This is a guest post by Vera Pantanizopoulos-Broux who loves food of all kinds and has a culinary perspective flavored by living in and visiting regions of North America, Europe and West Africa. Spending lots of time in her Greek grandma’s kitchen didn’t hurt either.
“When you die, if you get a choice between going to regular heaven or pie heaven, choose pie heaven. It might be a trick, but if it’s not, mmmmmmm, boy.” – Jack Handy
Local blueberry orchards are beginning to ripen as they paint a sweet and tart smile on mother nature. Soon, I will unite with fellow Knoxville area locals in the joys of picking blueberries. Tasting that soft pop of tart, foggy skin followed by sweet and aromatic flesh is something I look forward to each year.
If you’d like to pick your very own blueberries check out these local orchards and farms – call ahead to confirm availability:
When the blueberries are placed gently into a homemade pie shell and baked, an inspired metamorphosis awaits the taste buds. The home oven welcomes the opportunity to join in creating the complex layers of such a spiritual experience. In celebration of her summer grandeur, I humbly offer our own cherished recipe for double crust blueberry pie – easily constructed, resulting in a soul-melting food symphony.
16 T (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter
1 tsp refined sugar
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 c all-purpose unbleached or bread flour
1/2 c yellow cornmeal
1/4 c cold water
2 lbs. (32 oz. or 4 c) fresh blueberries
Juice and zest of 1 large lemon
3/4 c refined sugar
2 T all-purpose unbleached flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 450 F. In a large mixing bowl, blend flour and cornmeal, sugar and salt. Cut butter into ¼-in. pieces and blend into flour mixture with hands. Mix until crumbled consistency results. Add water and mold into a ball. Flatten lightly by hand onto plastic wrap and cover completely. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.
- In separate bowl, gently blend blueberries, lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, flour and spices.
- Remove pie crust dough from refrigerator and cut in half for double crust. Roll out each ball on floured work surface to 1/8-in. thickness. Lay foundation in 9-in. pie dish and allow extra dough to hang loosely off edges. Add blueberry pie filling and cover with second crust. Using kitchen scissor, cut extra dough to 1 inch from edge of pie dish. Crimp crusts together and fold into dish until a plump border forms. Cut 4-6 small slits into top crust for optimum baking. Tip: When laying crust, patiently roll dough from work surface back onto rolling pin and unfold onto baking dish.
- Bake 10 minutes at 450 F. Turn down to 350 F and bake additional 40 minutes or until golden. Note: Recommended to bake directly on baking stone in oven, lending to more even baking.
- Allow to cool at least 30-45 minutes before serving.
Give the girl a fork, she’s complete… unless, like mine, your belly’s screaming for vanilla bean ice cream, too.