally, until about half of berries have broken down and mixture is thickened and reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 8 minutes.  Let cool slightly.

5.  Place grated apple in a clean kitchen towel and wring dry.  Transfer apple to large bowl.  Add cooked berries, remaining 3 cups uncooked berries, lemon zest, juice, sugar, tapioca, and salt; toss to combine. Transfer mixture to dough-lined pie plate and scatter butter pieces over filling.

6.  Roll out second disk of dough on generously floured (up 10 1/4 cup) work surface to 11-inch circle, about 1/8 inch thick.  Using a cookie cutter of your choice, cut shape from center of dough.  Roll dough loosely around rolling pin and unroll over pie, leaving at least 1/2 inch overhang on each side.  Cut slits in the top using a sharp knife.

7.  Using kitchen shears, trim bottom layer of overhanging dough, leaving 1/2 inch overhang.  Fold dough under itself so that edge of fold is flush with outer rim of pie plate.  Flute edges using thumb and forefinger, or press with tines of fork to seal.  Brush top and edges of pie with egg wash.  If dough is very soft, chill in freezer for 10 minutes.

8.  Place pie on heated baking sheet and bake 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue to bake until juices bubble and crust is deep golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes longer.  Transfer pie to wire rack; cool to room temperature, at least 4 hours.  Cut into wedges and serve.

Recipe slightly adapted from Cook’s Illustrated, Issue #93

I wouldn’t consider myself a pie girl.  I might indulge during Thanksgiving or Christmas but for the most part, I save my calories for other sweet treats.  But this pie has a magic about it that had me going back for more.  The blueberries might be the star, but the crust is pretty awesome too.  Slap a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream on top and you are in 4th of July heaven.

Even though the festivities of Independence Day are winding down, this pie is a dessert that can be enjoyed throughout the summer and beyond.  So the next time you have 6 cups of blueberries lying around, give it a try.  I bet you will agree that it is indeed THE BEST Blueberry Pie.

 

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What’s in the Box? #22

My first link party was a big success!  Thank you to all of the fellow produce lovers who attended.  If you haven’t had the chance to scope out some of the other CSA boxes around the blogosphere, please visit a few of the links from last week.  There are some beautiful boxes and great recipe ideas.

I am looking forward to more attendees this week.  If you know of anyone who subscribes to a CSA or enjoys purchasing produce at their local farmers market, ask them to link up and share their finds.  The more the merrier!

Before we move on to my box for this week, I wanted to mention a few housekeeping notes that I think might enhance this link party experience.

  1. When applicable, please link up to the URL of the post you wish to share, not the URL of your main blog.  This will help our readers navigate directly to the desired post.
  2. I am in the midst of learning how to create a button you can grab that will help readers navigate back to this post, but in the meantime a simple text link back would be much appreciated.  (ps: while we are on the subject, if you think you can help with the html language of a button, your assistance is much appreciated!)
  3. Share your weekly produce indulgences.  Whether it be your CSA box, Farmer’s Market finds or grocery store binges.  If it is fresh and delicious, we want to see it.  Any posts related to how you prepared it are also welcomed.  Feel free to link up to all of them.
  4. Please leave a comment telling me that you’ve linked up so I can keep track of my attendees.
  5. Please visit at least two other attendees and comment on their wonderful additions to the party.

I think that is all for now.  This is a work in progress, but I am having a blast getting this up and running.  I appreciate your participation in this project and your shared passion for fresh, local and organic fruits and veggies :)

Grateful for another great week of fresh and delicious fruits and vegetables.  My number one prize?  Blueberries!  And they are exactly how I like them.  Plump, crunchy and sweet :)  I have a thing about soft blueberries.  I just can’t eat them.  I need my blueberries to burst when I pop them in my mouth, not ooze.  If I can practice self-control and not eat the entire carton (half of which is already gone) I might get to enjoy a few in a bowl of oatmeal or yogurt.  But it has been a while since I have eaten fresh, raw blueberries, so I can’t promise anything :)

Speaking of raw, celery and carrots are always a healthy, nutritious and delicious raw snack.  Or when you cook them up with some onion and garlic, they make a nice base for soups, stews and sauces.  There is more than enough in each of these bunches to enjoy both ways.  Which works for me.  I love it when I get mileage out of my veggies.

And we might as well address the elephant in the room.  The elephant garlic that is.  The big ol’ white bulb that I initially mistook for a leek.  It’s pretty much the biggest garlic bulb I have ever seen.  This will make an excellent addition to any meal.  As I admire those red potatoes, I can’t’ help but think about spicing up my mashed red potatoes with some of this garlic.  Sounds like the perfect pairing.

