Dear Reader, I am over the moon with excitement to introduce you to the lovely, talented, and super nice Hillary Reeves – she is, no doubt, on my list of people I’d love to meet. To sit down with Hillary – somewhere in a happening café in Queens – with bottomless coffees and tasty sweets, is a fantasy of mine. She blogs about food and travel over at Hill Reeves, and you simply must spend some time reading though her posts and getting know her. I’m sure her short anecdotes and gorgeous recipes will fill you with inspiration and admiration too. For now, though, here’s a recipe that she’s prepared just for my blog, and you, my loyal reader. Enjoy!
As for my guest post on Byron’s site today, I bring you a traditional blueberry pie with some genius twists. I’m actually writing this from the sky, on my way back to NYC from a summery, lovely trip to West Palm Beach, where I was visiting my mom. Though I’m as pale as they come, AKA the sun and me aren’t best friends, I can’t deny that soaking up a weekend’s worth of rays didn’t leave me dreaming of summer in New York.
As a Northeast native, nothing means summer to me like New Jersey blueberries. As a kid, my lips and fingers were stained purple throughout the summer months, which is maybe why I identified so closely with that scene in The Sound of Music where Christopher Plummer knows the kids are lying about blueberry picking. Oh my God, Friedrich is so awkward.
This recipe is inspired by the always amazing Dorie Greenspan. Lots of people I know feel stress around piemaking. Keeping butter cold, to food process or not to food process, preventing the filling from seeping… But I motion to return to the era of humble pie. When fruit pies existed as a way to use up excess fruit rather than as the centerpiece of a Thanksgiving table. Mix your dough with your hands, roll out your dough right away (skip the overnight chilling), and sprinkle in some bread crumbs to help soak up juices, rather than experimenting with slurry mixtures. Oh, and if your pie seeps or your crust browns a little too much, smile because you still have pie and that’s always good news.
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 4 cups blueberries
- 1⁄2 cup sugar
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 3 cups flour
- 1⁄4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- 3 Tablespoons ice water
- 1⁄4 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
- 1⁄4 cup heavy cream
- At least an hour before you’re ready to make your crust, cut butter into 1⁄2 inch cubes and place in the freezer.
- When ready to start making pie, combine blueberries, sugar, lemon juice, and zest in a large bowl. Set aside and let sit while you make pie dough.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt. Dump in butter pieces and, using your hands, crumble butter into flour mixture until a fine crumb forms. Add in water, one tablespoon at a time and mix with your hands until dough just comes together when pressed between two fingers. A crumbly mix is OK!
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees and place rack in middle position.
- Divide dough into two, even pieces. Wrap one piece in plastic wrap and let chill in refrigerator.
- Meanwhile, moving quickly, dust a clean, large surface with flour. Roll out dough until about 1⁄4 inch thick. Transfer to pie plate, leaving any overhang.
- Sprinkle bread crumbs onto bottom crust; this will soak up some of the excess blueberry juice.
- Spoon blueberry mixture into pie, discarding any excess juice that has seeped out of the fruit.
- Grab second disc of dough and roll out. Then transfer to pie. Trim excess and then pinch edges closed using preferred method. Brush pie with heavy cream, and cut a couple vents in top to allow excess steam to escape. Tear a long piece of aluminum foil and wrap outer edges with foil, leaving top exposed.
- Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes. Then, reduce heat to 400 and remove foil. Bake for another 30 minutes. Allow pie to cool completely before serving.