I woke up this morning and knew it would be a good day for pie. I also knew that if I didn't get it started immediately the day would get away from me and this would be just another unsatisfied longing at the end of the day. So as soon as I hit the kitchen I began looking around the fridge to see what I had to put in the pie. I rejected the cherries because it would take to long to pit them and make the filling. There were blueberries though, 2 pints, which was almost enough to fill a pie. I pulled them out, picked through them and gave them a rinse. Then I opened the freezer and looked through the frozen fruit.
Amaya has a frozen fruit habit. It starts in the wintertime when the only good organic fruit I can get is frozen and runs though the spring. This time of year she's eating fresh fruit and I usually have a few open bags of frozen fruit that need to be used up. I grabbed an bag of organic blueberries and went to work. I made a medium caramel and added the frozen berries, a splash of lemon juice and some salt. One everything melted down I added a slurry with tapioca and cornstarch and when it was thick I strained it and stuck it in the fridge. While it cooled I rolled out the pie crusts. An unusually warm morning meant that the crust was not quite as flexible as it usually is but I patched it all together and stuck the bottom crust in the pie pan in the freezer while I rolled out the top. That went into the fridge while I folded the fresh blueberries into the blueberry gel and then piled it into the bottom crust. I added the top, patched a few tears, brushed it with water and sprinkled coarse sugar over the whole thing. It was in the oven before I had to corral my girl and get her dressed for camp. Now I just have to wait until it's time for dessert...
Blueberry Pie FIlling
Makes enough for 1 9-inch pie
1 cup/ 200 grams sugar
1 tablespoon/ 14 grams fresh lemon juice (from 1/2 lemon)
1/2 teaspoon salt/ 3 grams fine sea salt
1 1/2 cups/ 244 grams frozen organic blueberries (partially thawed)
1/4 cup/ 56 grams cold water
1 tablespoon/ 6 grams tapioca starch
2 tablespoons/ 14 grams cornstarch
2 pints/ 650 grams fresh blueberries
Put the sugar, lemon juice and salt in a small sauce pot set over medium heat and let it caramelize, stirring occasionally with a heat proof spatula. Once the caramel is a deep golden brown, remove from heat and add the frozen blueberries. Stir to mix in the berries and set over medium heat, stirring to melt any hard caramel that forms. Once the caramel is liquid again stir together the cold water, tapioca starch and cornstarch until all of the starch has dissolved. Add it to the caramel and stir until all of the starch has dissolved and then pour the slurry into the caramel. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until the mixture thickens to the texture of cold jelly. Strain the mixture into a clean bowl and chill. Once the mixture is cold, fold in the fresh blueberries. Use immediately to fill a double-crusted pie.
***I bake my double crusted pies on the bottom shelf of the oven at 400°F for 30 minutes and then turn the heat down to 350°F without opening the oven and cook them for another 30 minutes. They don't get as dark as they do when I start at a higher temperature but I get a very consistent cook of both top and bottom crust, which to me is more important than color. This make a surprisingly juicy pie. If you like a more solid filling you can mix 1 tablespoon (7 grams) cornstarch into the fresh blueberries before folding them into the blueberry gel, though I like a messy pie myself.
August 1, 2009