I have always found a bit of solace in baking. Cutting cold butter into sifted flour feels purposeful. When a pie comes together or a cake bakes just right and the icing is smooth, I feel like all is right in the world. This summer has been a roller coaster for me and I’ve found myself baking more than my normal share of pie – baking something that brings joy to the friends around our table and a few moments of peace to my own heart as I mix fruit and sugar and butter to make something beautiful.
Even though my mom’s peach pie recipe is the very best, my husband loves blueberries more than most other fruits. I have been long overdue to give a blueberry pie a go and since they were on sale this week it seemed like the perfect moment to try my hand at it. For his birthday last week, Mr. ThirdRow was gifted some artisan cherry flavored Moonshine from a dear friend. While it turned out to be a wee bit too strong to drink, it was just what I’d been looking for to take my pie crust to the next level! I still swear by Pam’s Pie Tutorial from The Pioneer Woman. I follow her directions to a tee, but this time I added ice cold Moonshine instead of water to my crust. I’d read about people using vodka in their crusts so that the alcohol bakes out leaving a delicate and flakey to-die-for crust. They were right! This was my best crust yet.
2 pie crusts (top and bottom layers)
2 pints fresh blueberries, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
6 tablespoons corn starch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter
milk for brushing
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line pie plate with single layer of pastry dough and set aside. In a large bowl, gently toss blueberries in lemon juice. Sprinkle the corn starch, salt, and sugar over the top. Gently fold together to coat the berries. Pour the berries into the pie and dot with butter. Roll out the top layer of pastry dough on the counter and, using a pizza cutter, cut it into 1/2 inch strips. Carefully weave the strips to create a lattice top. Brush the lattice crust with milk and place in the oven. Bake for 45 minutes or until berries are bubbly and crust is golden brown.
My crust browned pretty quickly. So, after 25 minutes in the oven I covered it with aluminum foil and left it covered for the remainder of it’s baking.