Blueberry Lime Pie

By:  Julie

Serves:  Makes 1 9-inch pie

Time:  1 hour plus 1 hour chill and 50 min cooking time.

I once made Blueberry Lime jam, and it was fantastic, so why not make a pie?  Simple really, all I did was substitute out the lemon juice for lime.  I have to tell you, not only is it tasty, but the house smells amazing.  Blueberries are in season right now and I was able to get 4 quarts for a $3.99, which is really the only time they are affordable enough to make a pie.  Unfortunately, Evelyn ate half of them in the grocery store so I had to go back today for more to make the pie.  We decided to walk there, since the local foodland is close, with Evelyn happily pushing her stuffed bear in her stroller.  All was good… and then she stepped on a pine cone.  The CRUNCH terrified her and convinced her that some horrible monster-bug was hiding in the pine cone and that it was going to eat her. Immediately.  We were halfway to the store.  The peaceful blueberry mission turned into March of the Screaming Child, who was holding so tightly to my neck you would have sworn that the boogey-man himself was after her.  No amount of convincing would assure her that the pine cones were not evil, nothing that was going to get her, and everything was ok.  She calmed down briefly in the store, where we paid 3.99 for ONE quart of the precious blue gold, and then screamed about birds trying to get her all the way home while daddy carried the stroller.  It just goes to show you that your whole day can change with one pine cone.  After much effort the pie was made, and it was worth it.

I would try this crust even if you already have a favorite.  It’s the only all-butter crust that I’ve made that is tender and flaky, and you know what?  I MADE IT IN THE MIXER!  That’s right, no tedious pastry blending, no fear of over-working.  I once left this crust in the mixer and forgot about it and it still came out delicious (although it was a bit hard to roll that time).  It can be a bit delicate to roll out, so take your time.

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You Will Need:

For The Crust

  • 2 and 1/3 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp ice water

For the Filling

  • 6 cups fresh blueberries, if using frozed make sure they are thawed and dry
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup corn starch (or flour if your prefer)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp of butter to dot the filling after its in the pie shell.

Prepare The Crust

Preheat oven to 425F

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In your mixer bowl, with the paddle attached, mix the flour, salt, and sugar until well combined.  Add the butter and increase speed to 2 until the mixture looks grainy and the butter is mostly in pea sized pieces.  In a separate small bowl, whisk the egg and the cold water together and add to your flour mixture.  Mix until it comes together into a dough.  Turn out on to a floured surface and knead a couple of times, divide into two round discs, wrap separately in plastic wrap, and place in the fridge for a min of 1 hour.

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When chilled, remove from fridge, flour counter, and roll out into a circle.  Make sure to flour both sides of the dough.  My favorite technique for this is to turn the dough continuously 1/4 turn at a time as I roll.  If the dough starts to stick, add more flour.  Continue turning it every time you roll until it’s 10 inches in diameter or larger.  Try to get it to 1/8″ thick and try to make it the same thickness all the way across so it cooks evenly.  This can take practice.  If this is your first time, don’t get discouraged.  It took me about 20 pies and 10 different recipes to get any good at it.

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Lay your crust across the bottom of the pie plate and gently press it into the corners.  Place the crust in the fridge while you prepare the filling and roll out the top.

Prepare The Filling

In a large bowl, combine blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, lime juice and cinnamon.  Stir until combined.  Put aside.  On a floured counter, roll out the top crust.

Assemble The Pie

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Place the filling in the crust, mounding it towards the center.  Dot with butter.  Trim the crust around the pie plate so there is no excess.  Place the top crust over top of the filling and tuck the edges under the bottom crust.  Use two fingers on one hand and place them under the crust edge.  Use your index finger on the other hand to gently press and create a crimp.

Option:  To make your crust brown nicely, use an egg wash.  Whisk an egg with a tbsp of milk or water and brush evenly over crust.

Cut steam vents in the top crust, be sure not to cut through the bottom!

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Place in oven at 425 for 10 min.  Then reduce to 350F and cook for 40 min more.  If the edges of your pie brown too quickly, cover with a pie shield.

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Cool completely before serving.

