This recipe is adapted from Rose Levy Berenbaum's Open Faced Fresh Blueberry Pie, circa 1998. I used a cornmeal crust (inspired by a Gourmet recipe that I can no longer find to properly attribute it) with white whole wheat flour, and I like the crisp texture and slightly bitter taste of the whole wheat against the sweetness of the blueberries. The mint comes as a surprise because you make a minted simple syrup and use it to make the blueberry jam that binds the pie together. What I love about this pie is that it's all about the blueberries. We only get fresh blueberries a couple of months a year, and I find myself making this frequently. Because you blind bake the pie crust, you can make the crust in the morning before it gets too hot to turn the oven on, and make the filling when you like. The filling is a little loose, and sometimes a few blueberries escape when you cut into the pie--but that just adds to the pleasure of eating fresh blueberries. You may need to add more sugar if your berries aren't very sweet, and you can certainly vary the berries that you use. —drbabs
egg , separated (reserve white for after crust is baked)
1 1/4 cups
all purpose or white whole wheat flour
chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
Whisk 3 tablespoons ice water and egg yolk in small bowl to blend. Mix all purpose flour, yellow cornmeal, sugar and salt in processor. Add chilled butter. Pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Drizzle egg yolk/water mixture into the processor. Pulse until moist clumps form, adding more ice water by teaspoonfuls if dough is dry. Gather dough into ball. Flatten dough into disk; wrap disk in plastic and refrigerate 30 minutes or overnight.
Heat the oven to 375°F at least 20 minutes before baking.
Roll out dough between 2 sheets of parchment to 12-inch round. Remove top sheet of parchment. Invert dough, paper side up, into 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish. Press dough into pie plate. Dock the crust by stabbing it all over with a small fork. Lift off parchment and trim edges. (If the butter has warmed too much to lift the parchment easily, put it back in the refrigerator for a few minutes.) Lay the parchment back onto the pie crust.
Fill the pie with rice or dried beans. Bake for 20 minutes. Carefully lift out the rice or beans with the parchment. and bake 5-10 minutes, or until the crust is pale golden.
Cool the crust on a rack for 3 minutes, so it is no longer piping hot, then brush the bottom and sides with the egg white.
Place the mint, 1/2 cup of water, water and sugar in a medium saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil. Turn the water off, and let the mint steep in the water, stirring to dissolve the salt and sugar, and pressing down on the mint leaves to release their oils. Let this steep for about 15 minutes till it comes to approximately room temperature.
Measure out 1 cup of the blueberries. Place them in a large saucepan. Strain the minted simple syrup into the pan. Add a pinch of kosher salt. Cover and bring the blueberry mixture to a boil.
Stir cornstarch into 2 tablespoons of water till completely dissolved. Whisk together the cornstarch slurry and lime juice. Make sure the cornstarch is fully blended and there are no lumps. Set it aside.
When the syrup and blueberries have come to a boil, lower the heat and simmer, stirring constantly for 3 to 4 minutes or until the blueberries start to burst and the juices begin to thicken and reduce. Stirring constantly, add the cornstarch slurry mixture. Simmer for a minute or until the mixture becomes translucent. Immediately remove it from the heat and quickly fold in the remaining 3 cups of blueberries.
Spoon the mixture into the baked pie shell and allow it to sit at room temperature for at least 2 hours before serving.
Serve this with some lightly sweetened whipped cream or good vanilla ice cream.