This week's Tuesdays with Dorie (TWD) recipe was chosen by Amy of South in Your Mouth: Double Crusted Blueberry Pie. I've made plenty of pies in my day, but never a blueberry pie and never with a homemade crust. Honestly, I've always been too scared to make my own crust. There are just too many ways to mess it up! Don't overwork it, don't get it too warm, etc. I've always been worried that I would end up with a tough, dry, non-flaky crust. I'm a bit embarrassed to admit that I've always use the Pillsbury pie crusts in my pies :) So I was both excited and nervous about this week's recipe.
I don't have a full scale food processor yet, just a 3 cup attachment that goes with my blender, so I had to make the bottom and top crusts separately. I was careful not to overmix the ingredients, but was worried when Dorie left it open as to how much water to add (yes, I know, that's how it is with all pie crust recipes - but that's why I've avoided them up until now!). You're supposed to add the water slowly until the dough "will stick together when pinched." As I've stated before, I get terribly nervous when there are subjective instructions in a recipe like that. I ended up only adding the minimum of 3 tablespoons of ice water to the dough before it started to come together. It seemed almost too moist after just 3 tablespoons (it was all one large clump), and I was worried that it was ruined, but luckily it came together nicely and I was successful with my first pie crust attempt! (Ok, I admit it. The dough was super sticky and despite my efforts to dust my work surface with lots of flour, when I went to transfer it to my pie plate after rolling it out, I could not get it there in one piece... but hey - it still tasted great!)
Dorie's crust is buttery and flaky at the same time. She states that a crust made with butter is crispy and has good flavor, but is not flaky. To achieve a crust that is both flavorful and flaky, Dorie's secret is to use a fat ratio of three parts butter for every one part of shortening. While I was thrilled with the results of my pie crust, I'm not sure if I how often I will opt for the homemade pie crust in the future... I admittedly love the convenience of those premade pie crusts!
I used frozen blueberries instead of fresh, and threw in a few frozen raspberries too, as I didn't have enough blueberries to make up the full 2-1/2 pints Dorie suggests. Other than that, I followed the recipe completely, down to the bread crumbs. Yep, there are bread crumbs at the bottom of this pie, to help soak up the juices from the berries and prevent the crust from getting soggy. I had never heard of this technique before and like other TWD bakers, I was hesitant to try it, but I decided to trust Dorie in her infinite baking wisdom and sure enough, I couldn't taste them at all. (If you're too scared to try the bread crumbs in this recipe, you can also try graham cracker crumbs.)
I baked the pie for the recommended 60 minutes, but found that part of my crust on the inside was still a little raw, but edible (should have waited for the juices to bubble up more in the middle). Next time, I'll probably bake it an additional 10 minutes. The edges of this crust (as with most pies I make) did begin to brown a bit quicker than the center, so part way through the baking, I threw my handy pie crust shield on and it worked like a charm. If you don't have one, just wrap the edges with some foil.
I have a hard time waiting for pies to cool completely before serving (plus I also enjoy them warm), so I cut into this pie not too long after pulling it out of the oven. It was extremely runny, but quite delicious, as evidenced by this photo:
It set up very nicely, however, after I let it cool completely.
Thanks again to Amy for choosing this pie. You challenged me to make my first homemade pie crust - and it was a success! Will I make this again? I'll probably use the pie crust recipe again the next time I decide to make a homemade crust, but I think I've decided that while they are delicious, blueberry pies are not my favorite (I prefer the apple crumb pie and blackberry cobbler). If you would like the recipe, you can find it here (with recipe tips here). Make sure you visit the TWD Blog Roll to see how everyone else enjoyed this wonderful summer treat.