Diana's Desserts - www.dianasdesserts.com

Blueberry Lattice Pie

Servings: 6-8
Blueberry skins contain oxalic acid, which attacks nearly all uncooked starch thickeners. Adding the berries to cooked starch seemed the only way to guarantee a consistently thickened blueberry pie.

Sweet dough for a 2 crust pie (see recipe below)

2 pints (4 cups) blueberries; rinsed, drained and picked over
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Egg Wash:
1 egg well beaten with a pinch of salt

For Top of Crust:
1 teaspoon sugar for finishing the top

Prepare and chill the dough.

Sweet Dough for 2 crust pie:

2 to 2 1/2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick/4 oz./113g) cold unsalted butter
2 large eggs

Making Dough by Hand:
Combine flour, sugar, salt and baking powder in a medium mixing bowl and stir well to mix. Cut butter into 1-tablespoon pieces or grate. Place in the freezer for to chill. Add butter to dry ingredients. Toss once or twice to coat pieces of butter. Using your hands or pastry blender, rub the butter into the dry ingredients by breaking it into tiny pieces, continuously pinching and squeezing it into the dry ingredients. Be careful to keep the mixture uniform by reaching down to the bottom of the bowl and mixing all the ingredients evenly together. Continue rubbing the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles a coarse-ground cornmeal and no large pieces of butter remain visible. Beat the egg(s) in a small bowl and pour over the flour and butter mixture (do not add water). Stir in with a fork, the dough should begin holding together, but still appears dry and crumbly. Press and knead the dough quickly 3 or 4 times, until it is smooth.

Making Dough with Food Processor:
To mix the dough by food processor, combine flour, sugar, salt and baking powder in a work bowl fitted with a metal blade. Pulse 3 times at 1-second intervals, until the mixture resembles a coarse-ground cornmeal and no large pieces of butter remain visible, about 15 pulses in all. Add the egg(s) to the work bowl and pulse ten times or so, until the dough forms a ball. Press and knead the dough quickly 3 or 4 times, until it is smooth.

The Last Step:
Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface and form it into a disc (two equal ones for a two-crust recipe). Sandwich the disc(s) between two pieces of plastic wrap and press it into a 6-inch disc. Refrigerate until the dough is firm, or until you are ready to use, at least 1 hour.

To Make the Filling:
Combine 1 cup of the blueberries with the sugar in a nonreactive saucepan. Bring to a simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is melted and the mixture is very liquid about 5 minutes.

Combine the cornstarch and water in a small bowl and whisk the blueberry and sugar mixture into it. Return everything to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, over low heat, until the mixture comes to a boil, thickens and becomes clear. If it does not become clear, continue to cook over low heat for a few more minutes, until it does.

Pour into a large bowl and stir in the remaining filling ingredients, except the blueberries, then add the remaining 3 cups blueberries. Cool.

Set a rack at the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees. Roll out the bottom crust and arrange in one, 9-inch Pyrex pie pan. Pour the cooled filling into the bottom crust. Prepare a lattice top crust. Flute the edge of the pie and carefully brush it with egg wash. If you wish, sprinkle the top of the pie with sugar.

Place the pie in the oven on the lower rack and reduce the temperature to 375 degrees F (190 C). Bake for about 40 minutes, until the crust is baked through and a deep golden brown and the filling is gently bubbling. If the top crust has not colored sufficiently after 30 minutes of baking, move the pie to the upper rack of the oven for the last 10 minutes. Cool the pie on a rack.

Makes 1 (9-inch) pie, 6-8 servings.

Recipe adapted from Nick Malgieri - Baker's Dozen.

Date: August 30, 2004