John Carlon, Sierra Cascade Blueberry Farm.
This recipe was demonstrated for CUESA’s Farmhouse Cooks program on June 14, 2008.
The easiest way to make the crust is with a food processor. If you don’t have it, you can do it in a bowl with a pastry knife (D-shaped utensil that has 4-5 blades).
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 sticks (1 cup) butter
6 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen) for a deep dish pie or
4 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen) for a skinny little thing
¾ cup sugar
3 tablespoons corn starch or tapioca
1 tablespoon lemon juice (optional)
For the filling
In a large bowl, measure out the berries, sugar, corn starch or tapioca, and stir to blend. Set aside.
For the crust
- In a food processor or bowl, put in dry ingredients and mix well.* Cube butter in small chunks before adding and blend until the butter is in corn-sized pieces. If using a food processor, while it’s running add ¼ cup of ice water (with the ice removed) or enough until the mixture becomes one big clump.
- If you are using a bowl, add enough ice water to hold the dough together while keeping it from getting too sticky. You can always add more flour but it’s harder to work with too-dry dough. Split the dough into two balls, knead with your hands until fairly smooth, and mold into a disk shape. Wrap each disk separately in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (overnight usually works out okay for me).
- Roll out one of the disks of dough, into a circle around 10” or a little larger, making sure you sprinkle lots of flour onto the surface, the rolling pin, and the dough. Flip the dough as it gradually gets larger, keeping the surface floured (this keeps it from sticking and ripping). You can use a rolling pin, clean piece of round wood (dowel), wine bottle, etc. When the crust is the size of your pie dish, roll it back onto the pin, gently, and then lift it off the counter and drape it over the pie plate. Unroll it from the pin, center it and make sure the crust falls into the sides of the pan. Don’t press down or it will break.
To finish the pie
- Pour the filling into the crust, evenly spread the sugar/starch mixture over the fruit. Roll out the second crust and drape it over the fruit, centering it. I like to roll the top crust edge over the bottom crust edge, crimp and use your fingers to flute the edge or leave it looking rolled. This seals the fruit into the pie.
- Slits the top with a knife for steam to escape and brush with cream, half & half or milk – this will give it a little glaze when cooked.
- Bake in 325-350° oven for around 1 hour and 15 minutes (depends on your oven, so keep an eye on it after about an hour). Put a pan with foil underneath thw pie, in case it drips. You might want to cover the edges with strips of foil so they don’t burn. When the crust is light brown and the fruit is bubbling it’s probably done. Cool before eating.
CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to cultivating a sustainable food system through the operation of the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market and its educational programs. Learn More »