Black and blue for you: Black and blue pie

I do enjoy holiday weekends. It’s not so much the extra days off (which, if we’re honest, don’t mean much to me now that I’m without a day job); it’s more about the infectious spirit that rolls in the streets. The general feeling of reckless abandon and awesome indulgence, of giddiness, of getting together with your friends and making mischief. Of miscellaneous backyard explosions and the very real concern that someone’s house is going to be set alight before the evening’s end. For my money there’s not much better–hence, my love of the 4th of July. While it will never replace Thanksgiving in my affections, it’s trying pretty bloody hard.

Black and blue pie

This year’s festivities were held at the home of my wonderful friends, M&A (I may have mentioned them before; they have pet chinchillas and the most prodigious collection of games this side of the Mississippi. They are two of my very favorite people in the history of ever). They are renowned for throwing kick-ass barbecues; so kick-ass, that it became a moral imperative to hitch my star to that wagon and contribute. After much hemming and hawing, I decided to bring two things: my infamous pulled pork (which was initially supposed to be smoked over the grill, but…no. Didn’t quite work out that way, though it was still delicious and all seven pounds got eaten in about six minutes by ravenous guests) and a new experiment–a black and blue pie.

pie2

It might surprise you to know that I was far more stressed out by the latter than the former. For while I’ve had quite a bit of experience dealing with giant slabs of slow-roasted meat, I haven’t come up against a fruit pie since I was about thirteen years old. And lest we forget, I’ve only recently figured out pie crusts (though, midway through this process, it became patently obvious that I hadn’t learned quite as much as I’d thought). So, it was a challenge, for sure. Fortunately, I had the sense to ask Mr. Google, who promptly offered up a wonderful recipe by Joyce Carol (via Serious Eats), who made it all seem so easy! Her filling was so simple, so light, so full of personality! Basically, all you had to do was mix up some blackberries, some blueberries, and two or three other ingredients, and you were in business! If only my crust had behaved so well; I made the colossal mistake of making this on an extremely hot day, in my extremely hot and un-airconditioned home. While I was doing laundry. Yes, please, hand me the dunce cap. It will go so nicely with my dress.

After much cursing, freezing, and fresh attempts, I finally clubbed the crust into submission (and yes, as a result it was not so flaky as I would have liked), and managed to get the pie together. It was, ultimately, actually rather beautiful, particularly after I gave it a few stars and a sprinkling of sparkly pink sugar. And, best of all, it was freaking DELICIOUS. The only thing I would do to improve it would be to serve it with a big dollop of ice cream. I might also consider throwing in some cherries, though it would mean I’d have to stop calling it a black-and-blue pie, a moniker I enjoy almost as much as the pie itself.

Oh, and I’d make myself less of a crust idiot, but I’m confident that will come in time. Hopefully.

Joyce Carol’s Black and Blue Pie

via Serious Eats

-makes one 9-inch pie-
-Adapted from Sweetie Pies by Patty Pinner

Ingredients

Double recipe Butter crust pie dough
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 cups fresh blueberries, picked over
1 1/2 cups fresh blackberries, picked over
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Procedure
  1. Preheat the oven to 450° F.
  2. Gather the dough into two balls, one slightly larger than the other. Refrigerate the smaller one. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the larger one into a 12-inch circle, about 1/8 inch thick. Place a nine-inch pie plate upside down on top of it. Using a small knife, cut around the plate, leaving a one-inch border of dough around the plate. Remove the plate. Transfer the crust to the pie plate and press firmly into the plate.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cloves and nutmeg. Gently stir in the berries and vanilla until well-coated, then pour into the bottom crust. Sprinkle with the lemon juice and dot with the butter.
  4. Remove the dough for the top crust from the refrigerator and roll out to an 11-inch circle. Lay the top crust over the filling. Seal the top and bottom crusts, then crimp the edges. Cut steam vents in the top with a knife (I chose lightning bolts). Cover the edge of the pie with two to three-inch wide strips of aluminum foil. Place in the oven and bake until the top turns golden, 35 to 45 minutes. (Remove the foil for the last 10 minutes of baking.)


In baked, baking, barbecue, dessert, pie, pies

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