Classic Two Crust Blueberry Pie

Classic two crust blueberry pie...about as simple and delicious as it gets. This filling is not too sweet with a nice layer of tartness from the lemon and perfume from the cinnamon. You can use store-bought crust, but even the non bakers (Anne) can master this crust. The food processor makes it a cinch. Make several at a time and stash in the fridge. Holiday baking will be a cinch with a few pie crusts ready to go.

Crust adapted from Cooks Illustrated

Filling adapted from Betty Crocker

Ingredients for the Crust:

Makes two crusts

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp Fleur de Sel
2 Tbl sugar
12 Tblcold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/2 cup cold vegetable shortening, cut into 4 pieces*
1/4 cup cold vodka
1/4 cup cold water

Directions for the Crust:

Process 1 1/2 cups flour, Fleur de Sel and sugar in food processor until combined, about 2 one-second pulses. Add butter and shortening and process until homogeneous dough just starts to collect in uneven clumps, about 15 seconds (dough will resemble cottage cheese curds and there should be no uncoated flour). Scrape bowl with rubber spatula and redistribute dough evenly around processor blade. Add remaining cup flour and pulse until mixture is evenly distributed around bowl and mass of dough has been broken up, 4 to 6 quick pulses. Empty mixture into medium bowl.

Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture. With rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix, pressing down on dough until dough is slightly tacky and sticks together. Divide dough into two even balls and flatten each into 4-inch disk. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 45 minutes or up to 2 days.

*A note about the shortening: While this ingredient, like other saturated fats, has lost favor over recent years, shortening deserves much of the credit for flaky crust. Back in the day (and still some today), crusts were made with lard. Seasoned pastry chefs will tell you that lard is king when it comes to creating flakiness. You can certainly eliminate the shortening and use all butter if you'd like to avoid using shortening. 

Ingredients for the Filling:

4 cups blueberries
1 Tbl fresh lemon juice
3⁄4 cup sugar
3 Tbl cornstarch
1⁄2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1⁄4 tsp salt
1⁄4 tsp ground Korintje Cinnamon
1 Tbl cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Directions for the Filling:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Combine all ingredients, except for the butter, folding gently and slowly to distribute all ingredients. Be careful not to break the blueberries. Roll out the pie crusts to 1/8"-1/4" thickness and about 12 inches in diameter. Place one crust in the bottom of a 9-inch pie tin leaving an overhang over the edge of the tin. Pour in the filling. Place the bits of butter on top of the filling. Top the filling with the second crust. Fold, crimp and seal the edges together trimming as necessary to achieve an even crust edge all around. Make five cuts in a circular pattern at the center of the top crust to allow steam to escape. Alternately, before placing the top crust, you can cut small shapes using a cooker cutter. 

Bake at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and juices are bubbling and escaping through the top crust.  If the crust browns too quickly, place a ring of foil around the edges to prevent burning.


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