Wednesday, June 20, 2012
The East Coast is in for 3 days of 90+ degree weather which means I sure as heck won't be turning the oven on for a few days. I'm glad I baked this pie for the Pie Party yesterday, mostly because blueberry pie always tastes best when you eat it for breakfast the next day, don't you think? I'm also planning on lots green smoothies for breakfast and popsicles for lunch and dinner washed down cold brewed iced coffee to beat the heat. I probably should have filled up the ice trays last night, whoops.
This pie features my favorite all-butter pie crust, filled with a generously spiced pile of fresh Jersey blueberries and topped with a crispy, nutty crumble. Feel free to substitute your favorite crust if you have one you are attached to. I think having a favorite pie crust is a kitchen milestone to be celebrated, just like summertime and pies.
Blueberry Almond Crumb Pie
For the Crust
makes 2 crusts (you'll only need one crust to make the pie)
This crust comes to you from the talented Brandi Henderson of I made that! and The Pantry at Delancey where she teaches a class called "How to be a Pie Ninja" (among others) and she is not messing around, her recipes are killer. For her crust, Brandi uses a technique called fraissage which creates long sheets of buttery flakes throughout the dough instead of little pockets of butter. Delightful!
12 ounces pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 ounces cold, unsalted butter
4-6 ounces ice water
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1. Mix the flour and salt together, then pour the whole lot on a large cutting board or countertop.
2. With a bench scraper, cut in half of the butter until it is the size of lima beans, then cut in the other half of the butter until it is the size of nickels. Mix the water and vinegar together.
3. Using your fingers, flick the water on to the butter flour mixture and gently fold it in with your bench scraper. You have added enough water when you can pick up a handful of the dough and squeeze it together without it falling apart.
4. Then, get this, you smear the butter into the dough. With the heel of your hand push a section of the dough down and away from you. Congratulations, you have just created a sheet of butter which is going to turn delicious flaky crust. Scrape the sheet off of the board and place it in a bowl to the side. Repeat until you have worked through all of the dough, pushing it down and away from you in sections. Once you've gone through all of the dough gently remove it from the bowl, press it together, then split it in half, and wrap each half in plastic wrap and form into a disk. Chill the dough for at least one hour before using. I have warm hands, so I always chill my dough overnight before I use it.
For the Filling
24 ounces blueberries
2-4 ounces sugar, depending on the sweetness of your berries
1 ounce cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
zest and juice from one small lemon
Pour all of the ingredients into a large bowl and stir gently to combine
For the Crumb
3 ounces all purpose flour
3 ounces brown sugar
4 ounces soft butter
2 ounces sliced almonds
Mix together the flour, sugar, butter and salt until it resembles large crumbs. Gently mix in the almonds being careful not to break them up.
To Assemble and Bake
Preheat oven to 375º and adjust a rack to the lower third of the oven.
1. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one piece of the dough into a 12'' circle about 1/8'' thick and place it into a 9'' pie pan and crimp the edges. Place in the fridge while you prepare the rest of the pie.
2. Pour the filling mixture into the prepared crust, then top with the prepared crumb topping.
3. Place the pie on a baking sheet and slide into the oven. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until the filling is bubbling and the topping is deep golden brown. Cool completely before serving.