For those of you in the United States, I hope you all are enjoying the holiday weekend! I know I am! Its great to be home with my husband for the long weekend. Unfortunately, hubby is recuperating from surgery for a torn Achilles tendon so we are basically taking it easy, but I'm trying to make the time more enjoyable for him by making him some of his favorite treats.
Nothing says "summer" and "Fourth of July" more to us than a homemade blueberry pie. My husband is a nut about blueberries and could eat them by the bucketful-- and if I can snag some away from him I try to make several pies each summer. One of the nice things about living in Virginia is that there are a lot of great "pick your own" places around and we try to hit as many types of fruit as we can when they come in season (strawberries, cherries, blueberries, peaches, and apples) from May until the fall. I think my husband will be out of commission for awhile this year so that might not be possible for him but he can at least enjoy this pie!
For the crust, I again used my absolute favorite crust from America's Test Kitchen. This recipe replaces some of the water with a little bit of vodka. If you think that sounds strange, the reason is that the vodka steams out faster than the water would, resulting in an amazingly flaky crust (aren't those America's Test Kitchen folks brilliant???) Its colorless and tasteless so its really just there to preform a chemical reaction in your crust. Its the one recipe that always give me a consistently flaky delicious crust and I've tried many-- all butter, all shortening, part butter/part shortening, using the food processor, cutting by hand, you name it. This is the recipe you need if you want a delicious flaky crust!
For Foolproof Double-Crust Pie Dough
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbs. sugar
1 tsp. salt
12 tbs. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch pieces and chilled
1/2 cup vegetable shortening, cut into 4 pieces and chilled
1/4 cup vodka, chilled
1/4 cup ice water
In a food processor, process 1 1/2 cups of the flour, sugar, and salt together until combined. Scatter the butter and shortening over the top and continue to process until incorporated and the mixture begins to form uneven clumps with no remaining floury bits, about 15 seconds.
Scrape down the workbowl and redistribute the dough evenly around the processor blade. Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup flour over the dough and pulse until the mixture has broken up into pieces and is evenly distributed around the bowl, 4 to 6 pulses.
Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl. Sprinkle the vodka and ice water over the mixture. Stir and press the dough together using a stiff rubber spatula, until the dough sticks together.
Divide the dough into 2 even pieces. Turn each piece of dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and flatten into a 4 inch disk. Wrap each piece tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Before rolling the dough out, let sit on the counter to soften slightly, about 10 minutes.
For Blueberry Filling:
For Assembling the Pie
Roll one of the disks of dough out to fit a 9-inch pie pan. Pour blueberry filling on top. Dot the filling with the tablespoon of butter. Roll out the other disk of dough and cover the filling. If you are completely covering the pie, cut several slits in the top to allow steam to escape. Use a pastry brush to paint the egg wash all over the top crust of the pie including the edges. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Cover the edges with tin foil to avoid over browning. Bake at 375 for about 50-60 minutes. Remove tin foil from the edges for the last 10-15 minutes of baking so the edges can brown.
Crust from America's Test Kitchen. Filling slightly adapted from Annie's Eats