Do you have a passion for making things entirely by hand or appreciate it in other people? In my teens and twenties, I got a thrill out of being my own mechanic on my old '75 Mustang. Yep, I've changed a few water pumps and brake pads. I have sewn every stitch of handmade rag dolls with a needle and thread (no machine stitching), and I prefer to cook from scratch. Isn't it much more rewarding to gather family and friends to put in fence posts, and raise barns? So naturally for me, prepping the fleece, learning to spin, and then making things from the alpacas' luscious fiber is my idea of happiness! -Kaylen

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Oh My - Pie

I got the new Southern Living Magazine and it highlights PIE.  I LOVE PIE.  Pie Pie Pie! I have an awesome Open-Faced Fresh Blueberry Pie recipe...and it is almost blueberry season! I won a blue ribbon at the county fair in 2007 with it! But to confess...there were no other blueberry pies in the competition!  LOL It is still an awesome PIE.  Here is the recipe if you want to give it a try...  It is from the Pie and Pastry Bible. 

Open-Faced Fresh Blueberry Pie
4 cups fresh blueberries (I use 5) rinsed - and take off any little stems you find
1/2 cup water
2 tbls water
2 tbls cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
pinch of salt

Bring 1/2 cup of water and 1 cup of blueberries to a boil.  Lower the heat and simmer stirring constantly for 3 - 4 minutes.  Whisk together cornstarch and 2 tbls of water. Stirring constantly add cornstarch mixture, sugar, lemon juice, and salt.  Stir 1 minute.  Remove from heat and quickly fold in the rest of the berries.  Spoon into a pre-baked pie shell and let sit at room temperature for at least 2 hours.  Serve with whipped cream (optional)

And if you need it:

My Basic Pie Dough Recipe 
Double Crust   - make a second pie for a friend or put in the freezer for next time!

Now I can't find a good pastry flour here so I have to make my own by mixing all-purpose with cake flour.  It works.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cake flour (not self-rising)
1 tsp salt
1 cup very cold unsalted butter
5 - 6 tbls ice water (only use what is needed)
1 egg white
1 tbls water

Mix the flours together.  Add the salt.  Cut the butter into small pieces and then cut it into the flour using a pastry cutter or two knives.  Add ice water one tbls. at a time until you get the right consistency.  Chill dough before rolling it out.  Roll out the dough to the right size.  Chill after rolling.  Keeping the dough cold and keeping the butter from melting while you handle it is important to having a nice flaky crust. Put the crust in your pie pan and flute the edges or pinch them or somehow make the edge pretty.  Weigh down the pie shell by using a piece of parchment and beans if you don't have pie weights. Bake at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes.  Remove parchment and beans.  Use a fork to prick the crust around the bottom and sides. Not too deep... you are just keeping the crust flat and not puffing up in places.  Bake another 5 - 10 minutes.  Cool 3 minutes.  Whisk an egg white with a tbls of water and brush bottom and sides of pie to seal the pie before adding fruit.  This "moisture proofs" the crust.  There you go!  Ready to use.  Once you make it a few times it is very easy.

Now you will be the queen or king of pie!

I have to make one for the neighbor that always drags the driveway after each rain, and the neighbor that watches the alpacas when we go away, and the neighbor that I share a birthday month with... ahhhhh PIE.

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