blueberry pie.

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We spent a weekend in Saugatuk, Michigan before school started, and I got to do something I’ve always wanted to do: go Blueberry picking! Fresh picked blueberries do NOT do the grocery store ones any justice. They are so sweet and delicious. I never thought I liked blueberries until I tasted freshly picked ones a few years ago. I made a pie as soon as I got home! I tried a new pie crust; it was a little hard to work with, but I liked the texture once it was baked. This crust would make awesome homeade pop tarts!

Pie crust
3 cups  all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
¾ cup  vegetable oil
⅓ cup almond or any non dairy milk plus  extra if needed

  1. Sift the flour, then whisk in the salt and create a little well.
  2. Pour in the oil, then milk and stir everything together. If the dough seems too dry, add 1-2 tbsp of milk. I had to add quite a bit extra to hold it together.
  3. Once the dough starts to form, finish working it by gently kneading it on a sheet of wax paper.
  4. Divide into two parts.
    Pie filling
    1 cup fresh blueberries
    1/2 to 2/3 cups granulated sugar (depending on the sweetness of your berries)
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    scant 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
    1/8 teaspoon ground coriander
    3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    1 tablespoon cornstarch
    2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

    In a small bowl, whisk together sugar, spices, flour, and cornstarch.  Pour the sugar mixture over the berries, and gently toss together with a wooden spoon.  Stir in the lemon juice.

    Bake in a preheated oven at 425F for 15 minutes, then bake at 375F until the crust is golden and filling is cooked. Usually about another 30-45 minutes.

     

strawberry pie.

strawberrypie

Pies are not my go-to recipe. In fact, I kind of hate making them. They seem like SO much work. And I never really think that I like pie. Until i actually eat some, and then I remember, i am so wrong….PIE IS SO GOOD. In my desert world, its way underrated. I need more of it in my life. And this pie may just lead me in that direction…

Joy the baker posted this pie, and my mouth started watering. I needed something to bring to a get-together and I wanted to make something more impressive than cookies, so I thought I would give pie another chance. So I took a stab at veganizing hers.

I had intended to make a strawberry rhubarb pie, but i couldnt find any rhubarb at my produce market. So i just doubled the strawberries and it tasted great.

The hardest part to me about making pie is the crust. I just never want to deal with making and rolling out a crust. But you know what? it wasnt that bad?! It was actually pretty easy! And a little bit of crust left over, so I made two little tarts with them!

For the Crust:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) cold earth balance, cut into cubes
1/4 cup plus 1 to 2 tablespoon cold almond milk, with about 1/4 tspn apple cider vinegar whisked in

For the Filling:
2 pound strawberries, hulled and sliced in half
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
large pinch of salt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

For the Topping:

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup old-fashioned oats
2/3 cup granulated sugar
large pinch of salt
6 tablespoons cold earth balance, cut into small chunks
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes OR coarsely chopped pecans

To Make the Crust:

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt. Add cold, cubed earth balance and, using your fingers, work the butter into the flour mixture. Quickly break the butter down into the flour mixture, some butter pieces will be the size of oat flakes, some will be the size of peas. Create a well in the mixture and pour in the cold almond milk. Use a fork to bring to dough together. Try to moisten all of the flour bits. Add a bit more buttermilk if necessary, but you want to mixture to be shaggy and not outwardly wet.

On a lightly floured work surface, dump out the dough mixture. It will be moist and shaggy. That’s perfect. Gently knead into a disk. Wrap the disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Allowing the dough to rest in the refrigerator will help rechill the butter and distribute the moisture.

To roll out the pie crust, on a well floured surface, roll the crust 1/8 inch thick and about 12 inches in diameter. Transfer it to a pie pan. Trim the edge almost even with the edge of the pan Fold the edges under and crimp with your fingers or a fork. Cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for a minimum of 30 minutes and a maximum of 3 hours.

To Make the Filling:

In a medium bowl, toss together rhubarb, strawberries, sugars, cornstarch, salt, and lemon juice. Toss until all of the fruit is covered in a coating of sugar and cornstarch. The cornstarch will disappear and the sugars will begin to make juice with the fruit. Allow to rest at room temperature while you make the topping.

To Make the Topping:

In a medium bowl (yea… we’re using a lot of medium bowls), whisk together flour, oats, sugar, and salt. Add the cold earth balance chunks and, using your fingers, work the butter into the flour mixture. Quickly break the earth balance down into the mixture until well incorporated. Some butter bits will be the size of peas, and smaller. Add the coconut (or pecans if using) and toss to combine.

To Assemble the Pie:

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

Remove the pie crust from the refrigerator. Toss a handful (about 1/2 cup) of the topping mixture into the fruit mixture, toss. Dump the fruit mixture into the pie crust. Top generously with topping mixture. Place on the prepared baking sheet and place in the oven. It’s important to use the middle rack because if the pie is too close to the top of the oven, the coconut will burn quickly.

Bake the pie for 20 minutes at 400 degrees F, then reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 35 to 45 minutes, or until the pie is juicy, bubbling, and golden brown.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 2 hours before serving. This will help the juices mellow and thicken a bit. Pie is best served just slightly warm with vanilla ice cream. Store covered in the refrigerator.