This morning when I left the house I had absolutely no intention of making a blueberry pie; but as luck would have it, when I stopped at the farmer's market to pick up tomatoes for tomorrow's lunch, I spotted the most luscious blueberries I've seen in a long time. So after adding them to my basket, I stopped at the store to purchase a frozen crust to make my "homemade" blueberry pie. Yes, I do cheat sometimes, (more often than not) and buy a ready made crust, but not just any ready made crust, only Mrs. Smith's.
I have never found a better recipe for blueberry pie than the one in the Joy Of Cooking, that old stalwart of my generation. If you don't have this cookbook, I strongly recommend it. It has everything you can think of as well as very detailed instructions on how to go about making things. Better yet, and this is the part I like, it gives you alternatives. Case in point, when I looked for a recipe on one of my other books it called for tapioca pudding. Who has that in a pantry these days?! The Joy of Cooking gives you that option plus two others, flour or cornstarch, and depending on which one you pick, it adjusts the rest of the ingredients. In the case of blueberries you have to be careful which thickening agent you use for they can get get quite runny when baked.
As to the crust, leave it out for about 30 minutes so that you can ply loose one of the crusts from the tinfoil. Lay it flat on the counter and cut 1/2 inch strips with a knife or pizza cutter. Follow the instructions here on how to make a lattice top. Easy!
If you use a ready made crust, this pie takes no time at all; and if you cut the second crust in strips for a latticed pie no one can tell it was not home made. I had to swear on my grandchildren three times before my daughter believed I had made it from scratch!
Tips from "Joy of Cooking"
•A 9-inch fruit or berry pie needs about 4 cups of fresh fruit or 3 cups of cooked fruit.
•Each type of fruit requires its own quota of sweetening. For example, 4 cups of gooseberries need about 1 3/4 cups of sugar, while blueberries may need no more than 1/2 cup plus lemon juice to heighten the flavor.
•Acidic fruits should be thickened with tapioca starch, cornstarch or arrowroot starch because the acidity of the fruit may neutralize the thickening power of the flour.
1. Line a 9-inch pie pan with dough. I used Mrs. Smith frozen pie shell.
2. Prepare by picking over and hulling:
4 cups fresh berries
2/3 to 1 cup or more sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour (I recommend 1/2 if fruit is very juicy)
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice or 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (I used Cinnamon)
4. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the berries and stir gently until well blended. Let stand for 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C).
5.Turn the fruit into the pie shell. Dot with:
1 to 2 tablespoons butter
6 .Cover the pie with a well-pricked top or with a lattice*. Bake the pie at 450°F (230°C) for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350°F (175°C) and bake 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown * watch after 30 minutes, mine only took 35 mins.
* for a lattice top, use the second pie shell. Let it come to room temperature, separate from tin shell, lay it out flat and with pizza cutter cut 1/2 in strips. Follow these directions.