Sunday Dinner

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Avocado and Goat Cheese Crostini

Grilled Pork Rib Chops
Creamy Corn Pudding Soufflé with a Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
Grilled Sweet Potatoes

Star Spangled Blueberry Pie

Apple pie gets all the press when when people mention great American food traditions.  It deserves the attention.  For my money, though, blueberry pie is right up there among the great summertime foods of this country.  

A slice still warm from the oven with very little blueberry ooze.

I like to mash up one third of the blueberries before baking.  This step helps release flavor from the blueberries to swirl around the rest of the berries which are left intact.  I also add cornstarch to the filling.  This helps reduce likelihood of a runny filling.

A slice at room temperature.
A slice of blueberry pie with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream is as good as it gets.

Sunday Dinner one year ago

Blueberry Pie
serves 8-10

For the Crust
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
12 Tablespoons (6-ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1/2 cup (4-ounces) chilled vegetable shortening, cut into small cubes
1/4 cup vodka
1/4 cup cold water

For the Filling
6 cups blueberries, picked over
1 cup granulated sugar
4 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

For the Topping
1 egg
1 Tablespoon water
2 Tablespoons coarse sanding sugar

For the Crust
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, sugar and salt with a few 1-second pulses.  Add the butter and shortening and process until the mixture just starts to come together and resembles coarse meal.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and pulse to combine.  Sprinkle the vodka and water over the flour mixture and process just until the dough comes together.  Divide the dough into two even pieces. Transfer each piece to a sheet of plastic wrap and flatten into a 4-inch disk.  Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes or up to 2 days.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll one disk of pastry dough into a 13-inch round, fit it into a 9-inch pie pan, and trim the overhang to 3/4 inch all-around; refrigerate until ready to use.  Roll the other half of the dough into a 12-inch round for the top crust.  (Cut out desired shapes at this time).  Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet and refrigerate until ready to use.

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 425° F.

In a large bowl, combine the blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, zest, cinnamon, and salt and let stand for 15 minutes.  Slightly mash some of the berries with the back of a fork.  Pour the berry mixture into the bottom pie crust and dot with the butter.  Brush the overhanging edge with cold water.  Cover with the top crust, seal the edge, trim, and flute the edge.  Brush bottom of cut-out shapes with the water and adhere to top of crust. If using a closed crust, cut a few stem vents through the top crust.  In a small bowl, beat the egg with the water, brush over the top and the edge of the pie, and sprinkle with the sugar.  Refrigerate the pie for at least 20 minutes.

Place the pie on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes.  Reduce the oven temperature to 350° F and bake until thick juices bubble through the vents, about 25-35 minutes more.  If the top appears to be browning too quickly, lightly tent with foil.  Let cool on a rack to room temperature.  The pie is best eaten the day that it is made, but it can be made a day ahead, covered, and kept at room temperature.  Any leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.  Enjoy!


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