Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Summer Shack Blueberry Pie

Last summer, on this exact date we were visiting Boston to look at schools for my son. It seems so long ago , before all the college applications began. I was lucky enough to meet and have lunch with some wonderful internet friends I have made over the years...we had a wonderful afternoon. One of my dear friends gave me the Summer Shack cookbook as a remembrance of my days in New England...I love the book. And her! We ate ate twice at the restaurant in Cambridge...that was where we were was really good. But I did not have the pie! Too full!
I had a plethora of fat, juicy, and sweet New Jersey Blueberries and decided on a whim to try this blueberry pie recipe. It was very good. I really liked to idea of cooking half the berries and putting in the other half raw. I also loved the flavor of the maple syrup added. I have a lovely bottle of Canadian grade B syrup that I used. I made the crust with Martha Stewart's Pate Brisee, my favorite crust recipe.
My only mistake was to do a lattice crust on this particular was a bit messy to work with since the berries were already in a partially cooked state, you can see it was a little messy in the time I will use a complete top crust as directed in the recipe. I also should have put the pie in the fridge for a bit before baking. I was fussing with the crust too much and it got a bit warm...another reason to be quick and do the full top crust. But ya live and learn!
Is this my favorite blueberry pie recipe? Not too sure on that...whichever one I bake seems to be the family favorite of the moment. But I enjoyed this because it was different. I did use more lemon juice than called for in the recipe, I felt it needed a bit more to cut the sweetness of the syrup. You just have to give it a taste and see. This was not the prettiest pie I have ever baked...but it did not matter.
My guys were happy with warm blueberry pie and vanilla ice cream for dessert...
No pics of the plated pie...they were too much in a hurry to eat it!

Blueberry Pie
From: Jasper White's Summer Shack Cookbook
Serves 8

Blueberry pie holds a place of honor in the food culture of New England. It is expected at certain events: to hold a clambake or lobster dinner and not serve blueberry pie is abnormal. It is more than a dessert-it is an icon. Serve blueberry pie, and the world is right; serve it warm with melting vanilla ice cream, and it is nirvana. This recipe is for a classic double-crusted pie, with just enough cornstarch to keep the filling from being runny and tons of blueberry flavor. Half the blueberries are cooked in advance to make a thick compote; the rest are folded in, allowing their juices to enrich the filling while retaining some of their whole berry character.

For equipment, you will need a 3-quart saucepan, a rolling pin, a deep (but not deep-dish) 9-inch glass pie pan, and a pastry brush. If you have a pizza stone, baking the pie on a preheated stone ensures that the bottom crust bakes through and browns, and prevents a soggy bottom.

4 pints local blueberries, picked over and rinsed, divided
3⁄4 cup water, divided
1 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
1⁄2 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (optional)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1⁄8 teaspoon salt
1⁄3 cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 prepared pie crusts (use your favorite recipe or one of Jasper’s two recipes included in his book.)

Working Ahead

The pie dough can be made in advance and kept, well wrapped, in the refrigerator for a day or two, or up to 1 month in the freezer. To thaw the frozen dough, transfer it to the refrigerator the night before you plan to make the pie.

1. Combine half the blueberries in a medium saucepan with 1⁄4 cup of the water, 1 cup sugar, maple syrup, lemon zest, if using, lemon juice, and salt. Cook over very low heat, stirring occasionally, until the berries begin to give off juice, about 5 minutes. Turn the heat up to medium and cook for 5 more minutes or until the blueberries break apart.

2. Meanwhile, mix the cornstarch with the remaining 1⁄2 cup cold water until smooth, to make a slurry. Gradually pour the slurry into the hot blueberry mixture, stirring until it thickens. Let the mixture bubble for 30 seconds to cook the cornstarch, then remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the butter. Add the remaining berries to the mixture and allow it to cool.

3. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow it to warm slightly at room temperature for 5 minutes. Lightly flour a work surface and roll out the larger piece of dough to a circle about 12 inches. Place it in a 9-inch glass pie dish and press it over the bottom and up the sides. Roll out the second piece of dough to an 11-inch circle.

4. Turn the filling into the pie shell. Drape the top crust over the filling. Trim the overhang and crimp the edges of the crusts together. Chill the pie while you preheat the oven. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 375ºF. If you are using a pizza stone, allow 30 minutes for it to heat up.

5. Remove the pie from the refrigerator. Brush the top crust lightly with water and sprinkle with the 1 tablespoon sugar. Make about 8 small incisions into the top crust to create steam vents. Bake the pie for about 45 minutes, until the top crust is brown and the filling is bubbling. Remove the pie from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack.

Pate Brisee
Martha Stewart

The pie dough may be made one day ahead and refrigerated, well wrapped in plastic, or frozen up to one month.


* 2 1/2 Cups all-purpose flour
* 1 Teaspoon coarse salt
* 1 Teaspoon sugar
* 1 Cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter cut into pieces
* 1/4 to 1/2 Cup ice water


1. Place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor, and process for a few seconds to combine. Add the butter pieces to the flour mixture, and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about 10 seconds. Add the ice water in a slow, steady stream, pouring it through the feed tube with the machine running, just until the dough holds together. Do not process for more than 30 seconds.
2. Turn the dough out onto a work surface. Divide into 2 equal pieces, and place on 2 separate sheets of plastic wrap. Flatten, and form 2 disks. Wrap, and refrigerate at least 1 hour before using.


  1. Oh Linda, you're killin' me! You are the pastry Queen ~ look at that BEAUTIFUL Blueberry Pie!

    How enjoyable it would be to sit down with you and share a slice. :)


  2. I would like a slice too...I had a hoo...
    But with you I would have sliver!

  3. It looks delicious! Is Julia's kitchen in Cambridge? did you go?:)

  4. Beautiful! I know it is as tasty as it is beautiful!

  5. I love blueberries and your cake looks mouth watering. Hope you are doing well.

  6. Monique...Julia's whole entire real kitchen is in the Smithsonian in Washington ,DC...I did see it twice.
    It was wonderful. I enjoyed taking my time, looking at everything in her kitchen...
    We were staying in Cambridge as it was more convenient for us to visit Harvard and some other schools we were looking at , at the time...

    Thanks so much everyone for stopping by!

  7. I have to admire anyone who bakes pies in this heat. It does look worth it though.

  8. Linda, your blueberry pie is a masterpiece. I love the lattice crust.

  9. Thanks is not as pretty as yours! You remain the Queen of Pie!

  10. That is a gorgeous pie! I love trying different recipes. I'll have to give this one a try, too. I can understand why your family couldn't wait to devour it!

  11. Oh please, save a slice for me. Your pie is gorgeous and has my mouth watering. Blueberry is one of my favorites.

  12. looks delicious! I live about 1 mile from the cambridge summer shack!