Make-Ahead Blue Ribbon Blueberry Pie
I love make-ahead recipes, whether it’s the main course or dessert, it’s nice to have some of the work done in advance. Blueberry Pie is one of my favorites, but can be tricky because the juicy berries can create a challenge for maintaining a crispy crust. I discovered this recipe from Cooks Country and I think it’s my new favorite. Trader Joe’s has great dried blueberries at a reasonable price, but if you can't find them, dried cranberries will work as well. If you don’t feel like making your own crust, just use one 15-ounce box Pillsbury Just Unroll! pie crust.
1 recipe Double-Crust Pie Dough (recipe follows)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
4 whole graham crackers, crushed to fine crumbs
6 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
1 ¼ cups dried blueberries or cranberries
¾ cup sugar
2 tablespoons Minute tapioca
2 teaspoons lemon juice
½ teaspoon lemon zest
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
PREPARE CRUSTS On a lightly floured surface, roll 1 dough into 12-inch circle (if using store-bought dough, you do not need to roll either crust). Transfer to 9-inch pie plate. Brush crust with 2 tablespoons melted butter and sprinkle with half of cracker crumbs evenly over crust. Cover with plastic and refrigerate 30 minutes.
1. Heat 4 cups blueberries and cranberries in saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally and mashing slightly, until blueberries break down and mixture is thickened, 8 to 10 minutes for fresh berries, 10-13 minutes for frozen (mixture should measure about 1 1/4 cups).
2. Let cool slightly, and then stir in sugar, tapioca, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, cinnamon and remaining blueberries. Refrigerate until cool, about 15 minutes.
1. Transfer filling to dough-lined pie plate. Sprinkle remaining cracker crumbs over filling. Drizzle remaining melted butter over crushed graham crackers. Place pie in refrigerator while rolling out top crust. Brush border of bottom crust with water, then arrange top crust over pie. Crimp edges of pie. Cut six 1-inch slits about 1 inch from crust and four 1-inch slits near center of pie. Allow pie to firm in freezer for 1 hour. Once pie is firm, wrap it tightly with plastic, then aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 2 months.
TO BAKE PIE:
1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Unwrap pie and bake until juices are bubbling and crust is golden brown, about 80 minutes. Let cool on wire rack at least 2 hours. Serve.
Double-Crust Pie Dough
Makes enough for one 9-inch pie
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling out the dough
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon table salt
8 tablespoons vegetable shortening, cut into 1/4-inch pieces and chilled
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), cut into 1/4-inch pieces and chilled
6 – 8 tablespoons ice water
1. Process the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor until combined. Scatter the shortening over the top and process until the mixture has the texture of coarse sand, about 10 seconds. Scatter the butter pieces over the top and, using short pulses, process the mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs, about 10 pulses. Transfer to a bowl.
2. Sprinkle 6 tablespoons of the ice water over the mixture. Stir and press the dough together, using a stiff rubber spatula until the dough sticks together. If the dough does not come together, stir in the remaining water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it does.
3. Divide the dough into two even pieces and flatten each into a 4-inch disk. Wrap the disks tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Let the chilled dough soften slightly at room temperature before rolling it out and fitting it into a pie plate.
To Make Ahead:
The dough can be refrigerated, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 2 months. Let the frozen dough thaw on the countertop until malleable before rolling.