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The Delicious Appreciations of Pick Yin

Not exactly predictable.
Has enough brains for codes
(but can be completely clueless on other more important matters).
Likes her Joe (and her man?) black, her chocolate dark and her food spicy.
“Quam bene vivas refert, non quam diu.” — Seneca

Total Posts   191      Last Updated   23 November 2015 12:00 PM (GMT +8)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Blueberry Pie

blueberry pie flaky butter crust

So we haven't talked for awhile and I'll start by telling you one thing - I've never eaten a blueberry pie, ever. (Yes, I shall spare you the reasons for my silence last week but let's just say there were many good things - a more regimented workout regime, friends from Malaysia descending on our pad and a wedding; and then there were some things not so rosy, among those a busted back while I lifted weights still half asleep one Sunday morning.) I've got these two friends (guys, mind you), who can't stop going on about their affection for a good blueberry pie. One fine day one of them tweeted - "Where can I get a good piece of blueberry pie?" and that got me wondering.

blueberry pie flaky butter crust

The deal is I haven't seen fruit pies (fruits in general - berries, apple, other stoned fruits, not just blueberry) being served in the dessert section of restaurants here (by 'here' I mean Singapore and Malaysia, the two countries I'm in most of the time). Dessert bars and shops would bake tarts with fruits and pastry but a simple homey pie is never served, possibly as it would be considered too... homey? No one knows. With these two macho men waxing lyrical every now and then about gooey berry filling oozing under steaming, flaky pie crust filled with hip-enriching butter, I started fantasizing about how it would taste like, if and when I successfully bake one.

blueberry pie flaky butter crust blueberry pie flaky butter crust

blueberry pie flaky butter crust

After some digging around, I found Deb's and Martha's pie crust recipes to be essentially the same - a shortcrust pastry or pâte brisée. I combined the method of using the food processor to incorporate the butter and hands to work in the water. The warm and humid weather in Singapore would've meant disaster by the time I'd manage to cut the butter and flour into pea-sized crumbs with a pastry cutter. Whichever method you choose, I'd say just make sure you still see some chunks of butter in the dough for that promise of flaky, crumbly awesomeness.

blueberry pie flaky butter crust blueberry pie flaky butter crust

blueberry pie flaky butter crust

All of Deb's pie crust tips were proven to be useful, after all she wrote a trilogy of pie crust 101. Keep everything cold - I chilled my flour mixture, the food processor blade and mixing bowl. If my food processor bowl could've fit into my tiny fridge, it would've gone in there too. Work quickly and decisively when rolling out the cold dough (be patient and wait the two hours out!). Forget about rolling up the dough around the pin just to get it stuck and tearing later, transfer by folding. Martha's method to use parchment when rolling was what I hung on to religiously - it would've taken just minutes for the dough to stick to my counter, though sometimes I dream about having practical, commercial grade stainless steel worktops, but I digress. For those of you stressing about potential lattice madness, again, my favorite lady has a complete guide.

blueberry pie flaky butter crust

Now, I'll leave you with the reason why I love this pie. Other than the fact that the crust was just how I wanted it to be and the filling's flavor lifted with that small incorporation of a lemon's zest. Other than the fact that it became my lunch with a melting scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. Vijay, my crazy other half who won't go near a blueberry or any other berries, ate an entire slice and claimed it would've been just as good without the ice cream. I made my man eat blueberries whole, nothing hidden like puree/jam/sauce/milkshake but actual, in-your-face blueberries. I should've listened to those two men sooner.
Blueberry Pie

All butter pie crust recipe from Deb Perelman's Smitten Kitchen, pie recipe adapted barely from Martha Stewart.
Yield: A 9-inch round very tall pie or 11-inch round fairly level pie.

Note: A standard pie dish/pan would be 9 inches but I accidentally got myself an 11-inch Staub (don't ask). Therefore if you have one large lonely-looking dish there in the corner mostly ignored by 9-inch recipes, fear not. The pie crust recipe works with some slight dividing modification which I included in this recipe.

Pâte brisée:
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks/8 ounces/16 tablespoons/1 cup unsalted butter, diced into 1/2-inch pieces and very cold
  • 1 cup ice water

  • 8 cups/4 pints blueberries, picked over
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon milk

Prepare the pie crust: In a food processor, pulse together flour, sugar and salt, 2-3 times. Retrive the cold butter from the fridge and add it to the food processor. Pulse in short 2-seconds bursts till the butter pieces are the size of tiny peas, roughly, about 3-4 times. It doesn't have to look even all over, be careful not to overmix the crumbs. Pour out the mixture into a large cold bowl.