You know what else is the perfect pairing?  Broccoli and lemons.  No really…amazing!  As I have mentioned before, I love a batch of simply steamed broccoli.  I typically dress it up with some butter, salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon.  Kicks it up a notch and gives the broccoli a whole new lease on life.  Try it!

A few weeks back I received my first bunch of dino kale, and ever since then I have boldly declared, that it is by far my favorite variety of kale.  I prepared it with some Turkey Meatballs and it was delish!  I might just have to recreate that masterpiece again.

Last but not least, we have some Murcott Mandarins and green leaf lettuce.  Something tells me there might be a marriage of these too in the future.  My mom used to prepare a delicious salad using these two ingredients so I am going to do my best to get a hold of it.  I need a few more jazzy salads in my life right about now.

Your Turn:  What are some of your favorite ways to use these fruits and vegetables?  Feel free to share techniques, tips and recipes.  I look forward to your responses :)

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What’s in the Box? #15

Happy Leap Day everyone!  Gotta love the fact that today is so special that it only comes around every four years.  So I hope you all made it count :)  I know I did.  And this box was just the icing on the cake!

Pretty much dinner in a box if you ask me.  You got your garlic, carrots and cabbage, three ingredients of my new favorite soup recipe right there!  And then of course you have the mixed greens for a delicious fresh salad on the side.  I would have to throw in some celery slices for crunch, and enjoy the rest slathered in peanut butter.  Ants on a log anyone?  Whip up a loaf of Lemon Yogurt Blueberry Cake for dessert and you are set!

Did I just hypothetically eat most of my box in one day?  Guess I’m a bit over excited…

But there is still some rosemary left, which will end up in the Roasted Chicken with Balsamic Bell Peppers (in addition to other dishes I’m sure).  Then the Brussels sprouts, which may never make it to my plate after I roast them (they are THAT good…).  And finally the mandarins, which I have been eating by the handful to stay healthy (plus they tend to satisfy my sweet tooth after dinner).

And because, sharing is caring…and I love my husband SO much, I will be preparing his favorite eggs this week with ALL of those green onions (the man likes them SPICY!).  Which reminds me…I forgot to pick up a carton today.  Writing that on my list as we speak…

Enjoy the last few hours of this wonderful bonus day!  And for those of you who will be reading this in the morning…Happy March!

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What’s in the Box? #11

Is anyone else amazed that this is the last Wednesday of January!?!  Where did the month go?  Time is flying by way too fast!  Kind of sounds like my day today.  We were so busy with our daily activities that before I knew it, it was 5:30 and I still hadn’t opened up my box!  So it was a mad dash to grab a quick pic before the sun was completely gone.

The picture may not do it justice, but this was a different kind of box.  I like it when they switch things up on us.  Especially during this time of year.  There isn’t much variety that is available during winter so when we do get some new items, it is always fun.

If you hadn’t already guessed, blueberries were my top pick this week.  I can’t get enough of berries.  They are a staple in my household.  And these little guys are perfect in every way.  I like my blueberries a bit firm.  That way when you bite into them they burst in your mouth.  A nice surprise when you throw them into oatmeal, yogurt, or just enjoy them plain.  Harper takes after her momma and loves blueberries as well.  This carton may not make it through the night!

Since we started our garden, I look at broccoli completely differently.  I never knew the effort it took to grow broccoli or where those large stalks came from.  I have always loved broccoli before but now I have a whole new appreciation for it.  Being one of my favorite green vegetables, I can’t wait to begin harvesting our own.  But in the mean time, I will enjoy my weekly dose from my box.

I was excited to get my first delivery of delicata squash.  I have never tried it before but just read a new recipe for Oven-Fried Delicata Rings the other day.  They looked divine.  So it was perfect timing!  Guess I know what I am having for dinner tomorrow night :)

After the yumminess that was Sausage White Bean Kale Soup, I will most definitely be using the kale and onion to whip up another batch.  It was the hardiest soup I have ever had.  And super easy to make.  Plus, Harper couldn’t get enough of it.  I can taste it already!  And of course, as I always do, I will be serving a delicious salad on the side with my favorite lettuce, red butter lettuce.  I will most likely shred some of those colorful carrots on top as well.  They make everything look so much more fancy!

Just when I thought I had found the perfect recipe for Grapefruit Cake, I came across another one that I have been dying to try.  So I was super stoked to get fresh picked grapefruits to help me out with this venture.  This will be number one on my list for things to do tomorrow.  And trust me, it is taking everything in me to not run to the store right now.  Can we say eager?  So in an attempt to divert my attention, I am going to sit here and enjoy a few mandarins, my favorite snack, and wind down before it is time to hit the sack.

You know it is going to be a good week when you can’t get cake off your mind :)  Just another reason why I love Wednesdays!

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