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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Tuesdays with Dorie: Double Crusted Blueberry Pie

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In every culture, there are certain foods that just inherently represent home, family and love. We call them "comfort foods". These are the foods that, no matter where you may be or how old you become, manage to invoke Norman Rockwell-esque memories of backyard barbecues, county fairs and church socials. They represent safety, security and nostalgia of simpler times. Chicken & Dumplings, Macaroni & Cheese, Chocolate Chip Cookies and even the ubiquitous Meatloaf have found their way onto this list. Perhaps, the most representative of these is pie.

According to What's Cooking America?, historians surmise that pies have been around since the times of the ancient Egyptians, who incorporated nuts, honey, and fruits in bread dough. They believe that the Greeks actually originated pie pastry and the Romans expounded upon it. The idea caught on and by the 12th century the allure of the pie had begun to spread throughout Europe.

In those days, pies were predominantly savory, usually filled with meat or fowl. Examples of this are the ever popular Shepherd's and Cottage Pies from England. Ironically, these were called "coffyns" because the fillings were sealed up in the pastry. The crusts of these pies were usually just vessels for the fillings and too hard to actually eat.
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Pie came to America with the first English settlers. The Pilgrims brought their favorite pie recipes with them when they came to the New World. They adapted their pies to the ingredients available to them, such as the native berries and fruits found growing wild.

Pioneer women regularly served pies with every meal, cementing its place in traditional American culture. As settlers moved to the West and South, various regional specialties were created, most likely as a result of different conditions and available ingredients. When you think about it, is there anything more quintessentially American, or more comforting, than a home-baked, fresh out of the oven fruit pie - especially a luscious blueberry pie?
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This rather long, drawn out preamble brings me to this week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe: Double Crusted Blueberry Pie. I've chosen to give you this mini history lesson on the evolution of pie because frankly, there isn't a whole lot to say about this pie and I didn't have a funny/clever/witty story to tell you to pick up the slack. I don't mean to say that this isn't a good pie, because it is. It's a very good pie. But, that's all it is - a very good, basic, homey fruit pie with no bells or whistles or fancy techniques. It is a refreshingly honest pie. What you see is what you get. In this day and age, where few things are ever what they seem, I think that's a very good thing.

The recipe for Dorie's pie is very straightforward. I pretty much followed it to the letter, with only one minor tweak. I added about a tablespoon of grated fresh ginger to the filling. Rachel from Coconut & Lime had done this with her Blueberry-Ginger Ice Box Pie and it sounded like a great addition. The ginger combined with the lemon already in the recipe gave the filling an extra pop of flavor. It went so beautifully with the tart/sweet blueberries. I really liked it a lot!
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This pie was quite a departure from the desserts that I've made lately. There was no booze, no ganache, no Swiss buttercream....... But, you know what? My family enjoyed it more than any of those other fancy concoctions I've made recently. The crust was flaky and tender. The filling was juicy and delicious. What more could I ask for?

Many thanks to Amy of South in Your Mouth for selecting this great recipe. The recipe for this pie can be foud in Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours. If you'd like to see some other interesting and creative takes on this pie, stop by the Tuesdays with Dorie site and make your way down the blogroll.

UPDATE: I am submitting the above photo for the September '08 edition of CLICK!


59 comments:

Peter M said...

Lisa, that pie's got a big heart...warm anyone's cockles!

Patsyk said...

Looks wonderful! Pie crust can be a bit of a challenge, but yours looks so perfect!

Engineer Baker said...

Sometimes it's nice to have the no-frills desserts, don't you think? Your pie looks delicious.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Blueberry pie is my all-time favorite dessert. And you're so right, so often these things have to do with childhood memories. When I was growing up in the 60s, we used to go Amagansett for a week each summer, long before it was "all that".

A highlight of that week was to go to a little lobster place on Montauk point. I'd always have my favorite dinner of the year there - steamers, fresh corn on the cob and the best blueberry pie I've ever had. I still can't duplicate that taste. I'm not sure you ever can when you have such an entrenched memory in the mind's eye.

noble pig said...

I don't think you could have made a more beautiful pie!

Jescel said...

sometimes, simplicity is the way to go... love this..i was drooling. :o)

Natashya said...

Lovely pie, great pics too.
I like the history lesson. Those Romans, stealing all their ideas from the Greeks!
The colour on your crust is perfect, wonderful job!

kim said...

gorgeous pie!! the ginger sounds like a great idea :)

Madam Chow said...

I agree - my family liked this a lot more than all the fancy stuff! Your pie looks marvelous, by the way!

Katie B. said...

Your pie looks just fantastic! There is something really special about a homey, non-bellsandwhistles pie.

Melissa said...

Everything you make is so fantastically beautiful and perfect...and for that, you are my idol! :)

joanne at frutto della passione said...

If I bring a nice vin santo, can I come over for a piece of that?

Jules Someone said...

Beautiful pie! Even if it had no alcohol. ;-)

Kevin said...

That blueberry pie looks amazing!

Tartelette said...

Beautiful pie! I have a freezer full of blueberries and can't stop thinking about pie now!

GirlCanBake said...

Pie sure does feel like home to me. Apple or berry, double crust or single, a bite of pie and ice cream will take me home no matter where I am!

the Aspirant Abecedarian said...

Of all of the blueberry pie pictures I've seen lately...this is the one I want to eat!

Christine said...

Your pics are beautiful and your pie looks delicious!

Kayte said...

