Blueberry Lemon Thyme Pie in a Bourbon Crust

Before this week, I hadn’t made a pie in a really long time.  I had almost forgotten how fun it is to make a pie.

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There’s something really special about making a pie.  I think it has to do with all the steps.  It’s a process, but almost always, it’s worth it.

With this pie, it’s totally worth it. I can honestly say, I thoroughly enjoy making pies.  I love making the dough and using my fingers to break up the butter.  I love rolling out the dough to fit the pie pan.   I should also tell you that I’m a little bit in love with the crust.  I decided bourbon was a good idea, so I used bourbon instead of water.  Then I decided thyme goes great with blueberries and lemon. So why not?  I won’t lie, the thyme gives the pie a really earthy flavor.  I’m not sure it will be to everyone’s liking.  If you aren’t into earthiness, omit the thyme and you will have one rockin’ pie.

The only part of pie-making that I’m not crazy about is chopping fruit.  With this pie, this is a non-issue. pieingredients

This is pretty much the pie for those who don’t like to chop things.  There’s really zero chopping involved.  Just rinse your blueberries, grate your lemon and pluck some thyme off the stem, then throw it all together with some sugar and flour.  It all is pretty simple. blueberrylemonpie2

Of course with any pie, you can always get fancy.  Lattice tops are always fancy.  I tried to get even fancier by using a spoon to crimp the edge.  Oh and the little heart adds a nice touch, right?  All sorts of cute! blueberrylemonpie3

  I’m a fan.  If you’re in the mood for a fancy pants pie that is comforting and earthy (is earthy a bad thing?), this is the jam:

Blueberry Lemon Thyme Pie in a Bourbon Crust

For Crust:

350g all purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 sticks butter, cold
1/4 cup bourbon

For Filling:

1.5lbs fresh blueberries (5 cups)
3/4-1 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp fresh thyme  

First make your crust.  Mix together dry ingredients.  Cut your butter into cubes, using your fingers work into your flour mixture until you get coarse crumbs.  Add bourbon and work into a ball.  Wrap in plastic and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.  Resting is a critical part of pie dough  making.  If your pie dough is shrinking, it’s because it hasn’t rested enough. So let it chill in the fridge a few hours. Pour yourself a glass of bourbon while you wait.

When you’re ready to make your pie, make your filling.  In a bowl, combine all ingredients Roll out the crust, half for the bottom and half for the top.  Place one half in the bottom of the pan.  Fill with fruit filling.  Then make a lattice top (or just roll it out and cut a few slits in the top), crimp as desired.

 If you want some cool pie crimping ideas, check this out. Put your pie in the freezer while you preheat your oven to 350F.  Once heated, bake for about an hour or until the blueberries are bubbling all around. Allow to cool completely and serve. eatingblueberrypie

Blueberry pie always looks like a mess when served.  But that’s part of the fun of pies.  Unlike layer cakes, pie aren’t perfect.  They’re messy and chunky, but overall pretty great.

 

I’m really interested to try more herbs in pies.  I’m thinking maybe strawberry basil might be a good combo.

Any other ideas?  How do you feel about pies? Fan? Not so much?

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Lemon Blueberry Tartlets

There are 8lbs of blueberries in the fridge.  No, I’m not kidding, nor am I exaggerating.

I love blueberries, and usually I am of the firm belief that they are so delicious that they should be eaten fresh on their own.  But I’m the only person in my household who eats blueberries and as much as I like them.  I don’t think I can eat 8lbs before they spoil.

So be prepared for some blueberry-related recipes.

This first one though should really be categorized as a lemon recipe.

If you don’t love lemon flavored desserts, we can’t be friends.

Okay, not really, I still love you.  But this recipe is so intensely lemony that it takes a true lemon fanatic (aka my sister and me) to truly appreciate its majestic qualities.

Truth be told.  It’s pretty easy.  All you do is make some lemon curd, put it in a graham cracker crust and top it with fresh blueberries.  Don’t let the simple preparation fool you.  This thing is intense, amazing and perfect for summer.

Lemon Blueberry Tartlets

1 package graham crackers
6 tbsp melted butter
3 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice (about the juice of 2 lemons)
4 tbsp butter, softened
zest of 2 lemons
1-2 cups blueberries

Make your crust:

Crush the graham crackers, pour melted butter over graham cracker crumbs.  Toss to combine and press into one large tart pan or about 5 mini tartlet pans.  Refrigerate.

Make Lemon Filling:

Place a stainless steel or glass bowl over a pot of boiling water.  In the bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, and lemon juice.  Stir over the double boiler until thick.  This will take about 10 minutes.  Carefully remove from heat and stir in the butter and lemon zest.  Set aside and allow to cool completely.  You can make this a day or two in advance and just keep it refrigerated.

Assemble Tartlets:

Spoon lemon filling into prepared graham cracker crusts.  Arrange blueberries over the filling.  Sprinkle with a little powdered sugar to make it look extra special.

Serve immediately or refrigerate.  Makes 5 mini tartlets or 1 large tart.

If you love lemon and blueberries as much as I do, I can almost guarantee the end result will look like this:

Lastly, do you have any blueberry recipes or ideas to recommend?

Summer Pie in a Jar

Ithaca made me a jar person.

At the risk of sounding totally hippie/granola, I will say I find jars to be very multifunctional.  Not only can you carry soups, beverages and meals in them, you can also make a pie in one…

Versatile.  I like it.  I also like blueberries and nectarines.  Let’s find a way to combine them all.

Doesn’t that look like summer?  I thought so.

Summer Blueberry-Nectarine Pie in a Jar

5 half pint mason jars
1 recipe for pate brisee (this is the crust, you can also use store bought)
2 nectarine, diced (optional to peel)
1 cup blueberries
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

A quick note before starting: make your crust/pate brisee a few hours, or the night before, to prevent the dreaded shrinking crust. The longer it rests, the better!

Roll your crust on a well floured surface.  I suggest rolling it thinner than you would roll your average pie crust, if not your crust to filling ratio will be quite high, but keep it thick if that’s you’re style.  After rolling, line jars with pie crust.  This was a little tricky for me.  I bought the jars that were kinda narrow so I couldn’t fit my hand in it, so I suggest using the wider mouthed jars.  I had to piece to together and use a spoon to press it down.  Either way it should look somewhat like this by the end:

Place them in the fridge or freezer as soon as they’re ready.  You don’t want melted/soft crusts in your jar!

While your jars chill, dice (and peel, if you like) your nectarines and wash your blueberries.  In a bowl, combine nectarines, blueberries, sugar, flour and vanilla.  Toss to coat all the fruit in the sugar and flour.  Let sit for a few minutes.

In the meantime, make your pie lids.  Roll out some more pie dough then using the jar lid, cut out circles.

Next, quickly fill your pie jars with fruit filling.

Put on the lids and either press the edges using a fork, or your fingers.

Whichever you prefer is fine.  You can also get creative with cookie cutters and cut out different shapes to make the top, or use a crumble topping.

At this point you can either put them in a freezer and save them for a rainy day or you can bake them off!

Should you choose to bake them right away, pre-heat your oven to 400F.  Bake for 30-45 minutes or until golden brown and bubbling on the top.

I used the toaster oven.  It’s summer after all.  Who wants to turn the oven on and heat up the whole house?

No thanks.  But I would say yes to this

After they’ve cooled, you can put a bow on them

and give it as a gift.

or serve it up on a plate.

Either way, this is a pretty fun way to use a jar!