Is there a more fitting dessert on the Fourth of July than a blueberry pie? If you find something, please tell because I can’t seem to find another thing I would rather bake when the holiday comes around. Blueberries are just coming into season at the beginning of July, so the anticipation of the first blueberry pie of the season is high. And so, on a 90+ degree day, I found myself cranking up the oven to 400 degrees, all in the name of blueberry pie. A little pie-obsessed? It’s hard to tell.
With the fan on high and the windows wide open with hopes of a cool breeze, I set forth on making the perfect blueberry pie. I started with my trusty go-to pie crust recipe, with a sprinkling of lemon zest and ground ginger in between flakes of near-frozen butter. The recipe for the blueberry filling came from Martha Stewart; however, I can’t seem to make anything without a few additions. A little more lemon zest and a swirl of maple syrup seemed to be appropriate partners for the freshly picked berries. 20 minutes later, the pie was assembled and ready for the oven.
As the scent of the pie began to waft throughout the house, I knew the dessert was going to be a winner. The challenge, as it turned out, was leaving the pie undisturbed (and uneaten) until the dinner party later that night.
The pie was a hit and, I must say, a perfect fit for the day. However, I don’t know if I can (or should) wait until next year to crank up the oven for this pie one more time, and I don’t think you should wait either.
–Lemon-Flecked Blueberry Pie (Filling adapted from The Martha Stewart Baking Handbook) – Pie Crust: 1 1/2 sticks cold, unsalted butter, diced
3 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon salt 1/4 cup sugar zest of 1/2 lemon 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/3 cup ice water – Pie Filling: 8 cups fresh blueberries, washed and dried 1/4 cup maple syrup 1/4 cup granulated sugar zest of 1/2 lemon 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 cup cornstarch – 1 egg yolk dash of water
– For the pie crust: Put the butter on a small plate and place in the freezer for 15 minutes. In the meantime, combine the flour, salt, sugar, and lemon zest in a large bowl. Mix well. Cut in the semi-frozen butter until the butter chunks are about the size of peas (I flatten any big chunks of butter with my fingers). Pour 1/4 cup of ice water over the mixture and mix, adding additional water if necessary.* Form the dough into two disks, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour – For the pie filling: Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl, making sure to mash up some of the berries in the process. Set aside. – Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. – Remove one disk of dough from the refrigerator. Sprinkle flour on the countertop and the rolling pin. Roll dough into an 11 inch circle, picking the dough up and rotating it 45 degrees after each stroke to prevent sticking. Place the circle of dough into a pie pan and trim the overhang to meet the sides of the pan. Pile the filling into the lined pie pan. Roll out the remaining disk of dough. Using a 1-inch round cookie cutter, cut out circles of pie dough to use as a decorative border and upper crust (roll out the scraps if necessary). Make an eggwash with the yolk and the water and brush on top of the pie crust. Sprinkle the pie with sugar and place in the oven. – Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Turn down the oven to 350 degrees and bake until the filling is bubbling, approximately 35-45 minutes more. Let the pie cool before slicing. – Enjoy. – *Hint: The pie dough has enough water when, after squeezing some dough in your hand, the ball of dough stays together. If it does not, add more water by the tablespoon until it holds together.