There’s this odd baker’s conundrum every summer and it’s all about having the best fruit of year on the days when it’s really too hot to bake. Even with air conditioning. I usually get up really early –you’ll know this if you’re a regular reader– and get it done before light comes over the eastern plains horizon.
Because once it does, it gets hot fast. Last week, even on a couple of cool, 75-degree F rainy days, my deck thermometer said 112 degrees Fahrenheit by 8am. (Soon it cools off back there, but not soon enough for coffee outdoors, more’s the pity.)
There are, however, days when bake you must. The fruit calls; it’s Mike’s birthday and Mike LOVES pie. (Is it a guy thing?) The berries in our shops last week were at the top of their form (the Oregon berries are among my favorite), which meant they were cheap. This also means there are jars of blueberry jam coming soon. Very soon. Like today.
If you love blueberry pie, you might love it even more with a few strawberries thrown in for color and flavor; the orange rind does what lemon juice could if it were smart. Make someone happy and make a pie. I won’t tell if you buy the crust (shh!), but it’s tastier, cheaper, and faster to make your own. Try this:
BLUEBERRY-STRAWBERRY PIE with lattice crust
Makes one 9-inch pie plus one individual pie (Or one 9 1/2-inch deep-dish)
Serves 6-8 or 4 if you’re all starved and love pie
If you want to serve this pie tonight, don’t begin later than early afternoon or the pie won’t be baked and cooled enough to cut in time for dessert. I like my buttery pie dough a bit on the salty side; if you do not, you may cut down the amount of salt to 1 teaspoon and/or use unsalted butter.
For complete pie making instructions, visit my basic Pie 101 post.
- 2 2/3 cups all-purpose, unbleached white flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 cup (16 tablespoons) cold salted butter
- 1/2 cup ice water
- 6 cups fresh or frozen blueberries, picked over for stems, etc.
- 2 cups sliced strawberries
- 3/4-1 cup granulated sugar (less if the blueberries are very sweet, more if they’re tart)
- 1/3 cup all-purpose, unbleached white flour
- 1 teaspoon grated orange rind
- 2 tablespoons butter cut into tiny bits
- 1 tablespoon milk
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Make pie dough for crust by mixing dry ingredients and cutting in butter by hand with two knives, with a pastry cutter, or in a food processor. (The last is my choice.) Slowly drizzle in iced water, mixing or processing, until dough holds together. Shape into a ball and cut in half; flatten each half into a disk about 6 inches in diameter. Dust the counter or board lightly with flour and using a floured rolling pin, roll out one disk to 11-12 inches in diameter, lifting, reflouring counter, and replacing dough at least 2 times so it won’t stick. Fold it into fourths, lift it, and move it into a 9-inch pie plate. Unfold the dough, adjust the crust evenly in the pan, gently pushing it so it fits the plate snugly (no bubbles, no stretching). Trim edges so that the dough is no more than 1-inch larger than the plate. Save scraps for individual pie or for pie crust cookies.* Crimp edges and refrigerate. Roll out the second piece of dough in the same way and then slice it into 1/2-inch ribbons for the lattice work pie top. Let the ribbons rest while you fill the pie.
3. Mix pie filling. In a large bowl, stir together the berries, sugar, flour, and orange rind lightly until well-mixed.
4. Carefully spoon out about 3/4 the berry mixture into the briefly chilled pastry-lined pie plate if you’re making one 9-inch pie and one individual pie. Spoon it all out if you’re making one deep dish pie. Dot the berry mixture evenly with the bits of butter, saving a bit for the individual pie if making. (The butter will melt and use the flour to thicken the copious juices of the pie.)
5. Lay the latticework pie dough strips on top of the pie filling. Instructions HERE are better than I could write them. The strips needn’t be perfect. I didn’t good photos of the process. Next time!
6. Trim the lattice strips at the edge of the pie, fold the edge of the bottom crust up around the lattice strips and crimp edges. Brush lattice lightly with milk using a pastry brush.
7. Place the large pie on a baking sheet and bake 15 minutes @ 425 Fahrenheit on the center rack of the oven– 20 minutes for the 9 1/2-inch deep dish.
8. Skip to #9 if not making the individual pie. Make the individual pie by taking the leftover pastry scraps, pushing, patching and fitting them into the bottom of a small ovenproof bowl or dessert dish to make a bottom crust, filling with remaining pie filling, dotting with reserved butter and adding a little latticework if you’d like. Crimp edges of pie dough and brush the crust with milk.
9. Reduce oven heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, add the individual pie (if making) on a small baking sheet to the oven, and/or continue baking about 45 minutes for the large pie and perhaps a little longer for the individual pie or the deep dish one or until the pies are bubbling through the latticework and browned to your liking. If you use a clear glass pie plate, you’ll be able to see the bottom (carefully!!) to see if indeed the crust is somewhat browned on both the top and bottom. If you like a very crispy crust, let it bake a few minutes longer until quite browned. I like my pie just golden so the pastry is tender rather than too crispy. Suit yourself.
9. Carefully remove from oven. Let cool on a rack (not on top of the stove) in a place safe from dogs, cats, and small children until just warm or cooled before cutting and serving–at least two hours. Serve with vanilla, lemon, or cinnamon ice cream.
*Pie crust cookies: If you have leftover dough, roll it or cut it into 3 or 4 inches x 1-inch pieces. Fry it in very hot canola oil (you don’t need much) in a skillet until just brown. Remove and carefully roll in a shallow bowl of cinnamon sugar. Eat while hot with a big glass of cold milk or a hot cup of tea. (These are treats for family members OR for you!)
Bake a new pie,