I woke up from a nap this afternoon to find the sun coming out at last, although it was still quite brisk after a few days of northern winds and rain. David and the girls had gone out to the park, and I thought I'd surprise them on their return with a blueberry pie.
This is a nice everyday pie, simple to make and suitable for just this kind of impulsive baking, as long as you have some berries and crust already in the freezer. It's not very sweet, with a pleasant tartness that would go wonderfully with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
I like the Pillsbury ready-made crusts, which have a good taste and texture, and are easy to use, both for sweet and savory pies -- not as good as homemade, of course, but frequently a lot faster! They've started packaging them in rolls now, instead of folded into quarters -- I actually liked them better folded, as it's easier to patch the straight lines than that crinkly center of the roll, which ends up on the rim of the pie plate for all to see. Be sure to thaw them thoroughly to help prevent this -- it usually takes much longer than it says on the package, especially on a cool day.
I don't bother to trim the crusts here, as there isn't really that much extra. Pinch the two crusts together well -- they won't line up, so don't worry -- then fold the top part under, pinch again, and crimp by pushing the forefinger of one hand against the thumb and forefinger of your other hand with the crust in between. This takes much less time to do than it does to describe!
Easy Blueberry Pie
1 package (2 crusts) ready-made frozen pie crust
2 10-oz. bags (4-5 cups) organic frozen wild blueberries
3/4 cup sugar
4 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
Preheat the oven to 425° F. Put the oven rack in the lower third of the oven. Remove the crusts from the freezer and set out to thaw while you prepare the filling (use the microwave to hurry them along, if necessary).
Put the berries in a large bowl, and add the sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice and zest, and salt. Let stand 15 minutes or so.
Put one of the crusts in a pie dish, pressing gently against the sides of the dish without stretching the crust. Add the filling and dot with the pieces of butter. Place the top crust over the filling, and pinch the top and bottom crusts together. Fold under the overhanging edge of crust, if necessary, then crimp as you like. Cut steam vents in the top crust, and place on a cooking sheet to catch any drips.
Bake for 30 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350° F for 25 to 35 minutes more, or until the crust is golden. (If the edges start to brown too much, cover them with foil strips.)
Let the pie cool well, as the filling will be very hot.
Makes 1 9-inch pie. Preparation time, about 20 minutes; total time, about 1 1/2 hours.