Friday, December 4, 2009

Happy Belated Pie Day

Now I know that it's over a week since Thanksgiving, but this is Pie season people! I may have missed sharing my coma fest with you during that hectic week, but I had to share my newly found love of simplicity. I've never been a fan of the "easy" recipe. I've always been one of those crazy people that will complicate the heck out of a glass of water, but pie...well, a pie made with love and fresh ingredients doesn't need much. The beauty of it is that it doesn't even have to be pretty. When confronted with a slice of warm pie that has fallen apart in transit from the pie dish to the plate, the wreckage hastily covered by a scoop of ice cream, the grateful guest won't even pause before digging in. Presentation is entirely forgotten in that blissful combination of sweet and tart, warm and cold, tender and flaky deliciousness. The only question remaining is "Is there more?"

Apple Blueberry Pie

Easy Pie Crust Recipe
I think I pulled this recipe from Real Simple, but I've been trying to clean out my huge pile of magazines, pulling out just the recipes, so unfortunately I can't give full and proper credit. This will make just the bottom crust, you'll make an even easier crumbly topping to go over the fruit

1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 to 3 tablespoons ice water

Combine first 4 ingredients in a food processor and pulse until it's roughly crumbly. Leave the top opening of the food processor open and drizzle in the water a bit at a time, pulsing once or twice to distribute. You want the mixture to still be a bit crumbly, but hold together when squeezed, but not get gummy. If you overdo the water, just add a bit of flour, but try not to process to much or the dough will be tough.
Place the mixture onto a large piece of saran wrap and shape into a thick disk, wrapping the whole thing tightly in the process. Chill in the fridge for at least an hour up to three days. If you're making the pie today though, don't bother washing the food processor yet...you'll need it again at the end.
Take the dough out of the fridge when you're ready and flour your rolling pin and work surface. A large sheet of parchment will make moving everything easier, but you can just work on the counter top if you wish. Roll the dough into a large disk about 11 inches in diameter. Loosen the dough and carefully transfer onto the dish. If you don't mind flour all over and if you used parchment, you can try and just flip the whole thing into the pan if you want...but if when that fails and your dough still rips, you can just patch it up in the dish. It'll be covered in fruit anyways, no one will know.
Carefully tuck the dough hanging over the edge under to create a rim and pinch all around to "flute" the rim.
Voila! You have pie crust, ready to be filled. Just pop the dish into the freezer until you're ready to use it. Actually, you can wrap the whole thing in saran wrap and freeze this for up to two months if you want, but why wait when the rest of the process is so easy an delicious?

Apple and Blueberry Filling

4 medium firm apples, granny smith work great, but pretty much any variety will do
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons melted butter
a few handfuls of fresh or frozen blueberries

Preheat the oven to 375F. Peel, core and slice the apples. Dump into a large bowl and top with the remaining ingredients. Cover with another bowl, large plate or lid that fits snugly with no gaps, and holding it on tightly pretend you've got maracas and shake shake shake. I suppose you could just stir the whole thing up with a spoon or spatula, but that's not nearly as fun. Dump the mess into the crust and top with...

Easy Crumbly Topping

1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small cubes

Process in the food processor until crumbly. Spread evenly over the pie. Don't worry if it looks like it's too much. It will help soak up some of the fruit juice and won't seem like too much at the end.

Put the pie dish onto a cookie sheet to make it easier to handle and to catch any overflow if the fruit was really really juicy, and pop into the hot oven for an hour, or until the crust has browned and the apples are cooked through.

If you're feeling particularly adventurous, you can also whip up this Honey Lavender Ice Cream to put on top, which is what I did. I told you, I can't do "easy". But if you're not nuts like me, plain vanilla will work just as well.

Apple Blueberry Pie

3 comments:

Karine said...

Your pie seems delicious. Thanks for sharing! :)

Truly Smitten said...

YUMMMMM-Y! Anna, when i move back to Chicago, I am hiring you as my own personal pastry chef! hee hee =)

Emily said...

Oh my gosh. How good does that pie look?!