Carpé Season, Schmarpé Schmeason, you might be saying to yourself right now.
It’s April. Graying snowbanks are still haughtily sitting atop grass that hasn’t even started to think about growing again, and you’re making blueberry pie? There aren’t even ramps at the markets yet, and you’re filling pies with summer berries?
And my response is yes. I know that it is April and that it is entirely possible that this winter will never end, if the forecast of six inches of snow tomorrow, the 18th, is any indication.
But I made these blueberry pies from the recipe in the book The Exact Place for the author’s reading we went to last Saturday, and they served their out-of-season purpose well with some frozen wild blueberries.
This week is all about the above book, and we’re happy to be giving away a copy! (See below for giveaway details). We enjoyed this memoir and its Minnesota recipes immensely, especially this pie. And I should know. I made it four times.
See, I knew I wanted to make pie for the author’s reading, as several of us were contributing some of the book’s desserts for party fare, but I have long had this hang-up with double-crusted pies. Oh, I prefer crumble-topped pies, I say, knowing full well that the idea of successfully pulling off a double-crusted pie has seemed to me about as possible as wearing sandals at any point in 2013.
But I made two practice pies. And two party pies. And I conquered the double-crusted pie. And so can you.
This is blueberry pie, in all of its glorious simplicity. Obviously, if you are within a 100-mile range of fresh (!wild!) blueberries, drop what you are doing right now and go pick a bucket. But if you, like me, are not, go to your grocery store, buy a bag of frozen blueberries, and go to pie-making town. Pie crust. Blueberries. Lemon juice. Sugar. Flour. Butter.
Easy as pie.
Here’s how to enter the giveaway:
1. Leave a commentHERE indicating that you too would like to read this book!
2. For an extra entry, like Carpé Season on facebook or, if you already do, share the link to this post on your facebook page and tell us that you did so in the comments HERE.
3. For an extra, extra entry, tweet about the giveaway and let us know that you tweeted like a boss HERE.
4. You can give yourself one more chance by pinning the picture of the book and commenting to let us know HERE!
The giveaway entries will be closed this Saturday, April 20, at midnight, CST, and the randomly selected winner will be announced the next day!
(recipe from The Exact Place )
(yields one 9-inch pie)
This is a simple, classic blueberry pie. Making a double-crusted pie is easier than it seems. I adapted the original recipe by cutting out a half-cup of sugar.
2 1/4 c. all purpose flour
3/4 tsp. salt
2/3 c. cold shortening*
8-10 tbsp. ice water*
4 c. fresh blueberries, or frozen but completely thawed and drained**
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
heaping 1 c. sugar + 1 tsp. divided
1/4 c. all purpose flour
2 tbsp. butter
*About 10 minutes before I start assembling the crust, I put my water and shortening in the freezer.
**I used frozen blueberries and had the best success when they were totally and completely thawed, rinsed under warm water, and allowed to drain for at least 20 minutes.
In a medium bowl, stir together the flour and salt. Using a pastry cutter or quick fingers, cut in your cold shortening until you have pea-sized clumps. A tablespoon at a time, add the ice water to one section of the flour/shortening mixture and use a fork to gently toss until that section is moistened. Repeat until the flour mixture is moistened. Divide in half; form each half into a ball. (The key to flaky pie crusts is cold. Your water and shortening need to be cold, and you need to work quickly to keep them that way. If you're having issues bringing the dough together into a ball, or when rolling it out later, pop it back in the refrigerator [covered] for a few minutes).
Place 1 dough ball in the refrigerator, covered in plastic wrap. On a lightly floured surface, use your hands to flatten the other dough ball into a disk. Use a floured rolling pin, roll dough out from the center until you have about a 12"-circle or your pie crust is 1" wider than your overturned pie plate. Try to roll it evenly. If your dough has thin spots, your filling will probably leak through it.
Once rolled out, wrap part of the dough around the rolling pin, and use the rolling pin to transfer it into your lightly greased pie plate (I used a little cooking spray). Center it and trim any edges that are larger than 1" beyond the top of the pie plate. Kitchen scissors work great for this.
Place fresh or thawed and drained blueberries in the bottom pie crust. Sprinkle lemon juice over berries. Pour sugar and flour evenly over the berries; do not mix in. Cut the butter into small pieces and spread over the top of the flour and sugar.
Remove from the refrigerator and roll out on a lightly floured surface, same as above. Once rolled, transfer it in the same way to the pie plate and lay gently over the berries.
LIft bottom pie crust edge away from the plate and fold the excess top pie crust edge under it. To flute the edges, place your thumb on the inside of the crust and your thumb and index finger of your other hand on the outside and pinch together. This was a helpful pictoral guide.
Preheat oven to 425*.
Cut vents in the middle of your top crust and sprinkle with 1 tsp. sugar.
Place pie in oven; on the rack below where your pie is, place a foil-lined baking sheet to catch any pie drips so they don't burn in your oven.
Bake at 425* for 10 minutes; then turn oven down to 400* and bake for an additional 40-45 minutes until crust is golden-brown and the filling is bubbling through.
Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely (about 2 hours) before serving.
This pie is amazing with some easy homemade whipped cream .
Keep covered on your counter for 24 hours; after that, move to the refrigerator.