The End of Summer Pie

Blueberries are in season through September, although summer is fading fast here in New England. As many people have off on Monday for Labor Day (the last hurrah of summertime), and the summer berries are getting scarcer in the grocery store aisles, I thought it was time for the last summer pie. Blueberry-Raspberry Pie with a Lemon Crust.

After the storm last week a lot of businesses were left without power, including a little store nearby that sells farm fresh produce. The loss of power didn’t stop them though. They set up shop out front of their store and had a little farmer’s market. I was able to pick up 3 pints of blueberries (used here), a quart of freshly picked peaches, and a pint of strawberries.

This time of year, on the brink of fall, I feel like the need for pies is especially strong. I didn’t eat a lot of pie growing up – the revelation of raspberries is something that I didn’t experience till college believe it or not – but no matter where you’re from or what you like, pie always feels like home. More cozy than a cake, more special than a cookie. Pie is LOVE.

I’m really looking forward to fall pies and tartes. The apples and pears that will be in season very soon will be a delight to mix and match with end of summer fruits and exotic spices. In late fall the nut and veggies pies I hope to try should do a great deal in the way of warming us up. In the mean time it’s nice to sit back with a piece of the last summer pie and think about the roller coaster this summer has been!

New York City in the summer time is every bit as sweltering as the movies tell you it is (The Seven Year Itch anyone?). Compounded with the heat and pressure of a New York kitchen, summertime can be downright suffocating. For the first time I can remember, I’ve actually felt the seasons change. Growing up in South Carolina it seemed like there was summer, fall and spring. Winter weather doesn’t even register in my memory. In Philadelphia it felt as though we sweat through summer and dove right into freezing through winter, with maybe two or three weeks of spring or fall to break it up.

Lemon Pie Crust – Make twice for top and bottom crusts – 9″ pie.

1-1/4 cups All-purpose flour (plus more for rolling out the dough)
1/2 cup Butter, unsalted, very cold and chopped into small pieces
1 Tbsp. Sugar
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
3+ Tbsp. Ice water
Zest of 2 medium lemons

In a food processor, pulse together flour, sugar, salt & lemon zest. Add in chopped butter and pulse several times until butter is cut into the flour in tiny pieces, roughly the size of peas. Remove from food processor and in a bowl mix in ice water by hand until dough comes together. Take care not to knead or overwork the dough. Roll into a ball and flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until use, at least 1 hour.

When you’re ready to roll out the dough, flour your counter and rolling pin. Remove from the refrigerator and allow dough to sit for a couple of minutes at room temperature. Place disk in floured area, lightly dust the top of the dough with a sprinkle of flour, and roll out the dough, making sure there is about an inch and a half to spare on either side of your pie dish. When rolling out the second pie crust, I used a pastry cutter to create the wide lattice strips. Since this is a juicy pie, a solid top crust with a vent would work as well.

Blueberry-Raspberry Filling – Bake at 350F degrees for about 1 hour and 15 minutes

4 cups Blueberries, rinsed and picked over for stems and twigs
2 to 2-1/2 cups of Raspberries, gently rinsed
1 cup Sugar – plus more to sprinkle on pie crust
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 tsp. Ground Allspice
1/4 tsp. Ground Nutmeg
4 Tbsp. Minute Tapioca
2 Tbsp. Butter, unsalted, chopped into small pieces
Egg Wash

In a large bowl stir together blueberries, raspberries, sugar, lemon juice, allspice, nutmeg and Minute tapioca. Let sit for 10 – 15 minutes (I usually do this before rolling out the pie crusts, about the time I start preheating the oven). Pour into pie shell. Scatter dots of butter over the filling and cover with top crust or lattice. Eggwash the top crust and sprinkle with sugar.

Check the pie regularly after about 45 minutes to make sure the crust is not browning too quickly. If the crust becomes golden brown before filling has begun to bubble in the center of the pie, cover with aluminum foil to prevent further browning. When filling in bubbling from the center the pie is finished!

Enjoy your holiday weekend!

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