During my interview with John Lehndorff last week, we talked a little about pie and our love for this delicious concoction. The pie I tasted with him was okay but it inspired me to make my own using a fabulous recipe for the crust that can be found in my book. (I’ll write it here for you too.) Organic blueberries were on special at the market and I bought a few punnets for my pie. Since June is Bud’s birthday month the pie would be part of a studio lunch celebration.
I prepared the berries and let them sit while making and chilling the pastry.
I combined 4 cups blueberries with 6 tablespoons sugar, a teaspoon ground ginger and a tablespoon of instant tapioca. (James VanDyk turned me on to ginger with blueberries at his Gateway Cafe.)
Combine in the Cuisinart 2 ½ Cups unbleached flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 Tablespoon sugar and pulse 5 times to sift. Add 10 ounces (2 1/2 sticks) cold, unsalted butter cut into tablespoon pieces and pulse 5 times.
Add, in three parts, 6 Tablespoons ice water and pulse each addition twice. Dough should not turn into a solid mass. Turn crumbly mixture onto the countertop and grab together to make a cohesive dough. Do not overwork. It may seem a bit dry but resist adding a little water unless it really cannot be compressed.
Divide into two, one a little bigger than the other. Flatten each piece into a disk, wrap in waxed paper, and refrigerate ½ hour.
Roll each piece to about 3/8-inch-thick between sheets of lightly floured waxed paper. Place the larger piece in a pie pan and fill with the berries. Cover with the second piece of rolled dough. Trim any excess and press the two edges together. Don’t worry if the pastry breaks, you can patch with the trimmings. Flute the edges. Save the trimmings for a tiny tart or bake with a coating of cinnamon sugar for a cook’s treat.
Pierce the crust in several places, then brush with cream or half-and-half .
Bake, on a baking sheet to catch any spills, at 450° for 45 minutes until brown and the berries bubbly.
Top: Apple Pie, oil on canvas, 46 x 46 inches
(Maggie Gilboy and Roseanne Colachis, our other resident pie baker)