Once the pantry purge has been completed, I start to tackle the freezer knowing that berry season will be here soon enough and there must be space to freeze Maine’s summer berries.
Despite a few batches of blueberry jam over the winter, I still had a couple quarts of blueberries needing to be used up (Stay tuned for a superb blueberry cake with brown sugar glaze to be posted soon). Now onto this yummy pie.
This pie was made for my friend Kate who had been having a very tough month. I am a big believer in the power of pie and its ability to make things seems better, even if momentarily. She described it as “ooey, gooey, apple, blueberry yumminess.” Needless to say, I will be making the pie again, maybe for Mother’s Day because I still have some blues to use up.
I would like to note that I made the pie crust with Earth Balance spread because Kate prefers to pass on dairy and I am happy to report that the crust acted just like a normal pie crust. It cooked up nice, golden and flaky. Flavorista Monica gave me the idea. Her son is allergic to all dairy products, so she is my go-to expert on the subject of dairy-free. Of course the flavor was different than an all-butter crust, but it still met with very good reviews.
For the crust, I followed Jess’ instructions for freezing the pie crust before baking. I am a convert to this method as it it has consistently delivered flaky, golden crusts since Thanksgiving 2008. I only use metal pie plates for this freezing method because I am too nervous about temperature differences and potential explosions (I am not willing to sacrifice my Pyrex and ceramic pie plates).
Two 9-inch prepared pie crust (recipe follows)
3 cups thinly sliced granny smith apples
1 cup blueberries, preferably wild Maine blueberries
3/4 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. flour
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
3 Tbsp. butter cut into small pieces
Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl, combine the apples, blueberries, sugar, flour, lemon juice, cinnamon and salt.
Pour the apple-blueberry mixture into the frozen pie crust. Dot the top with butter and cover with the other frozen pie crust, sealing edges.
Cut steam holes in top, place on cookie sheet pan lined with foil or parchment. Bake for 50 – 60 minutes. Fruit juices should be bubbling though the vent holes. Stick the point of a knife through the hole and check to see if apples are tender.
Allow pie to cool for 4 hours before slicing.
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 1” dice, and chilled again
1/2 to 2/3 cup water, chilled in fridge
Blend flour and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Sprinkle chilled butter cubes into the flour and press into the dry ingredients with your fingertips, blending together until the mixture looks like fresh breadcrumbs or damp sand. Ideally, no lumps of butter any bigger than a pea will remain, nor will you have any dry flour lurking in the bottom of the bowl.
Add cold water one tablespoon at a time, blending gently with a large fork, until the dough forms into a ball. Divide dough in half. Roll each half into a crust about 1/8” thick and gently pat down into a 9” or 10″ pie pan. Trim the edge with a sharp knife or scissors so the dough hangs over the edge by 1/2”. Fold and crimp the dough’s edges. Cover the crust with plastic wrap and freeze for a minimum of 30 minutes, or overnight. For the top crust, roll it out flat. Line a 10-12″ plate with plastic wrap and place the crust onto it. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 30 minutes, or overnight.
Remove from freezer when your filling is ready and the oven is pre-heated—whatever sort of pie you’re baking, you want the crust fully frozen when it goes into the oven.