The only pie better than apple pie is apple pie with tiny Maine wild blueberries. I tasted this pie over the summer when we had a family barbecue in Vermont. My niece supplied the dessert from a local bakery. The tart wild berries really deliver a perky little nugget of flavor in every bite of pie. Sorry, Mom. I am completely won over by this combination. Maine (wild) blueberries are rare unless you are in Maine during the fleeting blueberry season, but they are widely available frozen, so you can make this pie any time of year, and you should!
I’ve heard it said I can be fickle about pie favorites (If it’s fruit and there’s crust, I’m pretty much all in), but this combination is a keeper.
p.s., my pies look so neat and tidy and pretty before they go into the oven, but add some heat and things really start to happen. That’s the charm of it all: expect the spills, uneven browning, fruit bubbling through the crust and embrace the imperfections. #life lessons in a pie.
Wild Blueberry and Apple Pie
Makes one 9- to 9 1/2-inch pie
1 recipe Flaky Pie Dough
5-6 peeled and cored baking apples (Honeycrisp, Empire, Cortland, Braeburn), sliced 3/8 inch thick to make 7 to 8 cups
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups Maine wild blueberries, fresh or frozen
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons granulated sugar (for sprinkling)
1. If you’ve refrigerated the dough, remove it from the refrigerator to soften slightly while you make the filling.
2. In a large bowl, toss the apples with the lemon juice, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg. Stir in the blueberries.
3. On a lightly floured surface or between 2 sheets of parchment paper, roll the smaller disk into a 12-inch circle that is about 1/8-inch thick. Line the pie pan with the dough, and trim the pastry so that it is even at the edge. Mound the filling in the pie pan. Dot it with small pieces of the butter.
4. Roll out the remaining dough into a 13-inch circle and lay it gently on top of the fruit. With scissors, trim the excess overhanging pastry, leaving a 1-inch border all around. Tuck the border under the bottom crust and crimp or press the edges with a fork.
5. Freeze the pie for 1 hour.
6. Set a baking sheet on the middle rack of the oven. Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
7. With a fork, thoroughly beat the egg with 1 tablespoon of cold water. Brush it over the pie, including the edges. With a sharp paring knife, cut 5 or 6 1-inch vents on top. Sprinkle with sugar.
8. Place the pie on the baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 375ºF and bake for another 35 minutes, or until the crust is brown and the filling bubbles. (Total baking time is about 55 minutes.) If the crust browns before the filling bubbles, cover loosely with foil. The pie is best served on the day it is made, but leftover pie is especially good reheated in the oven.
Flaky Pie Dough
Makes enough for 1 double-crust or 2 single-crust 9- or 10-inch pies
4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
8 to 10 tablespoons ice water, plus more as needed
1. Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the butter pieces, separating them as you add them, and toss to coat them with the flour. Freeze for 20 minutes.
2. On low speed, with the paddle attachment, mix until the butter is in flat, dime-size pieces. This should take 2 to 3 minutes. Gradually add 8 tablespoons of the ice water and mix on low speed until the dough clumps together and no dry spots remain, stopping before the dough forms a ball. Add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time if dough seems too dry. (A small handful should hold together firmly when pressed without cracking at the edges.)
3. Tip the clumps onto the countertop and divide into equal 2 mounds if making single pie shells. If making a double-crusted pie, make one mound slightly larger than the other, especially if there is mounded fruit in the filling. Press the clumps together to form 2 flat disks, and enclose them in plastic wrap. Use the dough immediately, or wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for up to 2 days (the dough will discolor after 2 days) or freeze it, enclosed in a zipper freezer bag, for up to 2 months.
To make by hand: Place the dry ingredients and butter in a bowl and freeze as directed in step one. Use your fingers to flatten the pieces of butter and toss them in the flour to coat them. Drizzle the water over the dough and use both hands to toss the liquid and dry ingredients together until the dough forms large clumps. Shape as directed above.
©2009-2018 Sally Pasley Vargas. Writing and photography, all rights reserved.