Thursday, January 15, 2009

Blueberry Pie (America's Test Kitchen)

NOTE: Oh my goodness!  Here it is, 2012, and these are some very amateur photos! I really need to re-shoot this recipe, because this was at the very beginning of learning how to photograph food!  This is so crude!  Still, the pie was good, and deserves an encore-- and new and updated pictures.

While shopping for groceries, on Sunday, I spotted a display of fresh blueberries that were on "special" at $6.00 for 18 ounces. I had just recorded an episode from America's Test kitchen on making perfect pie crust (using vodka) and blueberry pie. I was intrigued at the technique of mashing and cooking half the fresh blueberries, to release the pectin. Clever! The remaining blueberries are added "whole". The secret ingredient is to grate a Granny Smith apple, squeeze out the excess juice and adding that to the blueberries. The pectin from the apples would require less tapioca (or cornstarch) to be added-- thus, less risk of ending up with "concrete pie".

Gorgeous Fresh Blueberries

I followed the recipe to a "T"...well, I took one shortcut. I like making my own pie crusts, but I had a box of prepared pie crusts from Trader Joe's waiting to be used. It's a pretty darned good prepared pie crust, for times when you want to take short cuts.
I served the pie with a scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream. As promised, the pie filling was firm, and not soupy. Overall, we liked the pie-- BUT, my family unanimously decided that we'd love this recipe even more with our beloved Olallieberries. It seems that the East Coast natives love blueberries the way that West Coast folks love Olallieberries (that are only native to us). Fortunately, I have some frozen olallies in our deep freeze. It looks like I'll have to plan another weekend to make my own pie crust and to repeat this successful recipe!

Blueberry Pie
from the Episode: The Best Blueberry Pie, America's Test Kitchen

This recipe was developed using fresh blueberries, but unthawed frozen blueberries (our favorite brands are Wyman’s and Cascadian Farm) will work as well. In step 4, cook half the frozen berries over medium-high heat, without mashing, until reduced to 1 1/4 cups, 12 to 15 minutes. Grind the tapioca to a powder in a spice grinder or mini food processor. If using pearl tapioca, reduce the amount to 5 teaspoons. Vodka is essential to the texture of the crust and imparts no flavor; do not substitute.

A printable recipe card is at the end of this post.

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Culinarywannabe said...

The top crust looks so beautiful!!

Debby said...

Awwwwwwww, shucks. I bough one of those pie crust latice gadgets. In theory, it's like a cookie cutter. You press it onto the top crust. Howver, not ALL of the squarest cut out, so I had to pull them out, one-by-one, while muttering unclean thoughts to myself!