My best friend's mother makes the BEST blueberry pie, and I finally convinced her to share her delicious recipe with me. It's all in the crust, but this filling isn't so bad either. :) Do not substitute any other brand of shortening. The results will not be satisfactory.
Pastry (2 9-inch crusts)
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2⁄3 cup Crisco shortening
- 5 tablespoons cold water
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 1⁄2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1⁄2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 4 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)
- 2 tablespoons butter or 2 tablespoons margarine
- For pastry:
- Stir together flour and salt. Cut in the shortening in a bowl with two knives or a pastry blender. The shortening should be cut into pieces about the size of peas. If they are too small, the crust will be crumbly instead of flaky. Each of the cut pieces must be coated with the dry flour mixture so that the pieces will not recombine. The bowl and knives or pastry blender should be dry to prevent lumping of the flour.
- Next, add the minimum amount of cold water required to just moisten, not wet the flour. From this point on, great care must be used. The water must be distributed throughout the mass, and air incorporated without developing the gluten of the flour by pulling or working. First, partially distribute the water throughout the flour mixture in the bowl by gently tossing with two forks. Just lift up and gently turn over. (Do not use a stiffing motion, which would cause one layer to rub against and pull another.).
- As soon as the mixture has attained crumb consistency (pellets of shortening coated with moist flour mixture), turn out of the bowl onto a pastry board. (I use a Tupperware plastic sheet instead of a board.) Very gently shape the mixture into a mound with the hands. Cut the mound in half with a knife. Pick up one half, set it upon the other, and gently form it into a new mound. (Too heavy a hand makes a tough crust.) Cut the new mound in half and stack again. Repeat this until the dough holds together, about 10 times. This operation completes the mixing and incorporates air. (Since pastry dough contains no other leavening agent, this air is required to lighten the pastry.)
- Finally, roll the dough to the required diameter and thickness, using very light pressure and working from the center towards the edges. (Do not pull the dough.) Sometimes one must flour the Tupperware plastic sheet and the rolling pin very lightly with flour during this last stage.
- The pastry circles for both the bottom and top crusts should be about 1/8 inch thick and 2 inches larger in diameter than the outer edge of the pie plate.
- For a 1-crust pie, roll pastry around the rolling pin, loosening the pastry from the Tupperware plastic sheet carefully with a knife. Place it over the pie plate and unroll. Gently press the pastry against the inside walls of the pie plate to expel air bubbles, pushing the edges toward the center rather than pulling from the center out. The pastry should extend about 11/2 inch beyond the rim of the pie plate. One should trim any additional pastry. Turn the edge under and press against the under side of the rim. Flute the top edge.
- For a 2-crust pie, place the bottom crust in the pie pan as described above, except cut the excess crust off at the edge of the pie plate with the knife. Put the pastry in the pie pan in the freezer about 30 minutes (at least 15 minutes). After adding the filling, lay the upper crust over the filling in the same manner as before, press the edges of the 2 crusts together, turn them under, and flute the double thickness. Cut the gashes (steam vents) in the upper crust after placing the top crust over the filling.
- For the filling:
- Combine the first 5 ingredients. Mix with lemon juice and blueberries. Turn into a 9-inch pie plate lined with unbaked pastry. Dot with butter or margarine.
- Top with pastry rolled to 1/8 inches thickness. Trim, turn under, and flute edge. Cut a vent in top crust to allow for escape of steam. Bake in a preheated 450 degree oven 10 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until crust has browned. Cool before serving.