I was watching PBS and America’s Test Kitchen a couple Saturdays ago and was intrigued by a Blueberry Pie recipe that had a crust made with vodka. This weekend I made it and am sharing my pics and the recipe with you. This vodka crust will be my standard crust from now on, it is delicious, was so easy to work with, puffed up a bit in the oven and had the ultimate flakyness! So Here We Go!
Blueberry Pie (adapted from America’s Test Kitchen)
Foolproof Pie Dough Makes one 9-inch 2-crust pie
2-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (12 1/2 ounces), plus more for work surface ( always use King Arthur Flour)
1 teaspoon table salt
2 tablespoons sugar
12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/2 cup vegetable shortening , cold, cut into 4 pieces
1/4 cup vodka , cold (imparts no flavor)
1/4 cup cold water
6 cups fresh blueberries (about 30 ounces) (if using frozen, increase tapioca to 3 tbl)
1 Granny Smith apple , peeled and grated on large holes of box grater
2 teaspoons grated zest and 2 teaspoons juice from 1 lemon
3/4 cup sugar (5 1/4 ounces)
2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca , ground, use spice grinder or mini processor (if using frozen berries, use 2-1/2 tbl tapioca)
Pinch table salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter , cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 large egg , lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon water
For The Pie Dough: Process 1-1/2 cups flour, salt, and sugar in food processor until combined, about two 1-second pulses. Add butter and shortening and process until homogenous dough just starts to collect in uneven clumps, about 15 seconds; dough will resemble cottage cheese curds and there should be no un-coated flour. Scrape bowl with rubber spatula and redistribute dough evenly around processor blade. Add remaining cup flour and pulse until mixture is evenly distributed around bowl and mass of dough has been broken up, 4 to 6 quick pulses. Empty mixture into medium bowl.
Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture. With rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix, pressing down on dough until dough is slightly tacky and sticks together. Divide dough into 2 even balls and flatten each into 4-inch disk. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 45 minutes or up to 2 days.
Refrigerate the dough for at least 45 minutes
Remove 1 disk of dough from refrigerator and roll out on generously floured (up to 1/4 cup) work surface to 12-inch circle, about 1/8 inch thick. Roll dough loosely around rolling pin and unroll into pie plate, leaving at least 1-inch overhang on each side. Working around circumference, ease dough into plate by gently lifting edge of dough with one hand while pressing into plate bottom with other hand. Leave dough that overhangs plate in place; refrigerate while preparing filling until dough is firm, about 30 minutes.
For The Filling: Adjust oven rack to lowest position, place rimmed baking sheet on oven rack, and heat oven to 400 degrees. Place 3 cups berries in medium saucepan and set over medium heat. Using potato masher, mash berries several times to release juices. Continue to cook, stirring frequently and mashing occasionally, until about half of berries have broken down and mixture is thickened and reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 8 minutes (if using frozen berries, reduce to 1-1/4 cups, about 12-15 minutes. Let cool slightly.
Increase cooking time to 12-15 minutes if using frozen berries
Gathering everything will make assembly much more organized
Place grated apple in clean kitchen towel and wring dry. Transfer apple to large bowl. Add cooked berries, remaining 3 cups uncooked berries, lemon zest, juice, sugar, tapioca, and salt; toss to combine. Transfer mixture to dough-lined pie plate and scatter butter pieces over filling.
Roll out second disk of dough on generously floured (up to 1/4 cup) work surface to 11-inch circle, about 1/8 inch thick. Using 1 1/4-inch round biscuit cutter, cut round from center of dough. Cut another 6 rounds from dough, 1 1/2 inches from edge of center hole and equally spaced around center hole. Roll dough loosely around rolling pin and unroll over pie, leaving at least 1/2-inch overhang on each side.
Using kitchen shears, trim bottom layer of overhanging dough, leaving 1/2-inch overhang. Fold dough under itself so that edge of fold is flush with outer rim of pie plate. Flute edges using thumb and forefinger or press with tines of fork to seal. Brush top and edges of pie with egg mixture. If dough is very soft, chill in freezer for 10 minutes.
I chilled mine out on the back porch - I think you can see above that I don't have a lot of room in the fridge today
Place pie on heated baking sheet and bake 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue to bake until juices bubble and crust is deep golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes longer. Transfer pie to wire rack; cool to room temperature, at least 4 hours. Cut into wedges and serve.
Hey! Who cut into the pie? It's only rested 1 hour! #*%%)_$*!
Really good with some Hagan Das Creme Brulee Ice Cream!
Notes from the Test Kitchen recipe: This recipe was developed using fresh blueberries, but unthawed frozen blueberries (our favorite brands are Wyman’s and Cascadian Farm) will work as well. In step 4, cook half the frozen berries over medium-high heat, without mashing, until reduced to 1 1/4 cups, 12 to 15 minutes. Grind the tapioca to a powder in a spice grinder or mini food processor. If using pearl tapioca, reduce the amount to 5 teaspoons. Vodka is essential to the texture of the crust and imparts no flavor; do not substitute.
Look at this flaky crust!
Notice that tab sticking out on the above pic? It’s a handy little gizmo you put in the pie pan before the bottom crust goes in – makes for clean removal of the first piece! An old friend who turned out to not be such a good friend gave me that thing – I use it all the time and just hate thinking about her! ah ha ha
Don’t waste that left over dough!
Make some cinnamon pie crust cookies!
Just gather what is left over and roll it out into a disk, slather it with soft butter and cinnamon and sugar
Roll the dough very thin if you can
Cut it into wedges with a pizza cutter, roll the wedges into crescents
These are so good
and bake about 20 minutes along with the pie at the 450 F temp.
Not a lot of dough left, with this recipe, but mm mm good!
Does all this look like too much work to you? Walter Knoll Florist has pies – from the Missouri Baking Company on the Hill – Local delivery only and they are as good as any pie I have ever made! Several fruit pies to choose from here or try the Italian Cookie Mix!