Recipe by Pismo
From America's Test Kitchen: "This recipe was developed using fresh blueberries, but unthawed frozen blueberries (our favorite brands are Wyman’s and Cascadian Farm) will work as well. If using frozen berries, in steps 16 & 17, cook half the frozen berries over medium-high heat, without mashing, until reduced to 1 1/4 cups, 12 to 15 minutes. Grind the tapioca to a powder in a spice grinder or mini food processor. If using pearl tapioca, reduce the amount to 5 teaspoons. Vodka is essential to the texture of the crust and imparts no flavor; do not substitute." Cook time includes chill times.
Top Review by Abby Girl
You know ...I wanted to like this pie because it was from Cooks Illustrated! I even made the pie a number of times ...trying to convince myself that it was the greatest pie. But ...my pies never firmed up and was a watery mess! The crust however, is good because it rolled out like a dream. The only negative thought would to be the cost of adding vodka! Interesting concept, but is it worth doing again??
Foolproof Pie Dough
- 2 1⁄2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface (12 1/2 ounces)
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch slices (1 1/2 sticks)
- 1⁄2 cup vegetable shortening, cold, cut into 4 pieces
- 1⁄4 cup vodka, cold (see note above)
- 1⁄4 cup cold water
- 6 cups fresh blueberries (about 30 ounces, see note above)
- 1 granny smith apple, peeled and grated on large holes of box grater
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 3⁄4 cup sugar (5 1/4 ounces)
- 2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca, ground (see note above)
- 1 pinch table salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon water
Directions See How It's Made
- For The Pie Dough:
- Process 1 1/2 cups flour, salt, and sugar in food processor until combined, about two 1-second pulses.
- Add butter and shortening and process until homogenous dough just starts to collect in uneven clumps, about 15 seconds; dough will resemble cottage cheese curds and there should be no uncoated flour.
- Scrape bowl with rubber spatula and redistribute dough evenly around processor blade; Add remaining cup flour and pulse until mixture is evenly distributed around bowl and mass of dough has been broken up, 4 to 6 quick pulses.
- Empty mixture into medium bowl.
- Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture.
- With rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix, pressing down on dough until dough is slightly tacky and sticks together.
- Divide dough into 2 even balls and flatten each into 4-inch disk; wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 45 minutes or up to 2 days.
- Remove 1 disk of dough from refrigerator and roll out on generously floured (up to 1/4 cup) work surface to 12-inch circle, about 1/8 inch thick.
- Roll dough loosely around rolling pin and unroll into pie plate, leaving at least 1-inch overhang on each side.
- Working around circumference, ease dough into plate by gently lifting edge of dough with one hand while pressing into plate bottom with other hand.
- Leave dough that overhangs plate in place; refrigerate while preparing filling until dough is firm, about 30 minutes.
- For The Filling:
- Adjust oven rack to lowest position, place rimmed baking sheet on oven rack, and heat oven to 400 degrees.
- Place 3 cups berries in medium saucepan and set over medium heat.
- Using potato masher, mash berries several times to release juices. (Note: If using frozen berries, see note in recipe description above).
- Continue to cook, stirring frequently and mashing occasionally, until about half of berries have broken down and mixture is thickened and reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 8 minutes. Let cool slightly.
- Place grated apple in clean kitchen towel and wring dry; transfer apple to large bowl.
- Add cooked berries, remaining 3 cups uncooked berries, lemon zest, juice, sugar, tapioca, and salt; toss to combine.
- Transfer mixture to dough-lined pie plate and scatter butter pieces over filling.
- Roll out second disk of dough on generously floured (up to 1/4 cup) work surface to 11-inch circle, about 1/8 inch thick.
- Using 1 1/4-inch round biscuit cutter, cut round from center of dough; cut another 6 rounds from dough, 1 1/2 inches from edge of center hole and equally spaced around center hole.
- Roll dough loosely around rolling pin and unroll over pie, leaving at least 1/2-inch overhang on each side.
- Using kitchen shears, trim bottom layer of overhanging dough, leaving 1/2-inch overhang.
- Fold dough under itself so that edge of fold is flush with outer rim of pie plate.
- Flute edges using thumb and forefinger or press with tines of fork to seal.
- Brush top and edges of pie with egg mixture. If dough is very soft, chill in freezer for 10 minutes.
- Place pie on heated baking sheet and bake 30 minutes.
- Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue to bake until juices bubble and crust is deep golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes longer.
- Transfer pie to wire rack; cool to room temperature, at least 4 hours.
- Cut into wedges and serve.