2011-07-07 / Family

Pie Perfect For Summer Evenings

Summer is a season for relaxation. When it comes to food, nothing quite exudes the spirit of summer like a good dessert. A freshly cooked pie on the windowsill can waft through the house and into the yard, enticing family members and passersby alike.

Kicking up your heels and enjoying a piece of pie on the patio is a great way to spend a summer evening. This summer, relax with the following recipe for “Blueberry Pie” from Mollie Cox Bryan’s “Mrs. Rowe’s Little Book of Southern Pies” (Ten Speed Press).

Blueberry Pie Makes one 9-inch pie

1 recipe Plain Pie Pastry (see box)
6 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
(thawed and drained if frozen)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter,
cut into bits
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon milk,
for egg wash

Line a 9-inch pie plate with 1 rolled-out crust and place in the refrigerator to chill.

Put the blueberries in a bowl, add the lemon juice, and stir to coat. Separately, combine the sugar, flour and cinnamon, mix thoroughly and stir into the blueberries. Spread the filling in the crust, and scatter the butter over the top. Brush the rim of the crust with the egg wash, cover with the second rolled-out crust, and seal and flute or crimp the edges.

Put the pie in the refrigerator to chill until firm, about 30 minutes. Store the remaining egg wash in the refrigerator, too. Preheat the oven to 425 F.

Brush the top crust with egg wash, then score the top with two perpendicular cuts for steam vents. Bake for 20 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 350 F and bake for another 30 to 40 minutes, until the juices are bubbling and the crust is golden brown. Cool on a wire rack for at least two hours before slicing, then chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Serve chilled or warm. PC117987

SIDEBAR: Plain Pie Pastry Makes two 9-inch pie crusts

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup vegetable shortening
5 to 7 tablespoons cold milk

Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Cut in the shortening with a pastry blender until it is the size of small peas. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the milk over part of the flour mixture. Gently toss with a fork and push to the side of the bowl. Sprinkle another tablespoon of milk over another dry part, toss with a fork and push to the side of the bowl. Repeat with the remaining milk until all of the flour mixture is moistened.

Press the dough together to form 2 equal balls, then flatten into disks. Roll out the crusts right away, or wrap the dough tightly, smoothing out any little wrinkles or air pockets, and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each ball to a thickness of 1/8 inch. Use a light touch and handle the dough as little as possible.

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