Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Double-Crusted Blueberry Pie w. Vanilla Bean Ice Cream (TWD)

We did some excellent outdoor entertaining for friends this weekend! The weather was picture perfect and the July 4th holiday resulted with a nice three day weekend. Most significant for us---after two years of extensive home remodeling (both the interior and front and back yards), we can finally say that we're finished (knock on wood) and for once can enjoy our home instead of working on it.

Along with some great barbeque courtesy of the hubby, I served this week's TWD recipe, double-crusted blueberry pie. This week's recipe was selected by Amy of South In Your Mouth.

I have not been an avid baker of pies, as I've never had great success with double crust pies. It's not the dough making that I'm challenged with; it's the baking part. More times than not, I end up with a nice golden top crust and a disappointing soggy bottom crust.

I'll be damned if this recipe gets the best of me, so I did some research before getting my hands dirty. Along with heeding Dorie Greenspan's great tips and instructions, I also applied some techniques from The Pie and Pastry Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum. The most significant shift in my technique was to bake the pie on the lowest rack in the oven, which is supposed to promote the browning of the bottom crust.

I did follow Dorie's recipe almost exactly as written. I used the smaller wild blueberries, and ended up using a combination of 1 pint fresh and 2 10oz bags frozen (a bit more than what the recipe calls for). I reduced the sugar to 2/3 C, doubled the amount of lemon juice/zest, and added a tbsn of chopped mint to the filling.

I was inspired by a picture in Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook, which showed star cutouts for the top crust (hers was a blueberry pie as well), so decided to follow her lead. After baking, the stars ended up looking like starfish, but at this point I was more fixated by what I couldn't see, which was the bottom crust.

The final results were EXCEPTIONAL! The crust was nicely browned, flaky and tender...and yes, to my relief this applied to the bottom crust as well!!! The filling had set perfectly and the mint helped punctuate the bright flavor of the sweet/tart blueberries.


The pie was served a la mode with my favorite homemade vanilla bean ice cream ---thank you once again David Lebovitz!!! To be totally decadent, I tweaked the recipe by adding an extra vanilla bean and substituting the whole milk with half & half - yes, this ice cream isn't for the faint of heart, but the end result is ice cream HEAVEN! Thanks to Dorie and David, we have another perfect summer dessert!

If you are interested in making this pie yourself (which I HIGHLY recommend), you can find the complete recipe at South In Your Mouth. To see the delicious pies that the Tuesdays With Dorie gang have been servin up, check out the blogroll.

38 comments:

Madam Chow said...

This was a hit in my house, too - you're pie looks wonderful! Perfecting pie crust is a challenge, but it is so worth it. Beautiful photos, by the way!
Madam Chow
http://www.mzkitchen.com

April said...

WOW, that is one amazing-looking pie. Great job!

kim said...

great job on the pie, it looks so cute with the stars on top!
congrats on finishing your remodeling, too :)

Engineer Baker said...

I love the top crust, and I'm glad you figured out how to avoid soggy bottom crusts. Beautiful.

PaniniKathy said...

I absolutely love the star cutouts!! And I second your thumbs up to David Lebovitz' vanilla bean ice cream - I made it last weekend too and it was divine!

Bumblebutton said...

Your pie is just gorgeous! And your guests must really think you are all that with scrumptious ice cream too! Great photos.

Jules Someone said...

Nice stars! Thanks to you and Rose for the bottom rack idea. I'll have to try it next time.

Tammy said...

that does look exceptional! I love the stars

Susie Homemaker said...

OMG - that pie is beautiful! so jealous!! and here i was trying to reduce the calories of ice cream and you fattened itup! (i'm gonna try that - my ass thanks you...all bajillion pounds of it.)

Amelia Bedielia said...

What an awesome idea for the crust! I never though of doing something like that before. Great job it looks absolutely delish :)!

Rachelle said...

Beautiful!! I love the stars too!

Christine said...

I love the stars on your pie perfect for the holiday. Great job!

Stephanie said...

I love that you had stars on it! So cute!

Katie B. said...

How appropriate your stars were for the 4th! Your pie looks great!

Jana said...

I did that too! But my filling wasn't as tasty. :[ I had a paper to write before the July 4th weekend.

http://ronandjana.blogspot.com/2008/07/patriotic-blueberry-pie.html

ladonisbleu said...

beautiful! the stars add a nice touch.

Steph said...

Your pictures are one of the best I've seen. The filling looks pretty sturdy while the crust looks nicely brown. I love how the sugar added such sparkle to your crust!

steph- whisk/spoon said...

i think your starry pie is beautiful!

charlotte s said...

the pie crust is adorable! great idea!

Lynnylu said...

Stars on Thars(Dr.Suess)olkktx-looks great!

ostwestwind said...

Your pie looks wonderful, star decorated! My second pie turned out fine, I think I didn't cool the crust enough

Ulrike from K├╝chenlatein

LyB said...

I love your "star crust", so beautiful!

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

Your pie is gorgeous! I love how you made the top crust out of stars. Beautiful job!

Jenny said...

Ooh I love the stars! The pie looks amazing.

Annie & Nate said...

You did an excellent job on both accounts! Top notch!

I wish I had an ice cream maker now because I have a serious craving for vanilla bean ice cream.

Erin said...

Your pie looks great! It's so pretty with the stars on top. Glad you liked it!

Shari said...

Wow, your star cutouts on top look amazing!! Would have been perfect for July 4th!
Shari@Whisk: a food blog

PheMom said...

I love, love, love your crust! Great job!

Pamela said...

I thought about doing a star top like that, too. But I was not nearly as ambitious as you. It looks beautiful!

Jaime said...

looks at those flecks of vanilla bean in your ice cream, yum! i LOVE the stars crust that you made. thanks for the tip about putting the pie towards the lower half of the oven

likesprinkles said...

I loooove the stars! So cute!

Carol Peterman said...

I love those tiny little wild blueberries, I used them in my pie as well. The first thing I thought of when I saw your pie was 4th of July stars, not starfish. It looks festive and delicious.

Barbara said...

Your pie looks so beautiful and your pictures are great!
I'm a big fan of Rose Levy Beranbaum's books too. I use another hint from her book to keep my bottom crusts from getting soggy -- I put a baking stone on the bottom rack and preheat it. You could also use a heavy metal baking pan, preheated.
I'm glad your pie turned out so well!

The Queen of Quite a Lot said...

The star top crust looks amazing. Great job!

Mevrouw Cupcake said...

Your pie looks FABULOUS!!! I only wish I'd been able to whip up some homemade ice cream to go with mine. Dorie and David are such a good combo!

Beryl said...

Wow, wow, wow! Your pie is gorgeous! I love the stars- Martha sometimes scares me but that's a genius idea!

Zoe Francois said...

What fun! My kids are going to love this one.

Dianne's Dishes said...

Gorgeous! I love the star crust, that is just beautiful!

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