Monday, July 4, 2011

Red, White and Blueberries

I don't know why but whenever the Fourth of July rolls around, I feel like making pie. This is rather counter-intuitive because making pie dough and cranking up the oven in the sweltering humidity that is July in the Midwest is just plain crazy. However when I get the whiff of a ripe peach or taste the juicy sweetness of a plump blueberry, hot kitchen be damned, I reach for the rolling pin.

blueberries 3

Sad to say the peaches available in our area have not been very pie inspiring. The blueberries, on the other hand, have been excellent, sweet and full of juice. But it's that juice that causes many a soupy pie. Too much juice ruins your bottom crust and makes your slice a drippy mess to eat. The other problem is getting just the right amount of thickener so your pie sets up. However too much and you've almost got Jello pie. Would Cook's Illustrated have the answer?

blueberry pie 1

Their version of pie crust and filling tries to address the perfect jelling blueberry filling. Quick cooking tapioca and shredded Granny Smith apple are part of their solutions along with cooking down some of your blueberries.

blueberry pie 2

The results? Looks good in the pie pan but still I have a bit of a slump on my slice. And in an attempt to balance out the sweetness of the berries and the added sugar, they include a measure of lemon zest and juice. Personally, next time, I'd go half the amount of both since it seemed just a bit too much citrus for me.

blueberry pie 4

The crust was excellent and despite the citrus, the blueberry filling was sweet and fragrant. All that was missing was some fresh, hand cranked, cold vanilla ice cream.

Happy Fourth of July, Everyone!


the dogs' mother said...

Red, white and blue - strawberries, vanilla ice cream and blue berries - how creative are we...?
Happy 4th and may peaches be in your future.

Big Shamu said...

Nothing wrong with that Froggy. Happy 4th to you and your massive couch hog of a dog.

Man, I do love me some peaches...

MakingSpace said...

I spend my fourth doing laundry and then running a massive rehearsal. This was nice to come home to.

OK so I feel I should be entranced by the blueberries, and I'm trying, but really I have other questions:
1. What are you using for a blueberry container in the first photo? Almost looks like hollowed-out sugar cane.

2. What is that little spur-looking thing on the edge of the pie crust? It's awesome, whatever it is.

3. PIE CRUST. Seriously. That crust. My goodness. Beautiful.

Dani said...

Vodka in the crust?

Big Shamu said...

Snort, MS all that is that's holding the blueberries is a bamboo shot cup turned upside down. The tool in the picture is an older pie crimper I found at an antique store. I loved the look of it. That pie crust is yummy.

Dani, yes, 1/4 cup vodka. Had to go buy some since I don't keep much on hand in the house. I generally buy the little tiny airline bottles and when I got home and cracked it open I had unknowingly purchased blueberry flavored vodka.

Dani said...

*Lusting after your antique pie crimper*

Big Shamu said...

Wait til you see this wicked corkscrew I found.

MakingSpace said...

Bamboo shot cup!!!!!

Dani I want joint custody with that pie crimper. Just sayin.

Blueberry vodka!!!!!


Dani said...

I would love to visit you someday and see all your kitchen stuff.

Big Shamu said...


the dogs' mother said...

Up next on Hoarders - does one woman need 157 pie crimping tools?

Big Shamu said...

Double Snort Froggy......and yes, yes I do!

Susan said...

I swear I can taste. I've been following Atkins since last Monday ya-huh !! no carbies - means pas de sugar. So needless to say this looks yummy. I've been feeding my sugar fix with sugar free jello and REAL whipped cream (sweetened with stevia). In Atkins defense, aside from visiting the Karmic kitchen and this drool fest. it's been shockingly easy. I kid not. You do stop craving carbs when you stop eating them ...

well that's my big ol' ramble babble
xo S & Missy D & the whole darn Gang.

ps. you're SOOOOO Bad ! Love it !! a moon globe BonJour !! proper email thank you to come shortly

Big Shamu said...

See, now doesn't your horoscope seem truly appropriate.