Blueberries and lemon. They get me every single time. I mean really. Some combinations are just meant to be and let me be clear here, there is NOTHING better than chocolate but lemon and blueberries are a very close second. While I’ve made many blueberry pies (and even received a first place ribbon at the county fair, but no one is bragging [except me]). We mounted this attack on the blueberry pie as a practice run prior to the holiday of all holidays, Thanksgiving.
This filling recipe comes out of the Better Home and Gardens New Cook Book. They have a neat table that simply outlines the recommended amount of flour and sugar for different kinds of berries and fruit. I find it very handy. I usually add a couple of teaspoons of lemon zest to my berry pies (and their blueberry pie recipe has lemon zest in it). To bump up the lemony flavor in this pie, we also did a lemon whipped cream to top our individual slices.
Frozen fruit should be allowed to thaw slightly before you incorporate everything. This usually takes less then an hour. Mix all of your thickener (flour) and sweetener (sugar) and lemon zest together in a separate bowl and when the berries are ready toss it all together. If you’re using frozen berries the added benefit is that the moisture collects on the partially thawed berries and evenly distributes the flour/ sugar mixture when you combine it with the berries.
Don’t fill the bottom crust until you have the top crust rolled out and ready to go, so the filling doesn’t sit in the unbaked crust too long. The goal is to not have a soggy and saturated bottom crust. I usually sprinkle a little flour (1 or two spoonfuls) in the bottom of the pie crust prior to putting the filling to soak up any errant juices in an effort to keep the bottom pie crust from getting soggy.
After you’ve wrestled both of the crusts out flat and filled the bottom crust you really are in the home stretch.
Make sure to press and roll the seam of the top and bottom crusts together. Or I know some people have good results wetting (lightly) and pressing the seam together. Whatever your method the point is to make sure you have a solid seam. Otherwise the crusts can separate when baking and juices leak out and make a mess. You want your pie to be fortress of flavor!
I just use a standard thumb and finger pattern on the my pies, but feel free to get fancy.
Make sure to cut some vents in the top.
The way your pies look should be consistent and unique to you (so everybody knows whose it is). One of my favorite pie things is to have a maker’s mark. This is a unique design that you put on pies that you have made. I’ve seen a star, half circle designs, etc….. Personally, mine is the outline of the state of Nevada! I know, it’s really great.
Once you get the hang of making pies they really aren’t too bad to make (easy as pie!…… anyone…. no?) There are few things people find more impressive then a delicious and well made pie. Prepare to impress and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. They’re only ingredients.
These pies were for our respective Thanksgiving parties. But that wasn’t going to do. So we made a smaller pie we could devour that night.