Monday, July 5, 2010

The 4th of July & Red, White & Blueberry Pie

One of the best things about living in an historic city, such as Boston, over the 4th of July weekend, is taking part in all the festivities going on; free concerts, food & drink and, of course, a huge fire works display.
When I was a little girl, my grandmother would pack us a blanket and cooler and take me to The Esplanade early in the morning to wait for hours and hours in anticipation for the sky to light up in booming glory.
I'm not really one for standing around in big crowds for hours on-end in 90 plus degree temperature these days, but I still love a good sky show. Fortunately, I have neighbors who, drive to New Hampshire to "allegedly" purchase fireworks where buying them is legal; driving them back to Massachusetts, not so much. Nonetheless, I still get to enjoy a pretty spectacular show from the comfort of my own backyard.
Also, I made my very first pie. It was delicious! And I don't even like blueberries.
I hope everyone had an awesome 4th!

Recipes courtesy and Adapted from Joy of Baking And
What's Cooking America

Shortening-Butter Crust:

2 1/2 cup all-purpose unbleached flour, plus extra for rolling
2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 cup chilled vegetable shortening
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
6 to 8 tablespoons ice water

Berry Filling:

2 cups fresh blueberries
1 cup fresh blackberries
1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
2 tablespoons Plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch (corn flour)
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Egg Wash:

1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon cream

To Sprinkle over bottom of crust before adding fruit:

Mix together 1 tablespoon each, flour and granulated sugar

*Serve pie with softly whipped cream or Vanilla Ice Cream.

To Make Crust:

In standard sized food processor, or large bowl, process, or mix with hand mixer, flour, salt and sugar until combined. Add in shortening and process or mix until mixture resembles coarse sand, approximately 10 seconds. Add pieces of butter over flour mixture and process in 1 second pulses, or mix, turning hand mixer on then off, until pieces of butter are no bigger than small peas. Add 6 tablespoons ice water to mixture and, using a rubber spatula or hand mixer on low, fold in, or mix until just combined. Pinch dough with fingertips to be sure it sticks together, If not, add an additional 2 tablespoons ice water. Do not process or mix more than 30 seconds.
Turn dough onto work surface and gather into ball. Divide dough in half and flatten each into a round disk-like shape. Cover each with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour before using.

After an hour, remove one round of dough from refrigerator. Lightly flour work surface and rolling pin. Flatten out round with rolling pin, rolling from the center of the dough away from you. To keep dough from sticking to counter, gently lift and give dough a quarter turn after each roll. Roll dough two inches larger than inverted pie plate. (Place pie plate, upside down, over dough to make sure it's big enough.) Fold dough in half and gently transfer to pie plate. Brush off excess flour. Roll hanging dough under itself to crimp or cut off excess. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Remove second dough round from refrigerator and repeat process of rolling. Using a cookie cutter, cut 12 large or 20 small stars, or the shape you desire using for top of crust. Place stars on lined cookie sheet, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.

My food processor was too small so I finished mixing butter into dough in bowl using a hand mixer. Surely a 'what not to do', but I stand by it!

To Make Berry Filling:

Mix together sugar, corn starch, lemon juice and zest in small bowl. In large bowl, add blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries. Pour sugar mixture over berries and toss or use spoon to gently combine.
After bottom half of dough has been refrigerated in pie plate for 30 minutes, sprinkle bottom crust with mixed tablespoon each, flour and sugar mixture. Now add berries to prepared pie shell.
Whisk together egg yolk and cream in small bowl. Brush rim of bottom crust lightly with egg and cream mixture. Remove pastry stars from refrigerator. Beginning from the outer edges of filled pie crust, place pastry stars, (or whatever shape top you're using accordingly), in this case, place stars in circular pattern around pie until covered. If covering top with a whole top crust, cut three or more decorative slits to allow air to escape while pie bakes.
After the top of the pie is entirely covered in pastry stars (small spaces between stars not included), brush pastry stars or top crust completely with egg wash, making sure it hasn't collected in small pools on top crust. Place fully constructed pie into refrigerator and allow to chill for 30 minutes.

To Bake Pie:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and place the oven rack in the bottom third of the oven. Line a cookie sheet, or larger baking pan with shallow sides, with parchment paper. Remove pie from refrigerator and place pie on middle of cookie sheet. Bake pie for 20 minutes at 400 degrees F. At 20 minutes, reduce oven to 350 degrees F and continue to bake pie for 35-45 minutes, or until crust is deep golden brown in color and the bubbling juices have thickened. If pie is browning too much, cover with foil.
Once pie is baked, place is cooling rack and allow to sit for several hours. Once completely cooled, serve with lightly whipped cream or ice cream or refrigerate overnight. Serve pie at room temperature.
*I made this pie one day in advance and allowed it to refrigerate overnight then served the following day at room temperature. Pie stays fresh, covered, for 2-3 days. I always keep my pie refrigerated and take out to come to room temperature a few hours before serving.

To Eat Pie:

I served the pie with homemade vanilla bean ice cream.


  1. I LOVE the stars. They add so much character to the pie! glad you had a great 4th enjoying the fireworks from the comfort of your own backyard!

  2. Nice work! That pie looks AMAZING!

  3. This pie looks GORGEOUS! I hope you had a wonderful Fourth!

  4. OMG! That was your first pie!?!? That is amazing! Looks like a professional bakery's pie. You are so talented girl. It looks awesome. I hope you had a great 4th and I'm glad the heat didn't scare you off!

  5. Thank you Ladies! I was nervous about the results as this was my first pie. I wouldn't let anyone near the kitchen while I was constructing it. =)

    I had a wonderful 4th FFiB! Thanks.

    Oh My goodness! Why thank you Ms. Meanie. I'm blushing. You're so kind. You always are.

    Having great blog-hers like you (all of you) in my circle means so much to me.

  6. What a looker for your first pie!! I LOVE the star top crust...gorgeous!! I DO like blueberries...and I LOVE pie, so I'm totally craving this now. A La Mode!!! =)

  7. That is an awesome pie! I love blueberries :)


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