What would summer be without blueberries? What would Laura’s birthday be without pie? Lackluster at most. ;) That’s why I took this opportunity to bake up something I’ve been wanting to for a looooong time–a blueberry pie filled to the brim with blueberries bursting with juice.
My goal was to make it as I tasted it before at my friends Nancy and Elliott’s house. Their pie was deep. It was running all over with sweet juice. We had to eat it in bowls! We even poured basil-infused cream over the top, creating rivers of deliciousness. It was epic, my friends, epic.
I’ve been thinking about this pie ever since Nancy and Elliott hosted a “family meal” at their house for us starving college kids. That means more than a year ago! Laura’s birthday was the absolutely perfect time to bake one up. She is pretty epic, having raised my fiance to be the most wonderful guy in the world, and all. :)
Laura is beautiful. She is kind. She is hilarious and sweet. She is devoted to loving others with fierce strength and gentle compassion. I first met her when she was helping organize our high school’s PSAT (she probably doesn’t remember that!), and now she just finished teaching my first Bible Study Fellowship class. Can you believe it?! It’s been 8 years! Throughout that time, I’ve come to know her, adore her, and look up to her as a woman after God’s own heart, who’s completely in touch with both her status as a perfect child of God, and as a humble human in need of grace.
I wanted to make this woman one EPIC birthday dessert! And knowing that she lacks an affinity for cake, but loves pie, that gave me one more reason to make this treat. You should, too! It’s a great recipe to have under your belt, it’s universally appealing, and it has a super high deliciousness to easiness ratio. Serve it with the basil-infused cream, and you’ll have fireworks (haha, get it? tomorrow’s 4th of July?!?) going off in your mouth. Whoever is around your dinner table with sing your praises with their mouths full of buttery crust and berries. Make that garble. They’ll garble your praises. :)
Flaky Double Pie Crust
2 C. + 2 Tbsp. All-purpose flour
1/4 Tsp. Salt
Pinch of sugar
12 Tbsp. Cold unsalted butter
3 Tbsp. vegetable shortening
4 Tbsp. Cold water
- Whisk together the flour, salt, and sugar together in a bowl.
- Add the shortening and the butter in 1-cm slices.
- Using a pastry blender (or two knives, or your fingers), cut the butter and vegetable shortening into the dry ingredients until it looks like crumbs.
- Sprinkle the cold water into the mixture and toss with a fork until its is moistened evenly and comes together in lumps.
- Gather the dough into two balls. It’s OK if one is larger than the other one; that one can be for the bottom crust.
- Place the balls onto plastic wrap, flatten slightly, and wrap up. Refrigerate for 4 hours.
- After the resting period, flour your board and rolling pin lightly, and roll out the bottom crust to about 1/8-inch thick. It should become about a 12-13-inch diameter circle.
- Roll the dough around the pin, lift, and bring it over the pie plate. Unroll the crust and gently ease it into the plate. Stretching it will only cause the dough to shrink back to its original when baked.
- Cut off the overhanging outer edges, then chill the shell in the refrigerator for additional rest while you prepare the filling and top crust.
- Roll out the top crust to about 10-inches in diameter in the same manner, and place in the refrigerator.
Adapted from Chez Panisse Desserts
3 Pints of Blueberries, washed
1 c. Granulated Sugar
1/4 c. All-purpose Flour
Pinch of Salt
Juice of 1/4 lemon
1 egg for wash
1 Tbsp. cream for wash
Additional sugar for dusting (coarse sugar or turbinado sugar looks lovely)
- Preheat the oven to 425 F.
- Make sure the berries are clean and dry, and no stems remain. Toss with 1 c. sugar, flour, and salt in a bowl.
- Squirt the lemon juice directly onto the berries and toss again.
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Blueberry Pie
- Take the pie shell out from the fridge and fill with the berries.
- Brush the edges of the bottom crust with water, then cover the berries with the top crust. Pinch together the crusts with your favorite design, or merely press the tines of a fork all around the edge.
- Cut a vent or two in your top crust with a sharp knife. I chose an “L” for Laura. Cover the crust edges with one of these doo-dads, or with foil.
- Position the oven rack in the lower third slot. Place the pie on a baking sheet to catch leaks and bake the at 425 F for 30 minutes.
- Whisk together the egg and cream wash. Reduce the oven heat to 375, quickly (but carefully) remove the pie and its crust shield, and brush the wash over the top crust. Sprinkle the sugar garnish all over the top. Replace the pie in the oven quickly.
- Bake for an additional 30 minutes or until the crust is a golden brown. Remove the pie onto a wire cooling rack for at least 30 inutes before serving. In the meanwhile you can prepare the basil-infused cream.
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1 c. loose basil leaves
- Submerge the basil leaves in the cream in a saucepan and heat over medium-low heat until the cream just begins to steam.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow to cool.
- Remove the basil leaves from the cream, and taste. If it is not strong enough to your taste, add new basil leaves and use the same process (bring to just steaming again, and let cool again).
- Refrigerate before pouring over warm pie… HEAVEN.
Sorry, no picture of the cream! We were too busy digging in :)