This food memory and blueberry pie recipe comes from Harriet Trezevant, MHEd, a chef and food educator in Oakland, California.
My grandmother Dorothy (those who called her “Dot” or “Dotty” did so at great personal risk) could cook anything you hankered for, and loved to feed her children and grandchildren. Her specialty was classic New England fare: creamy clam chowder, biscuits, preserves made with fruit from her summer garden, and the best pies I’ve ever tasted.
I’ve always enjoyed baking pies, but when Granny passed away in September of 2001, the idea of enjoying anything faded. One evening, I returned to Granny’s house, to gather with my family and share a meal in fond memory. As the meal neared its end, my aunt brought out a blueberry pie, piping hot, its juicy berries bubbling under the tender top crust.
This was one of my grandmother’s pies. She’d made it with her own hands, forming the crust, crimping the edges. We had gathered the summer before to pick blueberries from the bushes on her lawn, and she had made several pies and stored them in the freezer chest in her basement. My grandmother was still feeding her family, sharing her talents and love, and giving us a reason to gather.
Yield: Enough dough for a double crusted, 9-inch pie
- 3 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 8 ounces unsalted butter, very cold
- 1/2 cup ice water
- My grandmother always made the crust by hand, but you can use a food processor if you prefer. Using a whisk, combine the dry ingredients. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter, fork or your fingers until the butter is broken into the size of large peas. Slowly sprinkle in the ice water, mixing just until the dough holds together. There should still be small chunks of butter visible in the dough.
- Divide into two equal balls and press the dough into a disk, wrapping it with plastic wrap or wax paper. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Unwrap one disk and roll it out on a lightly floured surface, turning it gently after each roll, to avoid sticking. Fold the dough in half and gently lift it into a 9-inch pie plate, unfolding it once it’s settled in half of the plate. Press the dough lightly into the pan and trim the edges.
- Chill the pie crust, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Cover the crust with foil, gently pressing into the corners, then fill it with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for up to 10 minutes, or until the edges are just set. Remove the weights and foil and return to the oven for 5 more minutes. Remove it from the oven and let it cool to room temperature.
- 5-6 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
- 1 cup (or to taste) sugar
- 6 Tablespoons flour
- 2 Tablespoons (or to taste) lemon juice (I like to add lemon zest, too.)
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Toss the blueberries with the sugar and flour, making sure they are evenly coated. Add the lemon juice and mix to combine.
- Pour the berries into the pie shell and roll out the top crust. Place it gently over the top of the pie, folding the edges of the top crust down and along the sides of the top crust to keep the juices in. Make a few slashes across the top with a knife so that the top crust won’t burst when baking. If you want to get fancy, try a lattice crust by cutting long strips of dough and weaving them across the top in any pattern you like.
- Lightly beat together one egg and 2 TBS cream. Brush the top of the crust with this egg glaze and dust with sugar.
- Bake for 25 minutes and then reduce the heat to 350°F. Bake for another 25-35 minutes, or until lightly browned and bubbling.
Serve warm, with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
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