‘Tis the season for blue. Blueberries that is. In excitement to kick off another season of New England U-picking, J and I headed to Ipswich, Massachusetts in search of August’s ideal bursts of blue.
Ever since moving to the northeast I have not attached a more romanticized notion to something than I have with apple picking and autumnal October leaves. Venturing beyond your quintessential trot down Fuji or MacIntosh lane, this August was all about the berries.
Winding around Russell’s Orchard farm trails, J and I caught sight of a gawking group of male guinea hens, a more peculiar fowl drenched in black and white spotted feathers and masked with cherry red, winged combs. There were goats, hens, a curious lion of a barn cat, and mosquitos – hoards of mosquitos!
The two of us ventured to the inner depths of the blueberry patch with intention to seek out shrubs surely not yet picked bare by the weekend masses. A thick, cotton gray sky loomed above, giving the mossy green bushes a pale background to stand out against. Intermittently irritated by the bugs, J and I puckered and smiled, squirmed and spat in reaction to the highly varied flavors of blueberries we picked and tasted. With two pints worth each of the sweetest blueberries, we headed back to the city and fired up the oven to bake a classic.
Hands down, my favorite pie has always been blueberry, just plain ole blueberry. Reversely, to me a fresh blueberry begs to become pie. Naturally I wanted to create a recipe that would bring out the most blueberry-y flavor that a blueberry pie could boast, as well as pass on a family mastered pie crust that would cradle the sweet, round fruit.
I recommend using the freshest ingredients possible. The blueberries I used were still warmed from the sun as I prepped them for the pie, and a quick stop-off at another farmstand for fresh Amish butter brought the crust to a whole new level of sultry, rich goodness.
For the Pie Crust:
2 sticks of butter, very cold or frozen
2 2/3 Cup flour
½ Cup ice water
For the Filling:
2 pints fresh blueberries
3 Tablespoons flour
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon lemon zest
To make the Crust: Wisk egg in a small bowl and set aside. In a food processor combine butter, flour, and sugar. Pulse until butter is about the size of peas. Slowly and gradually pour ice water into the mixture while continuing to pulse. Continue to pulse until the mixture comes together into a ball, or becomes a dough consistency. Empty dough onto a lightly flour surface. Handling the dough as little as possible, form two equal-sized disks, cover tightly with plastic wrap and set in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Dough can also be saved in the fridge for up to two weeks.
While the dough is cooling, in a large bowl combine blueberries, flour, cinnamon, and lemon zest.
Preheat oven to 375˚
Once dough is chilled, place one disk on a lightly floured surface. Using a rolling pin, roll out dough to a 1/8-inch thickness. Lay the dough in a Pyrex pie dish; there should be about 1 inch of dough folding over the lip. Pour blueberry mixture on top of dough. Roll out the second disk of chilled dough to the same thickness. Place dough on top of blueberry mixture and thoroughly secure the two layers of dough around the circumference of the pie dish. Make slits in dough on top of the pie, allowing for steam to release.
Lightly brush egg wash over the top of dough. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until crust turns a deep golden brown.
For a Best Bite of this blueberry pie mix cardamom with mascarpone and dollop on top!