Summer’s End Blueberry Pie

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Summertime Mojitos

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I’ve been sitting on a recipe I have want to share since Mother’s Day. When that day dawned sunny and clear and the mercury hit 80 (first time all spring!) I decided it was time to celebrate with my favorite summer cocktail— a Mojito. I mixed two up for my husband, Lou, and me. Then I proceeded to knock one off the counter (aargh). After picking up shattered glass, vacuuming and mopping, I finally and thoroughly enjoyed my cocktail. Lou got a beer (after all it was Mother’s Day).

Weeks later I have finally carved out some time to blog about what my friends say is the best Mojito they’ve had. Now that summer is underway, I guess the timing is perfect. It is a pretty simple process:

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Ingredients

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Muddle mint & lime with simple syrup.

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Add ice, rum, seltzer. Stir.

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Taste, adjust, then enjoy.

Use this recipe more as a guideline. My brother-in-law, Chuck, shared this method of making Mojitos with me by pouring a little of this and that in a glass. I usually mix my Mojitos that way too, but for you I measured the ingredients.  It is customizable and certainly can be sized up to make a pitcher full. I like my Mojito a little on the sweeter side while Lou likes his stronger. Leave a little room at the top of your glass, taste and adjust to your liking.

The only special tool you need is a muddler to really work the flavor out of the mint and lime. I have made-do in the past with the end of a wooden spoon. I wouldn’t try a heavy-duty pestle as that has broken a glass or two of mine.

I made mint simple syrup for this recipe but plain works too. I mix 1 cup sugar with 1 cup water in a pot and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Add mint leaves if you like and cook until the sugar is dissolved. Let cool before using.

Now go find a reason to celebrate and let me know how you like your Mojito!

Summertime Mojito

Makes 2 low ball glasses (about 8 fl. oz. each)

10 large mint leaves
1/4 cup mint simple syrup
1 lime cut into wedges
1/4 cup rum
1/2 cup seltzer water

1. Split mint leaves between glasses. Pour a  little more than 1/2 the syrup between the 2 glasses. Use muddler to crush mint. Add lime wedges and muddle again to extract lime juice.

2. Add ice to fill the glasses. Split rum and seltzer between the 2 glasses. Stir and then taste and adjust to your liking with more sugar or rum. Garnish with another lime wedge and enjoy.