Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Blueberry Pie

Vegan Blueberry Pie
Originally uploaded by Marni Molina
The blueberry pie I made last weekend was a big hit with my whole family. It was my first attempt at making a vegan pie crust and the results tasted great. The appearance, however, didn't meet with my standards. Though nobody seemed to mind (the fact that it tasted great probably helped), I'd like to experiment more. I'm sure I can make it better.

The problem was that in the past I've used an egg wash on the crust. I replaced it this time with a citrus marmalade glaze, but the sugars in the glaze got too dark around the edges. It didn't affect the flavor, but I didn't like how it looked. I have a couple ideas on how to remedy this problem, though.  I'll play with it a bit post my results when I get it worked out.

The recipe was one that I adapted from the July/Aug 2008 issue of Cook's Illustrated. Use whatever type of dough-based pie crust you like and be sure to make enough for a top and bottom.

Blueberry Pie
Makes one 9-inch pie
  • 6 cups (about 30 ounces) fresh blueberries
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and grated
  • 2 teaspoons grated zest and 2 teaspoons juice from 1 lemon
  • 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces) sugar
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca flour (or ground instant tapioca)
  • Pinch of table salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter spread or margarine, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  1. Have your bottom pie crust rolled out and set in your pie pan with at least an inch overhang all around. Store it in the fridge 'til you're ready to add the filling.
  2. Adjust oven rack to lowest position, place rimmed baking sheet on oven rack, and heat oven to 400 degrees. Place 3 cups berries in medium saucepan and set over medium heat. Using potato masher, mash berries several times to release juices. Continue to cook, stirring frequently and mashing occasionally, until about half the berries have broken down and mixture has thickened, about 8 minutes. Let cool slightly.
  3. Place grated apple in clean kitchen towel and wring dry. Transfer apple to large bowl. Add cooked berries, remaining 3 cups uncooked berries, lemon zest, juice, sugar, tapioca, and salt; toss to combine.
  4. Transfer mixture to dough-lined pie plate and scatter butter pieces over filling.
  5. Roll out second half of dough to 11-inch circle, about 1/8-inch thick. Using cookie cutter about 1 - 1 1/2" big, cut a center hole and surrounding holes in dough. Roll dough loosely around rolling pin and unroll over pie, leaving at least 1/2-inch overhang on each side.
  6. Trim and flute edges using thumb and forefinger or press with tines of fork to seal. Brush top and edges with marmalade or jelly glaze if so desired. It's not necessary, but it does add a nice shiny finish to the pie while helping it brown. If dough is very soft, chill in freezer for 10 minutes.
  7. Place pie on heated baking sheet and bake 30 minutes. Reduce oven temp to 350 degrees and continue to bake until juices bubble and crust is deep golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes longer. Transfer pie to wire rack; cool to room temp, at least 4 hours. Cut into wedges and eat!

The Pie was Good
Originally uploaded by Marni Molina
The great thing about this recipe is that, due to the addition of the tapioca flour and apple, the filling doesn't run everywhere when you slice it. Also, it's not sickly sweet like some other pie recipes can be. It's a nice balance of sweet and tart that really highlights the flavor of the blueberries. This means you should do your best to get the finest berries available.  



jessy said...

yay for more stars! i really like how they look in the crust. i love them the most! that pie looks so good! and that's so cool on your substitute for the egg wash. just brilliant! i think the pie looks yummah, and i will be checking back to find out what else you do to make this fabulously delightful pie even more stellar!

Erin said...

Looks pretty good to me! My mom makes an aluminum foil collar to put around her pies so the otuside crusts don't burn

Marni said...

Jessy ... ha ha ha ... you said, "stellar." You're funny. Thanks, chica!

Erin - Thanks for the tip! I'll try the aluminum foil collar next time I bake a pie. :)