In my last post I said, "God is good, pie is great." I said it as a joke.
But I have since come to the startling realization that I think far more about pie than I do about God.
I don't know what this indicates.
I had my existential crisis at age 13. It's not an experience I hope to repeat any time soon. (The crisis part was mostly contemplating my existence and the lack of godly presence in my life while trying to fall asleep on a bed covered with stuffed animals.)
Thinking about God so much was decidedly uncomfortable and slowly drove me crazy: God is so twisty and fickle and unknowable and impossible to understand. The concept of God is too BIG.
Eventually I gave up trying to decide if there was some greater force in the universe.
So I focus on the particulars in life: the smell of wet earth after a summer rain, comfortable shoes, the color blue, flowers, and blueberry nectarine pie.
Blueberry pie is my favorite. It's even better with a few nectarines.
It's simple. Delicious. Wonderful.
It's good slightly warm.
It's even better chilled.
When you pair it with vanilla ice cream it's even better.
This blueberry pie is thick and berry juice-gooey. In a word: perfect.
Double-Crusted Blueberry Pie*
from Baking:From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan
1 recipe Best Pie Crust (see previous post), chilled
2 1/2 pints fresh blueberries
1 cup sugar, or a bit more to taste, plus more for dusting
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
pinch of slat
coarsely gated zest of 1/2 lemon
squirt of fresh lemon juice, or a little more to taste
1 large egg, beaten with 1 teaspoon water, for egg wash
sugar for dusting
Butter a 9-inch pie plate. On a well floured surface
Working on a well-floured surface (or between wax paper or plastic wrap), roll out once piece of the dough to a thickeness of about 1/8 inch (Not to be precise or anything.)Fit the dough into the buttered pie plate and trim the edges to a 1/2 inch overhang. Roll the other piece of dough into a 1/8 inch circle and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat. Cover both circle and pie plate with plastic wrap and refrigerate while you preheat oven and prepare filling. **
Position rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat oven to 425 F.
Put berries in a large bowl and gently stir in the sugar, flour, salt, zest and juice. Let sit for about 5 minutes. Taste filling and add more sugar of lemon juice if need.
Remove pie shell and top crust from fridge. Give filling a final stir and turn into crust.
Using fingertips, moisten the rim of the bottom crust with a little cold water. Center the top crust over the filling and gently press the top crust against the bottom. Either fold the overhang fromt eh top crust under the bottom crust and crimp edges attractively or press the top crust against bottom crust and trim the overhang from both crusts even with the rim of the pie plate. If you've pressed and trimmed the crust, use the tines of a fork to press the two crusts together securely. Using a small sharp knife, cut 4 slits in teh top crust and circle out of the center.*** (If you have time, refrigerate the pie for about 30 minutes. The pie can also be wrapped airtight and frozen for up to 2 months. Glaze and sugar it before you put it in the oven and add least 15 mintues to the baking time.)****
Brush the top crust with the egg wash, then sprinkle the crust with the egg wash, then sprinkle with a little sugar, to give it sparkle.
Bake pie for 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375 F. And bake the pie for another 30 minutes or so, (total baking time is about 1 hour), or until the crust is a beautiful golden brown and filling is bubbling up through the slits. If the crust seems to be browning too quickly, make a loose foil tent for the pie.
Transfer pie to rack and let it cool-and settle- for at least 30 minutes before serving.
*I added about 3 nectarines to the blueberry mixture, to be extra special.
**Because I want pie NOW I skip this step, by putting the pie dough in the freezer for about 20 minutes before I roll it out.
*** You can also cut lots of decorative slits in the top crust if you are so inclined. Get decorative and creative.
****I also skip the extra refrigeration. I want pie NOW.