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Blueberry Pie

When a recipe calls for citrus zest and juice, always begin by zesting the rind. First, scrub the fruit well to remove any wax or chemicals. If possible, buy organic fruit to use for zesting. Use a zester, vegetable peeler or fine Microplane grater to remove just the thin, colored portion of the rind, being careful not to include the bitter white pith underneath. To juice, slice the fruit in half crosswise. Working over a bowl, use a reamer to extract the juice or use a citrus juicer. Strain the juice before using to remove any seeds and pulp.

Ingredients:

  • 2 rolled-out rounds of basic pie dough (see
      related recipe at left)
  • 4 cups blueberries
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice, strained
  • 3⁄4 cup sugar
  • 3 Tbs. cornstarch
  • 1⁄2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
  • 1⁄4 tsp. salt
  • 1⁄4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tbs. cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Directions:

Fold 1 dough round in half and carefully transfer to a 9-inch pie dish. Unfold and ease the round into the pan, without stretching it, and pat it firmly into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Using kitchen scissors, trim the edge of the dough, leaving 3¿4 inch of overhang. Set the dough-lined pan aside, along with the other dough round, in a cool place until ready to use.

Place the blueberries in a large bowl, sprinkle with the lemon juice and toss to coat evenly. In a small bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest, salt and cinnamon. Sprinkle the sugar mixture over the berries and toss to distribute evenly. Immediately transfer to the dough-lined pan. Dot with the butter.

Fold the reserved dough round in half and carefully position it over half of the filled pie. Unfold and trim the edge neatly, leaving 1 inch of overhang, then fold the edge of the top round under the edge of the bottom round and crimp the edges to seal. Using a small, sharp knife, cut an asterisk 4 to 5 inches across in the center of the top to allow steam to escape during baking.

Refrigerate the pie until the dough is firm, 20 to 30 minutes. Meanwhile, position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 375°F.

Bake the pie until the crust is golden and the filling is thick and bubbling, 50 to 60 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely to set, 1 to 2 hours. Serve at room temperature or rewarm in a 350°F oven for 10 to 15 minutes just before serving. Makes one 9-inch pie; serves 8.

Note: If fresh blueberries are unavailable, use frozen blueberries (without thawing them first) and increase the baking time by 10 to 15 minutes.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Pie & Tart, by Carolyn Beth Weil (Simon & Schuster, 2003).