Now, okay, look. I’m a good baker. I’ve been baking for a long time, and the way I choose recipes is by reading through them, if I’m looking for something I haven’t made, until I find one that looks good to me. I’m not exactly sure how this works, but it does. It’s how I found the very good german chocolate cake recipe I make for Ted, and it’s how I’ve found several other recipes.
There was no pie recipe that looked right to me. I wanted to make a sour-cream based blueberry pie, and I spent a long darned time looking for recipes. They were all Wrong. Even the ones that had glowing accolades on Epicurious were Wrong. So eventually I took one and used it as a base, and more or less made up my recipe from scratch.
5 c blueberries, thawed & semi-crushed
1.5 c sugar
2 tbsp flour
3 heaping tsp corn starch
1 egg, beaten
3 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp vanilla
2 c sour cream
Cook the first 7 ingredients together in a saucepan, stirring constantly, until the mixture has thickened up nicely. (The gel between the berries should be thick and transluscent. If you think it might not be thick yet, it isn’t.)
Allow to cool. (Expedient manner: spread wax paper on a cookie sheet and spread the filling over the wax paper. It only takes 5-6 minutes to cool this way. You can make the pie crust while it’s cooling. Pie crust recipe to follow.)
When the filling is cool, mix the sour cream in with it very thoroughly. Pour (or blop, more accurately) into unbaked pie crust.
Bake for 12-15 minutes at 425 degrees, until the edges of the pie crust are slightly golden-brown. Reduce heat to 325 degrees. Bake for an additional 35 minutes or until done.
I made a crumble for the top, rather than a pie crust, because the pies this is based on have a crumble rather than a crust. :)
3/4 c flour
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 c white sugar
1/4 c brown sugar
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/2 c cold butter
Mix first 5 ingredients together. Cut butter in until it resembles coarse oatmeal. Spread evenly on top of the pie. If there’s any left over, POOR DARLINGS, YOU MIGHT HAVE TO MAKE MUFFINS TO PUT IT OVER!
2 c flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 to 2/3 c shortening
6 tbsp ice water
Sift the flour, then measure. Add salt & stir in mixing bowl. Add shortening (use the smaller amount if using lard, use the larger amount if using vegetable shortening like Crisco). Cut with fork or fingers (fingers work better) into flour mixture until shortening has all reached the size of grains of rice to peas. Add water, tossing with fork. The dough should barely stick together without crumbling.
Make a ball of the dough and cut it into two slightly uneven pieces. Set aside the larger for the top pie crust, and make a disc of the smaller. Roll out to 1/4 inch thickness on a well-floured board. Do not overhandle once the water has been added — that’s what makes pie crusts tough. Lift crust into the pie pan (I use the rolling pin to roll it up) and allow to settle for a few minutes, then add filling. Trim and crimp the edges if you’re making a single-crust pie; if you’re making a double, roll out the second crust and settle it over the top, allowing a few minutes for it to settle, too. Then trim and crimp the edges.
A few general notes: if it’s very warm out, you can chill the dough for a while to make it hold together better. If your hands are warm, run them under cold water; it lets you handle the crust a little longer without it toughening. And, when you’re done and you have scraps of pie crust left, roll them out, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar, put ’em on a cookie sheet, slice ’em up and bake them for 4-5 minutes. Voila! Pie crust cookies! :)
(x-posted from The Essential Kit)