Saturday, December 3, 2011

TWD: Double Crusted Blueberry Pie

This is my first official Tuesdays with Dorie entry and my first ever attempt at baking a pie... from scratch! I have to say too -- this was a huge learning experience for me. First was the dough. Well, let's just say it took a few tries before I got it right. I think my post on the Nest Forums kinds of sums it up:

Post title: My Nemesis -- Pie dough!
Ugh, this is only the 2nd time I've tried to make my own pie dough and I'm about to pull my hair out. The first time I made it, I used a Martha Stewart recipe and while the dough tasted very good in the final recipe, I had a devil of a time rolling it out. It stuck to EVERYTHING! Then tonight I tried to make Dorie's pie dough for the blueberry pie I'm making (for TWD). Well her recipe must use more ingredients (I lost the MS one so I can't really compare for sure) but my food processor was pretty full and that was just for enough dough for 1 crust. That scared me. And then in Dorie's pie dough recipe, it said to just cut the butter to 1 T sized pieces -- ugh that sounded kinda big! I went with it though and what a pain! Then I tried to wet the dough down with the ice water and had such difficulty determining when it was ready. Even while adding gradually, I put too much water in and had to redo the whole thing twice before finally getting a decent batch. UGH! So now I think I have two batches of workable dough. If this stuff doesn't roll out for me tomorrow morning, I don't know WHAT I'm going to do! Please tell (a) I'm not alone or (b) this will get better! TIA!

Well, I'm glad to say that in the morning, when I went to roll the dough out, all went well! Phew! So it took a few tries, but I finally figured out how to make pie dough in my tiny food processor. Yea! To make things easier, I used this cool item I got at my local kitchen gadget store. It's called a "Pie Crust Maker". It's kind of like a duvet cover, but for dough. HA! You roll the dough out while it's inside, and it makes a perfect circle in the perfect size. This type of thing is just what I needed!

I then went about assembling the pie. This was a bit tricky, but luckily, the dough was forgiving. I then put the pie in the oven and crossed my fingers.

About half way through cooking, I was supposed to lower the heat. I thought this would be a good time to check on the pie. I opened the oven to see (a) the crust was already browned, and (b) the blueberry mixture still looked just look blueberries with sugar and flour! Uhhh, the filling is NOT supposed to look like that... at least I don't think so... getting worried! I quickly went on the Nest and the oh-so kind girls there told me to just tent some foil over the pie to prevent further browning. Done! I then double, triple, and quadruple checked the filling recipe to make sure I hadn't messed it up. I did everything as suggested, so now I just had to pray the filling would somehow transform itself into the gooey goodness I had pictured in my mind.

Well, the timer went off, and no gooey goodness. I could see that the sugar was starting to melt down though -- progress in sight! I added 15 minutes to the timer... more progress, but no bubbling yet. I gave it 15 more minutes. That time, when I lifted the foil, I could see bubbling! Yea, my pie was done!

Now this thing is NO piece of beauty! It is pretty tasty though. I had a good mix of sweet and tart blueberries which was nice since there was the sweetness of the sugar and the tart lemon rind / juice in the filling -- a great balance with taste in every bite. I liked the filling overall. The crust was decent too. It was a little more crumbly at the edges than I would have liked, but I think that's more because of how I put it together. Hopefully I'll improve with practice!

So while this adventure was a pain in the behind, I really learned a lot and enjoyed tasting my final product. I definitely think I would like to try this again... in a little while! I can't wait to see what the next TWD challenge will be!

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