"She refused to be bored, chiefly because she wasn't boring." Zelda Fitzgerald

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Old Fashioned Pie

I made a blueberry pie recently, after we got home with a lug full of fresh berries from our u-pick excursion. Yum! And then I froze it because we had ice cream we were trying to eat up and we were also about to take off for parts further West to visit family.

Now that we're back home and then fierce heat has abated for a day to drench us with torrential showers, I decided it was time to QUICK bake that pie! It is browning in the oven as we speak and starting to smell as delicious as only homemade pastry can. I am a pie addict. Is it showing?

Someone asked, after I posted about my pie making before I put it in the chill to keep while we traveled, if I would be kind enough to post my blueberry pie recipe. And I will!

While I'm at it folks, I have a source you all need to know about. I made pies from all sorts of places: family recipes, Joy of Cooking, magazine clippings and all kinds of baking and dessert cookbooks, hoping to find just the right pie recipe with various varieties of fruit. And then one day I was browsing my way through a little family owned shop that sold farm fresh, local milk and butter and I happened on a little bookshelf with cookbooks for sale...and in the mix was a liberal sprinkling of these funny almost pamphlety little old fashioned recipe books, obviously newly printed but of clearly ancient sourcing by a company called Bear Wallow Books. I bought the one on pies. Today, I'm sharing with you their pie dough recipe (which I always use now) and the recipe for blueberry pie but, there's gobs more in the book. I love it because every single pie I make from the little booklet turns out beautifully and also because any kind of pie I want to make, they've got: strawberry rhubarb, sweet potato, elderberry, gooseberry, grape...etc. etc. None of the stand-by favorites has been forgotten. These are the pies of our grandmothers made from berry and fruit gathered in the orchard or the roadside ditch. I sure am thrilled that I found this obscure little company and hoping that I never, ever lose my pie book because its gold and I've never seen them anywhere else!

Go check out Bear Wallow Books and see the other enticing options that they sell, or snap up your own pie book.

Now that the pie is out of the oven, I'll give you a peek at its rich, golden brown finish and then leave you with directions to replicate this fabulous blueberry smell in your own house.

Blueberry Pie

1 9 inch pie shell (I used two as I like a double crust for blueberry)
3 1/2 cups of fresh blueberries
1 cup of sugar
1 T lemon juice
2 T cornstarch
1 T butter
Dash of nutmeg
Dash of cinnamon

In a mixing bowl combine berries, sugar, lemon juice and cornstarch. Toss the berries lightly to coat and let stand 20 minutes. Pour into pie shell. Dot with butter and sprinkle with dash of nutmeg and cinnamon (and then if you're me, cover with the top crust, and crimp the edge to seal). Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes, reduce to 325 and bake for 30 minutes longer.

 Basic Flour Pie Crust

2 cups of flour
3/4 t of salt
1/2 c of shortening (I use lard or butter)
1/3 c of cold water

Sift flour and salt into mixing bowl. Cut in shortening with pastry blender or two knives scissors style. Shape dough into two balls (and here I chill the dough for about 20-30 minutes too). Roll out to size and place in pie pan.

Happy baking!

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