Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Blueberry Pie

The most important thing you need to know about pie-baking is that you shouldn't just up and decide that you would like to make a pie from scratch and also be able to eat it in like 4 hours.  Pie baking doesn't work like that.  Apparently. 

About a month ago, I decided that it would be a really awesome idea to purchase a gallon bag of fresh from the farm organic blueberries:

Ian says I am obsessed with Instagram...he is possibly correct.
I made this decision because (a) blueberries are delicious and (b) I wanted to bake with them.  Much to Ian's consternation, I baked gluten-full and gluten-free blueberry muffins as soon as I had these blueberries in my possession (I haven't written about these baked goods yet for multiple reasons...but let's just agree to blame laziness). 

Ian, who is back in Iowa these days, was a little peeved...he may have been the one who put the blueberry muffin idea in my head in the first place...and I may have rubbed in how delicious the muffins were every chance I got.  Not on purpose, really, just because I happened to be eating a lot of delicious muffins around the times I happened to be on the phone with Ian. 

Anyway, I baked a lot, ate a lot of the blueberries, and then put the rest in the freezer to use for baking purposes at a later time.

So, Ian came to visit me this past weekend and we semi-invited ourselves to our friends' house for dinner and hanging out on Saturday.  While we were lazily hanging out during the day, the idea of how delicious a blueberry pie would taste just came to me...and Ian got a little sad look on his face and said something about how it did sound delicious but that it didn't matter because I was just going to bake it when he was in Iowa anyway. 

At about 2:00, I decided that I wanted to bake the pie right then and there.  We were supposed to be over for dinner at 6:30 and the drive would take about 20 minutes...I figured we had time to "whip up" a pie. 

I'm not going to walk you through the specifics of baking this pie or even give you the recipe, because it is a complicated process that you have to do 100% correct to end up with delicious flaky crust...and with this being my first pie and all...I think you are better off relying on the real instructions.  Crust (doubled) and filling.

I will, however, tell you what I learned.

So, first things first, apparently in order to have good crust you absolutely NEED everything to be as cold as humanly possible. The directions I followed suggested keeping butter in the freezer at all times just in case the urge to bake a pie strikes. Clearly, as this is the first pie I've ever attempted to make outside of high school home ec class, I did not have butter in my freezer. So I quickly threw some butter in the freezer and waited minimum amount of time before I began preparing my dough.

Apparently this "keep everything cold" rule follows through all of the pie making process.  You need your dough cold when you roll it out if you do want a flaky crust and don't want it to stick to the counter.  I pulled my dough out of the fridge, rolled it out all carefully so it was a circle, trying hard to make sure it would fit my pie plate...and then asked Ian to check it.  He came in and was like, "Oh...this is totally stuck to the counter.  You are going to have to try again."  FML.  So, keep it cold and work fast!

Pie making isn't for the impatient (which I am).  Because of the whole "keep everything cold" crap, there is just a lot of time hanging out while you are waiting for stuff to get cold.

The entire pie making experience turned in to a team exercise at the end.  I prepared the dough and the filling; Ian assembled the beautiful pie!  I'm very impressed with his pie assembly skills!  We've been showing off the picture of the pie like it is a child.  Seriously.

Anyway, the most important lesson I learned in regards to baking a pie is that when the directions tell you that you need to let the pie cool completely before cutting it, you actually do need to let the pie cool completely.  We took our assembled pie over to our friends' house and baked it there while we were preparing and eating dinner.  It came out of the oven right when we sat down to eat.  It cooled for maybe two hours, and we thought it was fine to eat. 

It wasn't.

Don't get me wrong, it tasted awesome and it was cool enough to eat.  But it was like pie soup.  Delicious, blueberry, pie soup.

We ate half of the pie that night and took the rest home.  When we woke up and ate pie for breakfast (stop judging me), the remaining pieces had filling that had miraculously firmed up!  There is a purpose for the waiting, people!

But if you can't wait, warm but soupy pie is still delicious...so you should feel free to dig in!

The only thing I regret is that there is only one slice left:
(I'm eating it tonight!)

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