Blueberries are known for containing some of the highest levels of active antioxidants per serving of any food. 100g of blueberries (about ¾ of a cup), contains the same amount of antioxidants as 5 servings of other fruits and vegetables. A recent study has shown that blueberries protect brain health and improve memory in older adults. Participants in the study consumed 2-2 ½ cups of blueberries daily and saw huge improvements. So it’s great news that this pie contains exactly 2 ½ cups of blueberries. Following that theory, this pie is a great way to get your daily dose of blueberries and I would recommend eating the whole pie, just to be sure! And that pastry is so delicious – my other theory is (to justify eating a whole pie) that the healthy blueberries surely negate that buttery pastry consumption.
Here’s 2 ½ cups of my own home-grown, fresh, organic blueberries that went into the filling for this pie. Blueberries are expensive, so I was very pleased to have a great harvest this year:
RECIPE: BLUEBERRY PIE WITH BUTTERY SWEET SHORTCRUST PASTRY
NOTE: The pastry for this recipe is more than is needed in the pie. Use half the amount in the pie and freeze the other half for making other pies and tarts (this will keep frozen for about 6 months).
Sweet Shortcrust Pastry:
2 ½ cups plain flour
½ tspn salt
1 tbspn caster sugar
250g cold unsalted butter, diced
¼ to ½ cup iced water
2 ½ cups (375g) fresh or frozen blueberries
1/3 cup caster sugar
1 ½ slightly rounded tbspns cornflour
Finely grated rind of ½ lemon
1 tbspn lemon juice
Pinch of salt
1 small egg, lightly beaten
1 tbspn milk
Caster sugar, for sprinkling
- Pulse flour, salt, and sugar in a processor until combined.
- Add the diced butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. With the motor running, add ¼ cup of iced water. Add extra water, 1 tablespoon at a time if necessary up to ½ a cup (we used more than ¼, but not a full ½ a cup).
- Pulse until the dough is crumbly but holds together when squeezed. Do not over-mix.
- Halve the dough (measure on kitchen scales). Cut one of the dough halves into half again, and flatten so you have 2 disks and wrap in baking paper – place this dough to keep in the freezer for making other pies or tarts.
- With the remaining half of the dough, cut into roughly ¾ (for the base of the pie), and a remaining ¼ amount (for the pie top). Flatten into 2 discs. Wrap in baking paper and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.
- When pastry is chilled, take out the disc of pastry for the pie base and roll out, (tip: make use of the baking paper it was wrapped in to place over pastry to make it easier to roll it out).
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Oil a pie dish (18cm x 18cm and about 3cm deep) and line base and sides of the dish with the pastry. Then place in fridge to chill for 10 minutes while preparing the pie filling and pie top.
- Filling: Combine the blueberries, cornflour, sugar, lemon rind and juice, and salt in a large bowl, and set aside.
- Pie Top: On a floured bench, roll the disc of pastry for the pie top.
There are several options for the pie top – either make a latticed top (as in the photo at the top of the page) OR, using a 5cm biscuit cutter, cut enough rounds to cover the pie top (with small gaps in between the pastry rounds), OR cover the pie top completely with pastry and make small holes for the steam to escape. OPTION: instead of a pie topping of pastry, pie topping you could make a crumble topping.
I made the lattice topped pie. To make this: roll out the disc of pastry and make it a bit bigger than the size of the pie dish. Place on a flat tray and cut pastry into even strips, then place in freezer for 5-7 minutes to make the strips easier to work with. When pastry is cool, arrange strips of pastry on baking paper in a basket-weave pattern. When arranged, lightly roll the pastry to keep it together.
- Pour pie filling into the pastry-lined dish:
- Place the pie top over the filling and trim the pastry edges:
- Brush pie top with pastry glaze of combined egg and milk and sprinkle with caster sugar.
- Bake until the crust is golden, about 40 minutes. After about 25 minutes, move the pie to lower in the oven to make sure the pastry base is cooked. If the pie top brown too quickly, place baking paper over the pie top to slow the browning process.
- Cool on a wire rack for 1 hour.
- Serve warm or at room temperature. Great served as it is, or with whipped cream, ice-cream, custard, or yoghurt.
We served a slice of pie with quenelles of Vanilla Bean Ice-cream, from the famous local Hawke’s Bay ice-cream makers Rush Munro’s (established in 1926).
For another serving of pie, we made a side of whipped cream and custard mixed together to make a quick version of a crème patissiere. I highly recommend this – the combination was truly delicious.
The full recipe for the whipped cream and custard can be found here: http://www.inthekitchenwithmum.com/2015/03/blueberry-honey-mille-feuille/