Blueberry Pie, Oh My…

This time of year reminds me of pie. Any kind of pie. I just love pie. I recently just made this blueberry pie (see, I have used the word plenty, lol). An added plus was that I finally found a perfect pie crust for it on https://natashaskitchen.com/easy-pie-crust-recipe/ (I would definitely give it a try)! There is just something about blueberries. Blueberry muffins, blueberry bread, blueberry parfait, and so on. They are also very good for you. They are filled with antioxidants, potassium, and vitamin C! This recipe will not only taste great, but will keep you healthy! A win for all!

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups blueberries (don’t thaw if frozen)
  • 3 cups wild blueberries, (don’t thaw if frozen)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest 
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, diced

For the egg wash:

  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream or whole milk
  • Turbinado or coarse sugar, for sprinkling

Directions:

Prepare your dough

  1. Remove one disk of pie dough from the fridge. If needed, let sit at room temperature for up to 5 minutes or until slightly pliable.
  2. Roll the dough out on a floured work surface, or pie mat. Keep turning the dough after every roll to ensure it doesn’t stick to the counter, and is of even thickness. Roll out into about a 12-inch circle with a 1/8-inch thickness.
  3. Gently roll the dough up and around the rolling pin then unroll and drape over a 9- inch pie pan. Gently mold into the crevices of the pie pan. Do not stretch the dough to fit or it will shrink during baking. Trim the dough edges to sit flush with the pie pan edge. Cover and place in the fridge.
  4. Remove the other piece of dough from the fridge, rolling out to a 13-inch circle. Using a pastry wheel, cut 1-inch wide strips. You will need 10 strips. Place the strips on a sheet tray or cutting board and refrigerate until ready to assemble.

For the filling:

  1. In a large bowl, toss together all of the blueberries with the sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest, lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.

Assemble the pie:

  1. Pour the blueberry mixture into the refrigerated pie shell, making sure it is even. Dot with the pieces of butter. Brush the edges of the pie shell lightly with water.
  2. Place 5 to 6 strips of pie dough over the filling, spacing evenly. Fold back every other strip in half. Place a long strip of dough down the center in the opposite direction. Unfold the other strips then fold back up the opposite strips. Place another strip down going the opposite direction. Repeat this weaving process until you have a lattice shape. Trim the lattice pieces so they’re just less than flush with the bottom crust so the edges won’t be too thick they slump over while baking.
  3. Tuck the edges up and over to create a border, sealing everything together by pressing with your fingers. Use your fingers to make a deep crimping pattern.
  4. Adjust the oven rack to the lower third position. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and cream. Brush the pie all over with the egg wash. Sprinkle generously with turbinado sugar. Bake on a parchment lined rimmed baking pan until the edges are lightly brown, about 25 minutes.
  6. Reduce heat to 375°F and continue baking for another 45 to 55 minutes, or until the edges are deeply brown and the filling is bubbling in the center. If the edges become too dark, use foil to protect them from the heat.
  7. Cool completely before serving. Store leftovers wrapped in foil for up to 2 days at room temperature. Reheat in a 350°F oven for 5 to 10 minutes to re-crisp the crust.

We, of course, add ice cream or homemade whip cream! Enjoy!

Crust, Crust Baby…

Like most families we love pizza, but when you have a large family, it can get rather expensive to get take-out, so we started making our own! The dough, besides all the gooey cheese and delicious toppings, is the most important part, and you know that making any kind of dough can be tricky. It took us a few hits and misses to find one that is easy and works well, but we did! If you are a pizza fanatic, it might work for you too!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups lukewarm water (between 105-115 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • 1 pinch sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 1/4 cups bread flour (you can also use all-purpose flour)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Directions

  • In your mixer (or in a large bowl if kneading by hand)) add warm water, then add the yeast and sugar, let it sit for 5 minutes, then stir to combine. 
  • Add the olive oil, flour and salt. Using the hook attachment, start to mix on low speed, and then raise to medium speed and knead for approximately 5 minutes or until you have a smooth elastic dough (scrape the hook halfway through kneading and the sides of bowl if needed).  
  • If mixing by hand add the olive oil, flour, and salt, and then mix with a fork until the dough comes together. On a lightly floured surface knead dough until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes).
  • Place in a lightly oiled bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Place a clean towel over it and put in a warm place to rise (about 2 hours)
  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  • After dough has risen, punch it down a few times.
  • Divide into 2 or 3 balls (depending on how big you want your pizza) and let rest for about 20 minutes.
  • Lightly oil pizza pans or cookie sheets and fit dough into shape using your clean hands.
  • Add your favorite cheese and toppings and bake for about 15-20 minutes, until crust is golden.

The crust comes out thin and crispy (be on the lookout for another favorite dough recipe that comes out thicker)! It’s a great meal to have while playing games, watching movies, or just sitting and talking! Enjoy!