Remember those 7 pounds of blueberries I picked last Friday? We ate them. We were saving 6 cups to turn into pie, but only four of them made it through the week until I finally had enough time to bake. Luckily, our friend Karen picked 12 more pounds, and the pie came to fruition on Tuesday night.
Edge and Karen are both gluten-free, so I didn’t make my Nana’s classic pie crust: white flour, a dash of salt, some milk and oil, mixed and rolled out, brushed with milk and sprinkled with sugar to form a flaky, browned crust out of the oven. Nope. I had every intention to find a GF recipe to make myself, but instead time got the better of me, and I found two GF crusts in the freezer section at the Coop.
So as the pre-made dough thawed, I flipped open the Cook’s Illustrated Best Recipes book and mixed up the filling just as a classic pie ought to be made. Blueberries, sugar, tapioca starch, a fresh grating of lemon zest and fresh squeezed lemon juice, all spice and a dash of nutmeg. Roll it all together, pour into the pie dish, and dot with pats of butter. Top with a second round of dough, cut a few slits in the top, and into the oven it goes.
I did it all right: baked it at 400 for 20 minutes, turned down the oven to 350 for the next 30-40 minutes, watched for the browning of the crust and the bubbling of the berries, and then pulled it out to cool on a rack. You’re meant to let it cool for 2-3 hours so the berries will set. This is where we rebelled. When a pie comes out of the oven at 8:30 pm, who is going to sit around and wait for it to set? So we gave it 15 minutes, just enough time to run down the hill for ice cream and back. Hence the picture above of blueberries swimming in sauce.
Next time I’ll let it set. The flavors did seem to meld together and the thickness of the filling improved during its night in the fridge. But I don’t regret the overzealous doling out of pie–after a long day in the field, blueberry pie and ice cream is precisely what this farmer needs. I’d still like to make my own GF pie crust instead relying on a store-bought one–cheating on the crust might make a faster pie, but the flavor and texture leaves something to be desired. Still, ice cream melting over warm pie, gluten-filled or gluten-free, is best when eaten in the company of friends, and if speed won over my baking desire one time, so be it. We all went back for seconds.