As one of the few fruits native to North America, blueberries have been found to be a superfood, so good for you that you should go out of your way to eat them. They neutralize free radicals, protect your heart, improve your vision, and protect against degenerative brain diseases. (See the whole story at The World’s Healthiest Foods website.) I love to eat them by the fistful!
My original plan was to spread them on cookie sheets, straight from the box, and freeze them. After they are frozen I would put them into Ziploc, or glass jars, to store in the freezer, for winter use. I will rinse them off when I use them, not before. Otherwise they will stick together and be an awful mess. And now scientists have been found that the berries do not lose any of their delicate anthocyanin antioxidants when frozen, so freezing when they are bursting with ripeness is not to be missed!
But somebody around here believes that when blueberries are in season, the *only* thing to do with them is make a blueberry pie. Good thing I picked up plenty!
Normally I would whip out a couple of French pâte brisée pie crusts and carry on.
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4-1/2 cup ice water
Secrets to a good pie crust: chilled ingredients and chilled dough.
Put flour, salt and sugar in a bowl, blender or food processor. Add the pieces of butter and process about 10 seconds or until it resembles coarse meal.
Add ice water drop by drop while machine is running (or you are mixing)— just until dough holds together without being wet or sticky. Do not mix longer than 30 seconds.
Divide dough in to two pieces and wrap in plastic wrap. Press down slightly. Chill for at least one hour. Proceed as you usually would for pie crust.
But since going gluten-free, and since I am at the cottage, without all my flours, I needed a quick and easy GF pie crust. While sorting through the pantry I remembered I had a bag of Pamela’s GF bread mix and as with most of Pamela’s products the packaging is covered in other recipes that can be made with her mixes. Sure enough you can make pie crust with her bread mix!
And because you still use 2 sticks of butter, it smells and crumbs like a traditional pâte brisée!! It couldn’t be easier!
from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Pie & Tart, by Carolyn Beth Weil (Simon & Schuster, 2003).
2 rolled-out rounds of your favorite pie dough
4 cups blueberries
1 TBS fresh lemon juice
3⁄4 cup sugar
3 TBS cornstarch
1⁄2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1⁄4 tsp salt
1⁄4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 TBS cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Fold 1 dough round in half and carefully transfer to a 9-inch pie dish. Unfold and ease the round into the pan, without stretching it, and pat it firmly into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Using kitchen scissors, trim the edge of the dough, leaving 3/4 inch of overhang. Set the dough-lined pan aside, along with the other dough round, in a cool place until ready to use.
Place the blueberries in a large bowl, sprinkle with the lemon juice and toss to coat evenly. In a small bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest, salt and cinnamon. Sprinkle the sugar mixture over the berries and toss to distribute evenly. Immediately transfer to the dough-lined pan. Dot with the butter.
Fold the reserved dough round in half and carefully place it over half of the filled pie. Unfold and trim the edge neatly, leaving 1 inch of overhang, then fold the edge of the top round under the edge of the bottom round and crimp the edges to seal. Using a small, sharp knife, cut an asterisk 4 to 5 inches across in the center of the top, to allow steam to escape during baking.
Refrigerate the pie until the dough is firm, 20 to 30 minutes. Meanwhile, position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 375°F.
Bake the pie until the crust is golden and the filling is thick and bubbling, 50 to 60 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely to set, 1 to 2 hours. Serve at room temperature or rewarm in a 350°F oven for 10 to 15 minutes just before serving. Makes one 9-inch pie; serves 8.
Curious what new fruit will be at today’s farmers’ market!