Love and Olive Oil

Blueberry Pie with Almond Crumble Topping

My aunt mentioned this this pie recipe from the July 2007 Bon Appetit was to die for, so how could I resist trying it? It was really my first attempt at actually making a pie crust (I was really close to just buying one premade), but it wasn’t that hard and turned out pretty darn good! If it wasn’t for the outrageous price of blueberries (I almost went into sticker shock and I was buying frozen ones!) this pie might just be perfect. I mean, almond crumble topping? That’d make ANY pie perfect.

Blueberry Pie with Almond Crumble Topping
Blueberry Pie with Almond Crumble Topping

Makes 1 9-inch pie. Recipe from Bon Appetit.

1 3/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup chilled lard or frozen nonhydrogenated solid vegetable shortening (aka Crisco), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2-3 tablespoons (or more) ice water

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (or more) sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
7 cups fresh wild or regular blueberries (32 ounces) or 32 ounces frozen wild or regular blueberries (do not thaw)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2/3 cup unbleached all purpose flour
4 ounces marzipan or almond paste, broken into 1/3-inch pieces (about 3/4 cup loosely packed)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 teaspoon salt
Whipped cream or ice cream

For crust:
Blend flour, sugar, and salt in processor. Add butter and lard; using on/off turns, blend until mixture resembles coarse meal. Transfer mixture to medium bowl. Add ice water and mix with fork until dough begins to clump together, adding more water by teaspoonfuls if dry. Gather dough together; flatten into disk. Wrap disk in plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour. Can be made 3 days ahead. Keep refrigerated. If necessary, soften slightly at room temperature before rolling out.

Roll out pie crust disk on floured surface to 12-inch round. Transfer to 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish. Turn crust edges under and crimp decoratively, forming crust edge 1/4 inch above sides of pie dish. Refrigerate while preparing filling and topping.

For filling:
Whisk 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar and cornstarch in heavy large saucepan to blend. Stir in blueberries and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat until mixture bubbles and thickens, frequently stirring gently, about 13 minutes. Chill filling until cool, about 1 hour. If more sweetness is desired, stir in sugar by tablespoonfuls.

For topping:
Combine first 4 ingredients in processor; blend until mixture begins to clump together. Transfer to bowl; chill 30 minutes. Position rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 400°F. Spread blueberry filling evenly in unbaked crust. Sprinkle topping evenly over. Place pie on rimmed baking sheet and bake until crust and topping are golden and filling bubbles thickly, about 50 minutes. Transfer pie to rack and cool completely. Can be made 8 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.

Serve pie with whipped cream or ice cream.

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  2. I like this recipe.

    Your cooked filling appeals to me much more than the uncooked berry fillings that are so popular but that don’t work very well for blueberries only partly because they don’t develop the beautiful blueberry flavor that results from cooking.

    I like the fact that you mention frozen berries because the frozen wild blueberries (Wyman brand in my neck of the woods), make the best-tasting pies, cakes, and desserts; the blueberry flavor is more intense than when using cultivated berries.

    Your crust recipe is appealing because the small amount of lard and butter will make it taste delicious, and I love the idea of crumble topping.

    Altogether a very appealing and well thought-out recipe. Thanks for priting it.

    Have you tried the two-step method of fat incorporation into pie crusts? It produces gorgeous flakes.

    Using your recipe, freeze lard and cut into 1/2 inch lumps.

    Working quickly, in food processor, process butter, flour, sugar and salt until completely blended, no lumps, 5-6 pulses.

    Add the lard to the processor.

    Give the machine one or two short pulses and then remove the mixture from the work bowl to a pie pan.

    Add the water and barely blend — I mean really, do not mix, just give enough tosses of the crumbs so that the just barely clings.

    Pat the mass together but don’t press on it.

    Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour, more if possible.

    When ready to bake, preheat oven, remove dough from refrigerator, allow to come to room temperature, pat dough into a rough round disk, roll using a knitted cover on the rolling pin and flour-dusted waxed paper underneath the dough, fold into quarters, fit into the same pie-pan you cooled the dough in (don’t worry about cleaning it) , not stretching or pulling the dough but simply lifting and redistributing to get the dough fitted to the bottom while at the same time a little overhang is produced all arund the top edge of the pan.

    Fold, cut, trim, or otherwise make an edge on the crust. Prick all over the crust with a fork so that it won’t bubble.

    Use pie weights (dry beans or peas) or simply set a light-weight pie pan inside the crust to hold it in place while baking. If the liner pan is very light, put some dry beans in it so that it will stay in place stabilizing the crust.

    Bake 20 minutes, remove the pie weights or pie-pan liner, bake another 10-12 minutes, remove from oven and cool to room temperature.

    Fill and strew topping. Bake topping and finish pie according to recipe.

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