Summer’s End Blueberry Pie

IMG_0744

Sadly, it is time to say goodbye to summer and all the sweet berries that I enjoy those warm months. I comfort myself with the thought of apple season, hot soup, and cool nights… especially when we are having our warmest summer weather now that is is September. But I digress. I wanted to close out the season with a pie that epitomizes summer: a Lattice-top Blueberry Pie. Go grab some berries and get to work before they are all gone.

IMG_0732   IMG_0735   IMG_0736

The filling is easy. Toss berries together with lemon juice and then sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and salt. Put in crust and dot with butter.

For the lattice crust, I made mine directly on top of the pie. But I recommend making your lattice crust on a piece of parchment paper on a sheet pan until you get the hang of it. If the dough softens too much you can pop it in the fridge to chill before continuing. And don’t worry too much if your lattice isn’t perfect. It’ll still look beautiful. When finished, chill again while you make the pie. Then invert the whole crust onto the pie.

IMG_0733   
IMG_0737   IMG_0738

Of course, if this seems like too much work, you can put a whole pie crust on top of your pie. Just be sure to cut some air vents in the crust or use a small round cookie cutter to cut out small holes in a decorative pattern. Either way, it’ll be delicious and gone before you know it.

Lattice-top Blueberry Pie

Makes one 9-inch pie

two 9-inch pie crusts (this is the link to my recipe)
6 cups blueberries, washed and picked over
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 cup sugar
4 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1.To prepare crusts: On a lightly floured surface, roll one pie dough disk with a floured rolling pin into a circle about 1/8-inch thick. Fold in half and half again and carefully lift into a 9-inch pie plate. Unfold and chill for at least 30 minutes. Take second disk of dough and on a lightly floured piece of parchment paper, roll dough into a rectangle about 1/8-inch thick. Using a fluted pastry wheel or knife and a ruler to guide you, cut dough into 12 strips about 3/4-inch wide. On a lightly floured piece of parchment paper, lay 6 strips about 3/4 inch apart. Fold back every other strip more than halfway. In the center place another strip perpendicular to the strips on the bottom. Unfold the strips and fold back the other 3 strips. Lay a second top strip down and unfold the bottom strips. Repeat this process on both side of the crust with the remaining top strips. Gently press down where the strips overlap to help seal the dough in place. Cover with plastic wrap and chill while making the filling.

2. Place a sheet pan in the oven on a rack and preheat to 400°F. In a large bowl, toss blueberries with lemon juice.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and salt. Add to blueberries and toss well.

4. Scrape the blueberry filling into your pie plate. Dot with butter pieces. Remove your lattice and let sit a few minutes until malleable. With the parchment still attached, invert the lattice crust onto the pie. Carefully peel parchment off of crust. Roll the overhanging dough under the bottom crust edge and press to seal. Crimp edges.

5. Make an egg wash by beating 1 egg with about 1 Tbsp of water. Brush over crust. Sprinkle sugar over crust. Put the pie in the oven on the preheated sheet pan. Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Bake about 30 minutes more, or until lattice is browned and filling is bubbling. If lattice is browning before pie is finished baking, cover it loosely with foil.

6. Let cool on a rack to room temperature before serving.

Advertisements

Sweet Blueberry Syrup

IMG_0671

Summertime blueberries are finally here. My husband and children went early-season picking (which my husband informs me is much harder work than late season picking) and brought me home an 8-pound haul of blueberries. I have been having delicious fun in the kitchen all week.

IMG_0702

One of my favorite products of the week is definitely the blueberry syrup. It is intensely blueberry flavored, far superior to the store-bought versions, and wonderful poured over pancakes and ice cream. I can imagine it is also delicious over cheesecake or a lemon pound cake, mixed into yogurt, or added to a summer berry parfait.

The syrup is simple to make and will last in the refrigerator for up to three months or in the freezer for up to nine. I chose to can my surplus supply so that I could taste summer all winter long.

For the first step, I enlisted my children to crush the berries.

IMG_0672

Next, and the part of this recipe that requires the most effort, is straining the blueberry skins. I worked in batches using a rubber spatula to push the blueberry juices through my sieve. After each batch, I scooped the skins into a separate bowl and saved them to use in a banana-blueberry-yogurt smoothie.

IMG_0680

Straining the blueberries

Leftover berry solids, saved for a smoothie

Leftover berry solids, saved for a smoothie

After that, the stove top does all the work cooking those juices down into a thick fruit syrup.

IMG_0682

Juices cooking into syrup

I hope you give this recipe a try. Let me know how it turns out and how you used your summer blueberry syrup.

Sweet Blueberry Syrup

This recipe is adapted from SimpleBites.net. I doubled the recipe and changed the proportions of sugar and lemon flavoring and loved the results.

Makes about 7 cups

1 lemon, washed
10 cups blueberries, washed and picked over
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1. Using a sharp paring knife or vegetable peeler, remove 4 strips of peel from the lemon. Try to remove only the yellow part of the peel, not the bitter white pith. Juice the lemon for about 3 Tbsp. of juice and set aside.

2. Place berries and water in a large pot and crush the berries (we used a potato masher). Then bring to a boil over medium heat. Lower the temperature to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Remove pot from heat. Working in batches, ladle the blueberries into a fine sieve set over a medium-sized pot. Using a rubber spatula or small ladle, press on the berry mixture to extract as much juice as possible. Scoop out the remaining solids (set aside for a smoothie) and add more berry mixture to the sieve until all of it is strained.

4. Add the reserved lemon peel and the sugar to the pot with the blueberry juices. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the mixture thickens slightly.

5. Stir in the reserved 3 Tbsp. of lemon juice. Then boil another couple of minutes. Remove from the heat and carefully remove the lemon zest.

6. Using a funnel, pour the syrup into clean jars. Cover and let cool to room temperature before storing in the refrigerator. If you are canning your syrup, ladle hot syrup into use hot, sterilized jars. Wipe the top of the jars with a clean, damp towel and cover with lids. Place in a hot water canning bath and process for 10 minutes. Remove from water. Let cool to room temperature and store in your pantry.