Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Pie Day


Don’t you just a love a potluck dinner?  It’s such a great feeling to know you are in charge of just a small piece of the menu because others are bringing the rest.

We’re having good friends over tonight to watch the language movie -- the one we missed by arriving an hour late to the lecture.  But first the 6 of us will sit out on the deck enjoying the balmy spring weather and hopefully not inhaling too much pollen while we share food together.

The others made their offers -- a chicken-potato dish, an appetizer, asparagus, and white white.  Almost a complete dinner except for dessert, which would be my responsibility.

Knowing I’m not the greatest cook when it comes to baking, I could have copped out and
-- Bought a dessert
-- Made a fruit salad
-- Made a fruit crisp



But no, I would instead decide to make a pie -- an apple-blueberry pie to be exact.  I continue to try to make pies, even though long ago I realized I had not inherited my mother’s gene for perfect crusts.



I’m always good through the stage of making the pastry and chilling the dough in plastic wrap.  This time I tried a combination of butter and vegetable shortening, after reading that this marries the flavor of butter with the flakiness of shortening.

It’s the rolling out and getting it into the pie plate in one piece that continues to allude me.  This one was particularly stubborn, tearing from the onset and needing to be patched here and there after landing in several pieces.  But knowing the filling hides a multitude, I simply patted it back together again and set it aside.



Instead of a top crust with air vents, I decided I wanted a lattice crust.  I did learn upon rolling out the second ball of dough that a few minutes sitting outside the refrigerator improves its handling immensely.  (File that away for the next pie attempt.)



I decided to construct my lattice on a piece of parchment paper and then just flip it onto the top of the filled pie.  I took this picture just in case it didn’t land so well.

But it actually worked.



I like a pie that has that brown sheen on top, so I added an egg wash before popping it in the oven.  The pie is now in the cooking until the fruit is juicy and the crust is nicely browned.

Who knows how it will taste?  But I can't imagine how anything made with fresh fruit, butter, sugar, and cinnamon could be too bad!

Here’s the somewhat modified recipe in case you want to try it:

Apple Blueberry Pie

Ingredients
-- 2-3 large apples, peeled, cored, and sliced 1/4” thick
-- 2 small containers of blueberries
-- A generous 1/2 cup of sugar
-- 3 T. flour
-- Juice from half a lemon
-- 1/2 t. ground cinnamon
--  Pinch of salt
-- 3 T. butter, cut into small bits
-- Pie dough for 2 9-inch crusts
-- 1 egg

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  In a bowl combine the apples, blueberries, sugar, flour, lemon juice, cinnamon, and salt.  Mix well.  (This picture is before I decided to add a second container of blueberries.)



Place fruit mixture in a pie dish lined with a bottom crust.  Dot with the butter.  Cover with the other pie crust or a lattice crust.  Mix the egg yolk with a small amount of water and brush over the top crust.

Bake at 425 degrees for 40 minutes.  Add vents if you opted for the non-lattice crust.  Continue cooking at 350 degrees until the fruit is tender and the crust is nicely browned.

8 Comments:

Blogger Terry said...

I think your pie looks wonderful! It is my theory that pie-making skips a generation. My mother made incredible pies, my daughter's are right on par with Mom's. Mine are, eh--OK. Certainly not as good as either Mom's or Em's. So, do you have a pie-making daughter?

4:22 PM  
Blogger lacochran said...

Passover ended a few hours early for you, hm? ;)

The pie looks scrumptious!

4:22 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Terry -- My daughter is a terrific cook and was the one who suggested using vegetable shortening in the pie dough. She is actually very good at just about everything she attempts.

LA -- Oops! Obviously I'm not terribly observant. But I was wondering if the prohibition is against using flour or consuming it before sundown today. I guess technically I'm not supposed to have it in the house. I'm not eating my pie until later! Hopefully G_d will not smite me...

4:47 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

Looks delicious! Tell us how it turned out! :)

4:34 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Steve -- The pie was a success. The fruit was sweet (but not too sweet) and juicy. The crust was the way crust should be. Now if I can just work out the kinks in that first piece of dough, I will put away my fear of making pies.

7:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hooray!

I've been wanting to make fruit pie recently; your success is inspiring me! It looks absolutely delicious.

F.

1:50 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Gorgeous pie! I attempted lattice work only two years ago after an accidental foray into a blackberry bramble when I should have been dancing at Jazz Fest. It still intimidates me. The lattice, not dancing. Though, I'm a little frightened of both.

10:31 PM  
Blogger Pauline said...

Oh yum! My favorite kind of pie is whichever one I happen to be eating at the time. Never had a blueberry apple but it sounds good. Have you tried cherry-cranberry?

7:03 AM  

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