Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Bluebarb Pie # 23

This, my friends, is the new winner of 2010. Ryan and I both agree that it's one of the best, if not the best, that we've had all year (and that's saying a lot from people who have eaten more than 23 pies this year).

I was skeptical of the blueberry and rhubarb combo, but after the first taste, I realized I was SO wrong. As far as blueberries go, I love to eat them with some type of lemon accompaniment. I love their sweetness coupled with a little bit of tang and I had underestimated how wonderful the tangiest of all pie fillings: rhubarb, would accompany these blueberries. It was brilliant. And, if you don't mind me saying, far superior to any of those strawberry rhubarb combos. 

And then on top of that...don't you love the name?

That was probably one of the only reasons that I made this pie to begin with. But I'm pleasently surprised that a perfect pun accompanies such a perfect pie.

Honestly, I really don't know what else to say. This pie is a winner. The crust is simple, yet (and excuse me for using this word again) perfectly paired with the flavor and texture of the filling.
It's blue ribbon bluebarb, my friends. It's going to be hard to top this one.
Bluebarb Pie
(adapted from "Bubby's Homemade Pies")
All-Butter Crust
5 to 6 tablespoons ice cold water
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
11 to 12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter

3 cups Blueberries, Sorted and cleaned
3 cups (1 1/2 pound) rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling on the top crust
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 lemon, zested and juiced
Pinch salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the crust: Measure out the flour (unsifted) by leveling off dry measuring cups, and add the flour to the large bowl. Add the salt to the flour and give it a quick stir to combine evenly.

Use cold butter, measure out the amount you need, cut into small cubes and add to the flour. Break up any pieces that stick together and toss them all to coat them with flour. (If it is a warm day, chill this mixture briefly in the freezer before continuing.)

Using a pastry cutter, press the blades through the mixture, bearing down repeatedly like you would to mash potatoes. Repeat the gesture until the largest pieces of fat are the size of shelling peas and the smallest are the size of lentils (none smaller). Re chill if necessary.

Add water and toss to coat the small balls of butter. Use your hands to mold the dough into a ball. Sprinkle more water on the top if it is crumbly. Spilt ball into two and form two discs. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

For the filling: Preheat the oven to 450F

In a large bowl, combine the blueberries, rhubarb, sugar, flour, zest, juice, salt, and melted butter. Lightly toss the fruit and filling ingredients and set aside.

Roll out the bottom pastry and line a 9-inch pie plate with the bottom crust. Roll out the remaining dough for the top crust. Re chill the pastry if necessary.

Scrape the filling into the bottom crust and cover it with the second crust. Trim and crimp the crust; chill the pie for 10 minutes in the freezer. Cut vent slits in top crust (unless you are a rebel like me and make a lattice crust) and sprinkle it lightly with sugar. This pie is particularly beautiful if small round vent holes are stamped in the top crust--when the blueberry juice spills out, it looks like a blueberry.

Bake the pie on a lipped baking sheet for 10 minutes, or until the crust looks dry, blistered, and blond. Turn the oven down to 375F, and bake for at last 30 minutes more, or until the crust is golden brown and visible juices are thickened and bubble slowly through slits in the top crust.

Cool the pie completely before cutting, at least a few hours. Serve it at room temperature. Store the pie uncovered at room temperature, up to 3 days (if it lasts that long).