Last weekend we spent another lazy couple of days in the country, working on our little fruit trees, many of which have grown so fast that they are bending over from their own weight. The neighbors have been bringing their horses onto the property across the street to let them graze during the day, so I went over to visit them one evening (and to sneak them some apples) only to see that they were taking huge munches out of a wild blueberry bush! I got so excited and then looked around me, only to realize that I was surrounded by wild blueberry bushes. Needless to say, it was a very exciting moment for me.
Though many of them haven't ripened yet, we managed to pick enough to munch on and enough to make a dessert. At my friends' wedding earlier this month, they had, instead of wedding cake, an assortment of delicious pies. The blueberry-rhubarb one stuck out in my mind as particularly tasty, so the decision was easy: it would be pie.
The pie crust recipe is my usual, but I do prefer to weigh the ingredients rather than measure them out. Below are the measurements again, with weights:
- 2 1/2 cups flour (315 grams)
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar (15 grams)
- 1 pinch kosher salt (5 grams)
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, frozen for an hour or so (225 grams)
- 1/2 ice water
- 1-2 tablespoons additional coarse raw sugar, for sprinkling afterwards
- 1 egg, beaten, to brush on the lattice before baking
First, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Rather than cube and cut the butter in with a pastry cutter, I froze the butter and then grated it into the dry ingredients with a cheese grater. It worked really well, and made for one less knife and pastry cutter to wash. Using a spatula, combine the butter and flour, cutting up any large clumps. Add in about half the water and stir to combine. Add the rest of the water in 1 tablespoon increments, stirring to combine the dough in between each addition. Stop once the dough comes together. Using your hands, knead the shreds of dough together so that it is all combined. Try not to touch it more than you need to, as the heat from your hands will melt the butter. Divide the dough into two pats and wrap each with saran wrap. Place them in the freezer while you work the berries. At this point, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- 3 cups wild blueberries*
- 2 cups diced rhubarb (about 6 thin stalks)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup cornstarch or arrowroot flour
- 1 pinch salt
- juice and zest of half a lemon (about 1 tablespoon lemon juice)
*Wild blueberries are much smaller in size then store bought ones, which means more skin and less moisture. I would up the ratio of rhubarb to blueberries if using cultivated ones, perhaps 2 1/2 cups rhubarb and 2 1/2 cups blueberries.
If it seems like there is too much sugar and cornstarch, that's because there is. Mix all of the ingredients together. Berries tend to leech out juices, which we won't include in the pie to prevent it from going soggy. The juices will take out some of the sugar and cornstarch. Stir the berry and rhubarb mixture until everything is evenly coated and most of the sugar has dissolved. Juice will start to pool at the bottom. Set the bowl aside as you work on the crust.
Remove one of the dough rounds to roll out. Flour your surface, hands, and rolling pin. Roll out the dough to about 13-14 inches in diameter. Place it in the pie pan and then place this back into the freezer as you work on the lattice. Roll out the other dough round in a similar fashion and size. Next, using a pizza cutter, dough cutter, or a knife, cut the dough into 1 inch pieces. (Saveur has a great video of how to make a lattice top). Take the pie pan with the bottom crust out and spoon the berries into the pan, taking care to NOT spoon in any of the juices at the bottom. We don't want those to make the pie soggy. Jiggle the pan a bit to let the berries pack together. Arrange your lattice on top, crimp the edges, and wash with the egg wash. Sprinkle a bit of raw sugar in top if you'd like. Place the pie onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper and into the oven. Bake for about 1 hour, or until the top crust is golden and juices are running.