Top-Only Real Blueberry Pie
A twist of lemon in the filling and a ground-walnut crust update the classic blueberry pie.
Here is a standard, classic blueberry pie with two slight and magical differences: a hint of lemon in the filling, and ground walnuts in the top-only crust. You can make this any time of year, because it works incredibly well with frozen berries, but of course, it is best in summer with fresh blueberries.
As there is only the top crust, it’s fun to let the kids cut the rolled out dough into shapes with cookie cutters (see instructions below). If you're using frozen berries, do not defrost them first. Just put them right in there, still frozen and allow a little extra cooking time. Use a microplane grater to prepare the lemon zest. Zest the lemons before juicing them.
- 9 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen, unsweetened)
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 6 tablespoons unbleached white flour
- 1 cup sugar
- walnut pie crust (recipe follows)
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar crystals
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 1 cup unbleached white flour
- pinch salt
- 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
- About 2 to 3 tablespoons cold water
- Extra flour, as needed, for rolling the dough
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Place the berries in a bowl and sprinkle them with lemon zest, lemon juice, flour and sugar. Toss very gently, until the berries are evenly coated.
Pour the filling into an 10-inch pie dish. Roll out the dough until it is about1/8 inch thick (or perhaps a little thinner), and cut it into thin strips. Decorate the top of the berries with the strips in a criss-cross pattern. Or, instead of cutting it into strips, let your kids cut it into shapes with cookie cutters, and just lay the pieces on top of the filling. Have a good time! There is no right or wrong way to do this. (It helps to let all the strips or shapes be touching one another, so they will meld together during baking, a little milk lightly brushed along the edges that touch will help glue them together. Also, press together the edges that meet the sides of the crust.) Brush lightly with milk and dust with sugar crystals.
Place the pie pan on a foil-lined tray, and bake in the bottom half of the oven for 45 to 55 minutes, or until the filling is bubbly around the edges and the crust is lightly browned.
Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.
Place the walnuts in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade attachment. Add 1/4 cup of the flour, and pulse until the walnuts are finely ground.
Add the remaining flour and the salt, and pulse a couple more times so all the dry ingredients become uniformly blended.
Working quickly to keep the butter cold, cut it into slices with a dinner knife, dropping the pieces here and there on top of the flour.
Pulse the processor until the dry ingredients and butter are combined and the mixture resembles a coarse meal.
Add the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing after each addition. When the dough sticks to itself when gently squeezed, dump it out onto a clean, dry, lightly floured surface, and use your hands to press it into a ball.
Source: Courtesy of Mollie Katzen for the California Walnut Board