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Pumpkin Tarts

By Julie

Time: 40 min

Serves: 15 tarts

It’s that time of year when all things pumpkin come out.  Admittedly, I think it’s going  a little overboard lately.  Tim Hortons started peddling their pumpkin wares in August this year and the pumpkin spice crazy is getting a little bit over-done.  I do like some traditional pumpkin pie, but I also love the versatility of tarts.  I like how they are small, personal portions and how pretty they are with their rustic dough.  You can make your dough prettier by using a cutter and folding it and forming it properly with a rounded spoon, but I like the folded look with the uneven edges.  It shouts, “hey!  I’m homemade”.  Don’t make your pastry too thin however, the filling is heavy and they need some sturdy support.  The goal is to roll them just shy of a quarter-inch.  My favourite part of pumpkin pie is the warm spices.  I like it spicy.

You Will Need:

  • One tart pastry recipe – you will have enough filling for 15 tarts or so.  I used the pastry from Maple Raisin Butter Tarts.  This is my universal tart dough.
  • 1 cup brown sugar.  I used dark but light is fine
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 2 eggs slightly beaten
  • 14oz of pureed pumpkin.  Canned is fine
  • 1/2 cup of evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream

The cream is important.  You want the filling to stiffen on baking so it holds up in the tart shells

Prep

Grease your muffin tins, I used a full 12 plus a 6 to use up all of this filling.  I ended up with 15 tarts.  Preheat oven 450F.

Make The Filling

Mix the brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves together in a large bowl.  I used a mixer but it is not necessary.  Add eggs and mix until incorporated.  Mix in pumpkin, then add milk and cream.

Bake

Fill the tart shells 3/4 full.  Use an egg-wash if you like shiny pastry.  Bake at 400 for 15 min then reduce to 350 for 20-25 min.  Your tarts should be set and nicely browned.  Jiggle the pan to make sure the center is set.  It should be stiff.  Let cool completely in tart shells before removing.  Serve the same day.  These will keep for a few days in the fridge but once you go there the pastry will soften some but still be delicious.  Top with a generous portion of whipped cream because it’s delicious and why wouldn’t you?  This recipe also works just fine in a 9 inch pie shell.

Ma’s Rhubarb Custard Pie

By:  Julie

Serves:  1 9-inch pie

Time:  10 min prep, 50-60 min bake

Anyone who has ever eaten my Grandmother’s food will tell you it’s the best they’ve had.  Because it is.  I grew up eating like a queen.  One of the things she made that is on my list of favorites is Rhubarb Custard Pie.  It is simple, but amazing.  Ma used 3/4 a tsp of nutmeg, and this is what really makes it stand out, but if you are not a fan of nutmeg like my mother you can substitute some or all of it for cinnamon.  The sugar seems like a lot, but if your rhubarb is tart you will need every bit of it.

You Will Need

  • 1 double crust pastry recipe, like Flaky, Tender, Tasty Pie Crust
  • 4 cups of rhubarb, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 cup of packed, light brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp of nutmeg
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs – well beaten
  • 2 tbsp flour

Preheat oven to 350F

Roll out bottom crust and place in 9 inch pie pan, trimming edges.  In a large bowl, mix the sugar, salt, and flour together until well mixed.  Add the eggs and mix.  Finally, add the rhubarb.  Pour into prepared shell.

Roll out top crust onto lightly floured counter.  Use a pastry cutter or a pizza wheel to cut at least 9 1-inch wide strips.  Place strips vertically across pie 1 inch apart.  Fold down every-other strip in half and lay a strip across horizontally, 1 inch from the pie edge.  Unfold the halved pieces over the new strip and fold down the next 2 strips. Add another horizontal piece and unfold the folded strips over top.  Repeat until the crust is complete.  Trim the excess and tuck the strips underneath the bottom crust.

Place in preheated oven and bake for 50 min.  Check occasionally and use a pie crust shield if necessary.  Insert a knife to make sure it’s set and allow to cool before serving.  I had to give mine an extra 10 minutes to brown the crust the way I like.  The result was tart and delicious with perfect crust.