When Costco starts selling jumbo-sized containers of blueberries, it’s high time for pie. And I mean the juicy, dribble-down-your-chin, teeth-staining kind. This recipe is your ticket to “bad-ass baker” status — bring it to a Fourth of July party and everyone will be impressed. Just be prepared to make it every year after.
If you can’t find plump, local berries, frozen blueberries will work just fine. You don’t even need to defrost them, though they may take a few extra minutes of baking time. The key is to fully preheat the oven and to place the pie directly onto the middle rack so that the bottom crust bakes up crisp. Use a larger pie dish if you prefer a lower fruit to crust ratio (which I call a tart). You could save half the dough for another pie and swathe it instead with streusel (the topping in my Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler combines whole wheat and rice flours).
Either way, this pie should get you invited back to any summer party!
Pie Crust (makes 2 disks)
2-1/2 cups all-purpose white flour
1-1/2 tablespoons sugar
1-1/4 teaspoons Kosher salt
2/3 cup vegetable shortening, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup (4 ounces) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
6 tablespoons ice water
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
4-1/2 pints (16 ounces) blueberries
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose white flour
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Buttermilk for brushing
1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
2. Make the crust: In a food processor fitted with the plastic blade, blend the flour, sugar and salt. Add the shortening and butter, pulsing the machine until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Mix the ice water and vinegar together and pour gradually into the top of the food processor, mixing just enough to blend into a dough. Gather the dough into 2 balls. Flatten each into disks; wrap with wax paper or plastic wrap and chill at least 30 minutes.
3. Make the filling: In a large bowl, combine the blueberries, sugar, flour, lemon juice and zest, and vanilla extract. Blend well and let stand about 15 minutes, or until juices start flowing.
4. On a lightly floured cool surface, roll out one pie crust disk to fit inside a 9-inch pie dish. Trim the dough to overhang 3/4 inch. Pour the filling and juices into the crust.
5. Roll out the second pie crust disk and, using a scalloped pastry cutter, cut the dough into 1/2-inch wide strips. Arrange in a lattice pattern on top of filling, tucking ends and edges under and pressing to seal (alternatively, decorate with dough stars or other cutouts). Crimp the perimeter of the pie. Brush the dough lightly with buttermilk.
6. Place the pie dish directly onto the middle rack of the oven and bake 40 minutes. Cover the crust edges with foil to prevent browning, then continue to bake another 40 to 50 minutes until the filling bubbles. Cool the pie at least 2 hours before serving.
Photo credit: tastespotting.com/Cerr