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Happy Pi(e) Day! Let’s get it going with a blueberry pie with a cornmeal crust. Simple, sweet and oh so celebratory!
So much for spring 🙁
Well it’s not news (if you’ve been following the news) that here in the northeast we’re currently smack dab in the middle of winter again. The biggest storm of the year…heavy snowfall and blizzard conditions. Twelve to eighteen inches!!
And my apologies in advance, but it’s my fault.
Yep, I jinxed us and have no one to blame but myself. I actually said, out loud, to my friend the other day “we made out pretty well this winter”. See what happened there? The Almighty Jinx. I even went so far as to schedule our spring clean up with the landscaper. Double jinx. Sorry guys.
Thing is, I know better. I’ve been threatened, um advised, by my husband when we’re heading into the city to never utter the words “we’re making good time” or “can’t believe there’s no traffic in the tunnel” by penalty of death. Or when I thought my strong constitution protected me from my family’s attack of the stomach flu…(“can’t believe I didn’t get it!”), you’ll never guess what happened. UGH.
Yep, you would have thought I learned, but sorry folks, here comes Winter Storm Stella.
But, may I present to you the silver lining? PIE. That’s right, it’s Pi (3.14) Day!
Now, as baker and a cook I firmly believe that Pi Day should be a national holiday. So since we have this late winter snow day, looks like I got my wish. I am a pie fanatic. If you follow the blog you know I’m a bit of pie crust snob and believe whole-heartedly that it’s so much better homemade. Sorry, it just is.
But if you’re still skeptical, well, today’s recipe is for you. This pie crust recipe is a little more hearty thanks to the addition of cornmeal and therefore a little more forgiving. It’s no delicate flower and holds up to rolling and folding, trimming and crimping. I love having a little fun with the decorating and since I have about a million or so mini cookie cutters, I cut out mini flowers and glued them on top with a brush of cream. Obviously this bit of whimsy is fun, but isn’t necessary because, well, you can’t eat delicious. And trust me, this pie is delicious.
Even though I’m seeing snowflakes, I’m summoning spring with this blueberry pie. Blueberry pie is one my warm weather favorites, but I saw a beautiful bunch of berries in the market and in spite of the snow, knew this was how I wanted to celebrate Pi Day. This pie is simple and unfussy, with a just hint of lemon that allows the blueberries to be the star. It’s so good with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, a dollop of whipped cream or even no frills, just paired with a mug of coffee. And if you’re socked in by the snow like me, it’s perfectly acceptable for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or hell, all three.
Happy Pi Day!
- Cornmeal Crust
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 2/3 cup cornmeal
- 3 Tbsp sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tsp salt
- 12 oz cold unsalted butter, chopped
- 1/3 cup ice water
- Blueberry Pie
- 3 pints fresh blueberries
- 1/2 cup corn starch
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp heavy cream
- 1 Tbsp sugar
Cornmeal Crust: Combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, lemon zest and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse a few times to mix.
Add the cold, chopped butter and pulse about 10 -12 times until the butter is cut into the flour mixture and it's pea size.
Pour in the ice water and pulse a few more times until a ball begins to form, being careful not to overmix. The dough should not be completely blended, it will come together on the counter.
Scrape dough onto the counter, divide it in two and form into two flat discs. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight. (Dough can also be frozen for several weeks. Defrost in refrigerator before proceeding.)
Pie: Preheat oven to 425 degrees and remove the dough from the refrigerator.
In a large bowl combine the blueberries, corn starch, sugar, cinnamon, salt, zest and lemon juice. Stir well and set aside.
Roll out one half of the dough between lightly floured pieces of wax paper, carefully turning and lightly flouring to prevent sticking. Lay into a 9"inch pie plate, trimming the edges.
Pour the blueberry mixture into the pie shell.
Roll out the other half of the pastry and make decorative cut outs if desired.
If not making cut outs, use a sharp knife to make slits to vent. Lay over the blueberry mixture and crimp the edges.
Chill the pie for 30 mins in the refrigerator and then brush with heavy cream. Sprinkle the crust with sugar.
Bake for 20 mins, then reduce heat to 350. Continue baking for about 50 mins or until crust is golden brown and blueberry filling is bubbling. Cover the edges with foil if they begin to brown to quickly.
Allow the pie to cool and set for a least an hour or two before serving.