Drizzle about 1/4 cup of the ice cold water over the butter and flour mixture. Gather the dough together quickly with your fingers. Add in small amounts of water gradually till dough comes together. (I used just about 1/2 cup of water, how much depends on your environment and humidity.) Gather the dough into one ball and knead gently just to incorporate. Divide the dough in half (or about 60:40 ratio if you are using an 11-inch pie dish like me), and place each ball on a piece of cling wrap. Wrap each dough into a disk and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour, preferably 2 hours, before using. (I chilled mine for 2 1/2 hours.)

Prepare the pie: On a lightly floured piece of parchment paper, roll out one disk of dough to a 12-inch round (if using an 11-inch pie dish, roll out the larger disk into a 14-inch round). Dust the rolled out dough with some flour and fold it very loosely into quarters. Quickly transfer the dough into the pie dish, centering it, then unfold and press it gently onto the dish. Dust of excess flour with a dry pastry brush. Fold edge of dough over and under, chill pie shell until firm, about 30 minutes. Reserve the parchment paper aside.

While the pie shell is chilling, place blueberries in a large bowl and with your hands, mush up about 1/2 cup of berries, letting them fall into the bowl as you go along. Add in the sugar, flour, lemon zest and juice; stir with a spatula to combine. Set aside. Retrieve the second dough ball from the fridge and roll it out to an inch larger than the pie dish on the same parchment used earlier, floured lightly. With a pastry cutter, cut the dough into 1-inch wide strips. Retrieve the pie shell from the fridge when the time is up and spoon the berries mixture into it. Arrange the strips of dough top in a lattice pattern and crimp accordingly.

Bake the pie: In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolk and milk. Brush lattice surface and pie border with egg wash. Refrigerate pie until firm, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400°F/200°C, with rack placed at the lower third. Line a baking sheet large enough to hold the pie dish with parchment. Place the chilled pie on the baking sheet and bake until crust begins to turn golden, about 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F/180°C. Continue baking until crust is deep golden brown and filling is bubbling in the center, about 40 to 50 minutes more. (Mine was done at 45 minutes, be sure to check for the bubbling juices.)

Transfer pie to a wire rack to cool slightly. I like to eat it still warm, with a cold scoop (or two) of vanilla ice cream on the side. Pie is best savored the day it is baked, but can be kept at room temperature, loosely covered with foil or cling wrap, for up to 2 days.

22 Comments on Blueberry Pie

What a goregous pie! It looks so beautiful and delicious. I love that blueberry filling.



Posted by Blogger Rosa's Yummy Yums, at Mar 21, 2012, 9:39:00 PM  

i choose blueberry pie over apple pie usually, without the ice cream. i won't lie, i have a cheater's method for rolling out crust, it has saved me tears and swearing. it has also basically made me a cheater, but i'm ok with that.

Posted by Blogger Angry Asian, at Mar 21, 2012, 11:57:00 PM  

Sigh... if only I could have a piece of this pie.

Posted by Blogger Cynthia, at Mar 22, 2012, 6:28:00 AM  

This blueberry pie looks divine! I'm so happy berry season is here. I can't wait to try a blueberry pie!

Posted by Anonymous Russell at Chasing Delicious, at Mar 22, 2012, 6:29:00 AM  

Finally! I seriously love the look of this pie! So beautiful!

Posted by Blogger Anh, at Mar 22, 2012, 9:48:00 AM  

Firstly, you must be over the moon that VJ ate it!!

Secondly, what a handsome pie dish!! So sexy in red!! I have glass pie dish that is huge, probably 11 or 12", but not so tall. I think it will work with this. Your photos are amazinggggggggggggggggggggg!

Posted by Anonymous Mrs Ergül, at Mar 22, 2012, 12:05:00 PM  

I've never attempted to make a blueberry pie...can't wait to try this!

Posted by Blogger LEAH, at Mar 22, 2012, 1:02:00 PM  

Rosa: Thank you, I was very happy with a successful first time attempt to make a pie!

Angry Asian: I like the ice cream to go with it because of the cold vs warm thing going on, but the pie is good on its own. No, your method of rolling out crust is not cheating. I know pastry chefs who create their own plastic bags to roll out puff pastries to the perfect size and thickness. Why have heartache when you can avoid it?

