Tuesday, January 02, 2007

New Year's Eve Blueberry Pie

I love pie, especially berry pie. I know, I over use the word 'love'. I use 'love' to describe all the foods and recipes I write about on this blog. But it's completely true. I love food and I absolutely love eating.

Over the holidays, I received the ultimate gift that will bring my cooking to the next level, I think. I now own the Cuisinart Custom Pro 11 and I'm loving it. I could never bring myself to make a pie crust from scratch because I just didn't know how to do it, but with the Cuisinart, it was so easy.

I received this amazing gift and decided that I need to make pie for the people that gifted it to me a week later for our New Year's eve celebration. A friend shared an all butter pie crust recipe and I did extensive research on the pie filling. After reading about 80 reviews or so, I made modifications accordingly. Below, I share the recipe for just the filling because everyone, as I've discovered, has their favorite crust recipe. The recipe was submitted by Beth on allrecipes.com.

Having never made a pie crust from scratch before, I loved the recipe that I used. It was simple, easy, and came with specific instructions on how many pulses should be used at each step. Of course I was anxious the whole time, saying "I have concerns," whenever my curious and supportive cooking buddy entered the kitchen to see how things were going. It is from Cook's Illustrated and is all butter (no shortening). It flaked absolutely beautifully (even the bottom crust!). In fact, the whole pie came out fabulously, much to my happiness and complete surprise! I'm definitely making pie again. If you're interested in the pie crust recipe, I will share, along with tips.

Serves 8
Cooking Time: As a beginner, way too long, but so worth it!

3/4 c white sugar
-4 T cornstarch
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
-1 T fresh lemon juice
-4 c blueberries
-1 recipe for 9-inch double crust pie

Stir all dry ingredients together (sugar, cornstarch, salt, and cinnamon). Add blueberries and lemon juice, and toss gently until blueberries are lightly dusted with dry ingredients. Scoop out blueberries into your pie shell. Evenly sprinkle top of blueberries with excess dry ingredients. Cover with pie crust. Make slits on top to allow moisture to escape.

Every oven is different but for me, I baked the pie in a pre-heated oven at 375 degree for about 60 minutes. At this point, the pie edges will be starting to brown, so cover crust edges with foil, and bake for an additional 15 minutes or so until top is brown. Remove pie and let cool for an hour or two to help the filling solidify a bit.

A lot of recipes call for a 425 oven which I think is way too hot, and the pie crust will brown before the pie has a chance to cook through. I think it's better to cook at a lower heat for a longer period of time. At 30 minutes, my pie was still pale, which was better than it being brown at 25 minutes!

My oven has 4 slots where the racks can fit. I was debating between the 2nd and 3rd rack from the top. I thought the 2nd shelf was a bit to close to the burners while the 3rd one was too far. So I turned a cookie sheet upside down and placed it on the 3rd shelf, and placed the pie on top of that. The cookie sheet was in the oven while it was pre-heating. Pizza tiles would also accomplish the same thing.

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