The following excerpt is a sneak peek of Warren Brown’s new book, Pie Love, available on October 1, 2013.
Apple may have been my first pie, but once I tasted blueberry pie, it became and remains my favorite over any other flavor. My oldest sister, Lenora, makes an ingenious version of blueberry pie sweetened exclusively with maple syrup. Packed with wild berries between a flaky, buttery crust, she combined two of my favorite foods into my favorite form of dessert and now has a fan for life! This isn’t her exact recipe, but it’s close. (Okay, full disclosure: She couldn’t bear to part with her recipe, so I had to improvise!) I prefer using wild blueberries because they’re smaller and much more flavorful. They also don’t seem to leak out as much liquid, which can be a serious problem with blueberry pie. I also recommend using organic berries to reduce your exposure to pesticides, which are used in fairly large quantities on conventional blueberries.
Blueberry Maple Pie with Cinnamon-Butter Pie Crust
Cinnamon-Butter Pie Crust:
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, (10 oz)
- 3 Tbsp superfine granulated sugar
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 10 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, very cold (1¼ sticks)
- 5 to 6 Tbsp ice water
Blueberry Maple Pie:
- 2¼ lb organic frozen blueberries
- 1 cup grade-a maple syrup, cold
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- ½ tsp cinnamon, plus additional for sprinkling
- ½ tsp nutmeg, freshly grated
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, (½ stick)
- 1 recipe Cinnamon-Butter Piecrust, bottom crust blind baked
- 1 egg
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- Superfine granulated sugar, for sprinkling
To make pie crust::
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a 9- to 10-inch pie pan with butter and lightly sprinkle it with sugar.
Add the flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt to the work bowl of a food processor and mix for at least 30 seconds.
Stop the processor and add the butter all at once.
Pulse in the butter until the mixture resembles fine crumbs; pulse in the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough forms into a ball and rides on top of the S blade.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured piece of parchment. Set aside one third of the dough. If you’re not making a double-crust pie, wrap it in plastic film and freeze or refrigerate it for another use.
Form the remaining dough into a disk, place a second piece of parchment on top, and roll it into a large round about 12 inches in diameter and ⅛ inch thick.
Gently fit the rolled dough into the pie pan, fold the excess underneath, crump the edge, and chill the crust for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, if you are making a double-crust pie, roll out the reserved dough between two sheets of parchment to a round approximately 10 inches across. Set it aside, keeping it between the parchment sheets to prevent it from drying out.
Dock the bottom crust and cover it with a circle of parchment paper cut to size and a disposable pie pan resting gently above the crust to prevent it from puffing up while toasting. Blind bake for 5-7 minutes.
Set the blind-baked crust aside to cool while you prepare the blueberry filling.
To make blueberry pie: :
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Place the fully thawed blueberries in a colander to drain for 15 minutes, and discard the liquid.
Pour the berries into a large, heavy-bottomed pot and stir in the maple syrup.
Stir together the cornstarch, spices, and salt, then stir the mixture into the berries with a heatproof spatula or wooden spoon.
Add the butter.
Turn on the heat to medium. Cook, stirring slowly but continuously, until the juices bubble slowly and thicken, 5 to 8 minutes. Allow the filling to cool slightly.
Scoop the filling into the prepared piecrust. Cover the pie as desired with a crumb topping, traditional top crust with steam vents, or a lattice top (as shown above).
If using a top crust, whisk the egg and vanilla together and brush this wash over the pie; lightly sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.
Bake the pie for about 30 minutes, until the berries begin to lightly bubble and the crust has a golden color. Allow the pie to cool for 1 hour to let the filling set before slicing.
If you’ll be using this crust for another pie recipe where baking isn’t required (such as custard pie), blind bake it for 12 to 15 minutes, checking often after 10 minutes.
Makes One 9-inch pie.
About the Author
Excerpted from Pie Love by Warren Brown. Published by Stewart, Tabori & Chang, an imprint of ABRAMS.