Gorgeous photos and food. I liked your little history and story...very fun.
~Kayte
www.grandmaskitchentable.typepad.com

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

Hi, everyone! Thanks for all your great comments! I'm so glad you enjoyed my pie. It was one of the best pies I've ever baked! For any of you who are not in TWD, make this pie! You will not regret it.

Jen- We went to Amagansett once when I was little. Wish I'd known about that lobster place! ;)

Melissa- Awww! You are too sweet! Thank you so much.

Joanne- Come on over!

Prudy said...

Your pie looks dreamy and congrats on the Slashfood cover for your amazing looking ice cream.

Mochachocolata Rita said...

oh goshhh...when will i be able to do my own pie? meanwhile, may i take a (huge) bite off yours? ^_^

The Food Librarian said...

Seriously, crazy, delicious!

Grace said...

yum! your creation looks like it came straight out of a professional bakery. heck, you're so darn talented, i might as well call your kitchen a professional bakery. deeeeelicious!

Steph said...

I'm in love with your pie! The crust looks amazing. I enjoyed the little story too.

LyB said...

Such a beautifully golden crust and dark filling! I guess it's true, the simple things in life are the best. :)

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Have I mentioned that blueberry is my favorite kind of fruit pie? Yum yum yum. Those pie photos could be on a cookbook cover!

landa said...

Oh, this is just gorgeous and so perfect.

Bumblebutton said...

Just gorgeous. You are right--simple is often all that is needed!

Lisa said...

Oh my! That does look good...

Honestly, this is a gorgeous pie. I just love the way you captured the delicious fruit ooze that slides from a slice of fresh hot fruit pie!

Mara said...

WOW your crust looks so amazing and flaky!!! can you come over and give me lessons? mine was flattttttt.

Lynnylu said...

What a great looking pie! I, too, loved not having to make buttercream which is okay as long as you don't know how much butter actually goes in it.

CookiePie said...

Ooooooooh - that is one gorgeous pie! I can't show it to my husband, he might leave me for you :) My favorite addition to anything blueberry is cassis -- it brings out the blueberry flavor (it's not my trick, I learned it in one of the Silver Palate cookbooks).

Erin said...

Your pie looks amazing! The filling looks delicious- I love the picture of the slice with the filling coming out of it. The crust looks so nice and flaky too.

Bridgett said...

Now that is a gorgeous and delicious looking pie! The crust looks perfect as well. You have a wonderful blog :)

Shandy said...

I LOVE your history about how pies adapted through the states. Very interesting.

The photos of your pie are beautiful and really make the dessert stand out. This really is a great blueberry dessert that is simple yet carries a lot of emphasis for being a great comfort food. Really nice psot! =D

mimi said...

love the idea of adding a little ginger, i bet it really did perk up the taste! your crust puffed up so nicely on top!

Shari said...

I like the idea of adding some ginger to the filling! Great history information too.
Shari@Whisk: a food blog

PheMom said...

Glad you all enjoyed it. Your pie looks fantastic!

Pamela said...

The pictures of your pie are absolutely beautiful! Interesting history in the post, too. We loved this pie and I was sad when it was all gone. There will be more! Great job.

Manggy said...

Well, even if you are struggling to come up with a story to go with the pie, it really is beautifully made, Susan! I'll have to wait to go to the States to taste a true blueberry pie-- a half-pound of fresh berries here costs about $7!

Jaime said...

it looks great! it was interesting to read the history behind it

Dolores said...

A refreshingly honest pie... what an apt description of this week's assignment. And I appreciated the history lesson; thanks for sharing.

Astra Libris said...

Your pie is positively beautiful - I love the addition of ginger! Your history of pies is absolutely awesome, too - I love historical recipes, and old, 18th century "cookbooks," so reading your post truly made my day!

Patricia Scarpin said...

It looks irresistible, Susan. I love blueberries, but have never made pies with them. This is luscious, my friend!

Heather said...

Wow, what a gorgeous pie. Blueberry pie is in my Top 3.

Parker said...

Wow that is a nice looking piece of pie. It inspires me to try making a pie as I never have. Love the photo of the berries pouring out, very tempting.

White On Rice Couple said...

No booze? What? None of the either good stuff either! But it still looks fab and I especially LOVE your crust!
Congrats on your ice cream making it on Slashfood! Yeah!! It sure does look awesome!

Jacque said...

It was nice to bake something simple... I agree. Your pie looks picture perfect. Nice work!

Proud Italian Cook said...

Wow, That crust is amazing! I bet your family was jumping up and down when they saw that!
Congrats on slashfood!

Nicole said...

Looks great and I appreciate the history lesson. I love to hear the derivation of things.

The Queen of Quite a Lot said...

Your pie looks fabulous--especially with the cream and lemon zest on top--so pretty!

Elle said...

Gorgeous pie! I think it's great that you gave a history of pies (and I learned a few things) and then praised the pie for being as simple and honest as it is. Adding the ginger is a great idea...can almost taste it.

Cakelaw said...

My oh my - look at that luscious filling! Hope you've saved me some ;)

ingegerd said...

i love it!!looks so yummy!I like pie!

Mevrouw Cupcake said...

A beautiful post to go with a beautiful pie...well done!

likesprinkles said...

I love how your crust browned. It looks fantastic.

Kim said...

This is one good looking pie, and the whipped cream with lemon on top. Sold, I'll take two.

michelle of bleeding espresso said...

Oh you're killing me here...no blueberries in southern Italy :( Hope you enjoyed a piece for me!