I don’t have the greatest pie-making track record. My first attempt, an All-American apple pie, was a flop. I was a baking novice in high school. I misread the recipe, but I didn’t realize it until I had gotten to my grandparents’ house and cut into it. It was starchy and dry; two cups of flour instead of two tablespoons. Lesson learned: read the recipes more closely.
A month ago, I made a beautiful chocolate meringue pie; but when I cut into it, the inside pudding spread. I ended up with a delicious dessert soup, but it was not the pie I’d had in mind.
Determined to perfect my pie-making, I turned to fruit. Fruit pies tend to hold together better than custard pies, but will still fall apart if not fully cooled.
Patience is the most important ingredient in pies. If you choose to make your own pie crust, you have to let the dough chill for a few hours. After your beautifully smelling pie has been pulled out of the oven, the waiting game is on. I tend to sample my cooking as soon as I go, but with pies, you must have patience in order to allow the juices to cool and solidify.
This delicious blueberry pie was successful because I let it cool for over four hours. The mint and lime added freshness to the tart blueberries. As you an use a prepackaged crust, I like Martha Stewart’s recipe, found here.
Blueberry and Mint Pie
2 chilled pie crusts, 9 inches
4 cups blueberries
Zest of one lime
Juice of one lime
3 Tablespoons chopped mint
1/4 cup corn starch
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg, mixed with a splash of water, for egg wash
Roll out dough and set into 9 inch pie pan.
Carefully stir together blueberries, juice and zest of lime, corn starch and mint. Try not to pop the berries.
Pour berry mixture into crust, and sprinkle with sugar.
Top with crust. You can cover completely with top crust, create a lattice top or use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes to arrange on top of the berries, as I did.
Brush top crust with egg wash mixture for a browner, flakier crust.
Bake at 350* for 30 minutes. If crust browns too quickly, tent with foil.
Here’s where patience comes into play: let pie cool for four hours or longer. This will ensure a cohesive filling.
Enjoy your hard work and patience with a dollop of vanilla ice cream and sweet tea.