Cynthia: You can, make!

Russell: Haha! I wish we have seasons here. Berries are expensive imports in Singapore.

Anh: Thank you! The lattice work did it methinks, though Vijay preferred more pastry on top and wouldn't mind a completely covered pie.

Pei Lin: It will work well, the fact that it's not so tall means your pie would dome up, I think it will be more attractive that way.

On the photos, I tried to move away from my typical approach and use more backlighting. My favorites are actually those un-styled ones on top of the sink. Sometimes I myself am tired of styled shots.

Leah: Everyone should try blueberry pie at least once!

Posted by Blogger PickYin, at Mar 22, 2012, 5:52:00 PM  

Fantastic photos! I love this recipe...

Posted by Blogger MyFudo™, at Mar 22, 2012, 7:47:00 PM  

Your pie looks absolutely incredible. Blueberry or cherry is definitely my favourite kind of pie - I love the soft sweetness against the flaky pastry and your latticed top is so pretty. Yum!

Posted by Anonymous thelittleloaf, at Mar 22, 2012, 9:27:00 PM  

Your pie looks divine! I'm already dreaming about the perfect bite of blueberry pie, but i guess I will have to wait a while for the fresh berries to appear in the garden, because just with the fresh ones you can create the most amazing result :) for now, you pictures comforts a little :)

Posted by Blogger Migle, at Mar 22, 2012, 10:29:00 PM  

Pie! It looks so beautiful.

I don't know if I have the willpower to save my blueberries for baking--I usually eat them all raw within a half hour of getting home form the market. But maybe if I had the crust ready in the fridge when I got home... :)

Posted by Blogger Eileen, at Mar 23, 2012, 9:15:00 AM  

It's hard to find any berry pie, let alone blueberry pie. Most places here serve apple pie / peach (from the tins) crumble. But not blueberry! If cherries are in season, make a cherry pie! I made last time and it was so yum!

Posted by Anonymous Swee San @ The Sweet Spot, at Mar 26, 2012, 9:44:00 PM  

MyFudo: Thanks! This is without doubt a keeper.

thelittleloaf: Thank you. I need to try cherry pie next time Rainers are in season.

Migle: Thanks! I can't imagine having freshly picked blueberries. I will faint and not recover for any baking job at all I think.

Eileen: Since we don't really get them freshly picked here, eating it as is wouldn't be prime. Most of mine would go into a health shake though.

Swee San: I'm right yeah? Can't think of ANY place that serves blueberry pie. The only thing that discouraged me from making a cherry pie is the pitting job. Ironically I actually bought a pitter for that but haven't made anything cherry since. :O

Posted by Blogger PickYin, at Mar 30, 2012, 10:59:00 AM  

The pie looks amazing! And I love the red dish. Your photos are truly beautyful, and I have had a wonderful time discovering your blog. Have pinned several recipes, and will return. ;)

Posted by Anonymous Anonymous, at May 3, 2012, 12:01:00 AM  

Hello! I am moving to Singapore from Seattle in 2 weeks and trying to figure out if my food processor will work there or if I should sell it here and get a new one there. Any suggestions? Thanks

Posted by Blogger brooke, at Jun 12, 2012, 6:25:00 AM  

brooke: Sorry for the late reply, I was away on vacation. You can still use the processor here provided you have the converter for the plug. However, most people I know would sell off everything because it's just too troublesome.

Posted by Blogger PickYin, at Jun 14, 2012, 11:10:00 AM  

Thank you for a great recipe! I made it yesterday from hand-picked Quebec blueberries and it's to die for :)
Every last morsel is gone by now.

Posted by Anonymous Manka, at Aug 6, 2012, 9:17:00 AM  

I made this for Thanksgiving and it was a hit! I did however use a pre-made crust. I may add more lemon next time. I added a little nutmeg too.

Posted by Anonymous J'lyne, at Nov 24, 2012, 9:01:00 AM  

Wonderful gourmet recipe with pictures you got there, looks sooo delish!. Thanks for sharing

Posted by Blogger Unknown, at Apr 28, 2013, 12:15:00 PM  

This pie looks wonderful! But I'm just wondering, what pan size does this yield?

Posted by Blogger Unknown, at Feb 21, 2015, 7:25:00 PM  

Rachel: You can use a 9- to 11-inch pie pan for this recipe.

Posted by Blogger PickYin, at Feb 23, 2015, 8:26:00 AM  

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