There was a guiding principle behind the creation of this pie, and it goes like this. You don’t win a pie-baking contest by baking a nutritious pie. You win by making a kick-*** pie.
There’s no time to explain to the judges, “I used spelt and whole wheat flours to lower the glycemic index!” or “I used agave instead of processed sugar!” No, no readers. It’s time for full-on butter and lots of it. (Side note: I don’t think that nutrition and taste are competitors; in fact, I think they’re often in line. But in this context, my only focus is on taste because I’d like to claim a title in the baking contest. Ridiculous, I know.) The key is the grating of the butter and not over-mixing; you want to see flakes of butter in the dough. I took a picture of this, but the camera died, so the pictures don’t show this. But trust me; it’s magnificent. (I may be employing some hyperbole here.)
I used a hybrid recipe, inspired by Gavin’s and Reed’s suggestions. (Thanks, Gents! If this pie is the tastiest, you’ll both get a little prize!)
The guiding techniques are as follows:
1. Freeze a high-fat European butter, such as Kerrygold (available at TJ’s), and grate it into the dough
2. Try blueberries this time so your boyfriend doesn’t get sick of blackberry pie
3. Use apple cider vinegar to break down some gluten in the dough
4. Snack on plantain chips (why not?)
5. Listen to soothing, hippie music as you roll the dough
Questions to ask yourself as you’re making the pie:
1. Can I see the butter in the dough? Good.
2. Do I want to eat this? Yes.
3. Who will I share it with? Me?
As you’re making the dough, particularly after you’ve mixed in the grated butter, you’ll see that it’s beginning to take on the desired flaky texture. If you’re like me, you’ll jump with joy and feel you may be nearing the creation of the perfect pie crust (arguably, the holy grail of baking). The filling is fragrant and delicious; the dash of almond extract provides a wonderful, indescribable depth to the filling, so don’t skip it.
Okay, let’s cut the chatter and get to the pie. lv, molly
P.S. In the next few days I’ll try the recipe from The Art Of Pie (minus the lard) and post the results!
Blueberry Pie with Flaky Crust
For the dough:
2 1/2 C all-purpose unbleached flour
1 tsp salt
1 Tbl sugar
1/2 lb frozen European-style unsalted butter (I recommend Kerrygold)
3/4 C ice water, combined with
2 tbsp cider vinegar
For the filling:
5 C blueberries, rinsed, picked clean, patted dry
1/2 C sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp almond extract
3 Tbl tapioca flour (in the baking aisle)
Let’s make the dough first. In Gavin’s words, which I found particularly helpful: “Freeze the butter in advance. Mix the dry ingredients in a big bowl. Then use a cheese grater to grate the cold butter into the bowl. Don’t touch it! If you use a spatula to scoop under the butter, through the flour and up, it will coat the shreds of butter with flour and stop them from sticking to each other. Gently, gently, gently.” In a separate bowl, combine ice water and apple cider vinegar. Slowly add to the dough mixture, and mix gently until the dough combines into a ball. Separate into two disks; wrap in plastic bags; and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the filling. Combine the blueberries with all the other ingredients. Let sit for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Time to assemble… Roll out one disk at a time. If you want to make it easier, roll the dough between two sheets of parchment paper, so the dough doesn’t stick to the rolling pin or wine bottle or whatever you use to roll dough. Lay the bottom piece of dough in a greased pie dish. Fill with berries. Then proceed to make a lattice top. I love to cut the pieces using a pizza cutter, as I find it easiest this way.
Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 350, and bake for 35-45 minutes more. Pie is finished when filling begins to bubble and the crust is golden brown.
ENJOY A LA MODE OR ALL ON ITS LONESOME! Don’t forget to share with loved ones because that’s what baking a pie is all about.
And finally, the music that accompanied the pie-baking. “Skinny Love” came on as I grated 1/2 lb. of butter into the dough. Perfect. I also listened to to Beyonce– pretty much her new album in its entirety… twice.