Blueberry Pie.

Here are a couple of pictures from the 4th.  If you ever want a quickie play pen, I highly recommend the baby pool option, Asher was happy as a clam in there and fairly well contained.  I have been making the blueberry pie from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook for a number of years now and feel that it can’t be beat, the recipe doesn’t call for much sugar, so the blueberries really shine.  This year we also had a pint of blackberries, so I tossed those in for good measure, and that seemed to be a success.  I think that’s what I love about baking with fruit, you can pretty much couple any fruits up and count on tasty results!  Here’s the pie recipe for those that are interested!

Blueberry Pie

  • All-purpose flour, for dusting
  • Pate Brisee
  • 8 cups (about 4 pints) blueberries, picked over
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream

Directions

  1. On a lightly floured piece of parchment paper, roll out one disk of dough to a 12-inch round. With a dry pastry brush, sweep off excess flour; fit dough into a 9-inch glass pie plate, pressing it into edges. Trim dough to a 1/2-inch overhang all around. Fold edge of dough over or under, and crimp as desired. Roll out remaining dough in the same manner; transfer dough (on parchment) to a baking sheet. Chill pie shell and dough until firm, about 30 minutes.
  2. Place blueberries in a large bowl; with your hands, crush about 1/2 cup of berries, letting them fall into the bowl as you work. Add sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice; stir to combine. Spoon mixture into chilled pie shell, mounding berries slightly in the center. Dot with butter. Remove dough from refrigerator, and place over blueberry filling. Tuck edge of top dough between edge of bottom dough and rim of pan. Using your fingers, gently press both layers of dough along the edge to seal, and crimp as desired. I used cookie cutters to make the star shapes which seemed appropriate for the 4th…I actually love using shapes on pies in general, it makes the pie ridiculously charming.
  3. Using a paring knife, cut several vents in top of dough to allow steam to escape. In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolk and cream. Brush surface with egg wash, being careful not to let it pool. Freeze or refrigerate pie until firm, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees, with rack in lower third.
  4. Place pie on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until crust begins to turn golden, about 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Continue baking, rotating sheet halfway through, until crust is deep golden brown and juices are bubbling and have thickened, 40 to 50 minutes more. Transfer pie to a wire rack to cool completely. The pie is best eaten the day it is baked, but it can be kept at room temperature, loosely covered with plastic wrap, for up to 2 days.

It’s Just So Summer.

Drew and I talked a lot this weekend about how we both look forward to the 4th of July because it’s always been a free day in the middle of the summer when parents are supposed to be at work and children get to look forward all of the little icons of summer that add up to create our collective memory of those wonderfully hot and playful childhood days.  In addition to the history of Independence Day, when someone starts talking about the 4th of July, my mind starts swimming with visions of watermelon and the sounds of cicadas, potluck meals, colorful picnic blankets, tanned knees, and Queen Anne’s Lace.  I can sense the excitement of watching fireworks and waiting for the finale and can perfectly see the tipped up and illuminated faces of friends sitting in the dark and staring into a psychedelic sky.  The 4th is so symbolic of the height and heat of summer, of friends getting together and of the dreams of reckless abandon that this time of year awakens in our hearts.  The car windows roll down, the dog tongues flop out and the wind in our hair is just a whisper of the freedom that we each secretly long for in these long hot days.  It’s just so summer.

For our part, we celebrated with friends and family, though with The Young Sir in tow, our night ended not on a blanket staring at the sky, but on a back porch with fireflies doing their best to keep time and the crinkly pops and booms of fireworks in the distance.  We had our laughs and fill of potluck fare, and then we came home to a quiet house with a sleeping boy and watched the stars come out before we turned in.  It was a fine summer day.

Pictures to follow, we are at my parent’s house hanging out with my brother who’s visiting from NC, and the internet connection is not down with uploading photos.