Maine Wild Blueberry Pie

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I recently found a very short story I had written on Memorial Day of this year while visiting Bar Harbor, Maine. I wrote it as I was on a search for the best blueberry pie in the area. My favorite slice was at West Street Cafe. It was a magical experience in this idyllic little town.

The story is below along with a recipe for a very tasty Maine wild blueberry pie adapted from a couple different recipes I located in the area.

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Sitting on our oversize porch, much too large for the two chairs and lone table that are its permanent  residents, I watch the calm waters of the Atlantic gently receding from the coastline, indicative of this time of day. The little watch boats traversing the narrow passageways between the islands are hunting for puffins and the shy humpback whale.

The weekenders are making their departures and there’s a new peacefulness to this tiny seaside village that wasn’t noticeable mere hours ago. The trees have a gentle sway to them and even the birds seem quieter as thought they know the holiday showing is nearing the final curtain.

As I finish my first cup of coffee this morning, I can’t help but think about what a delicious accompaniment it would be to a perfectly crusted sliver of blueberry pie, the favored dessert of the region. It just so happens blueberries are in peak season at this particular time of year, so I’d be doing myself and the pie a disservice by not partaking.

So I end here, off to search for the best slice to be had. I’ll report back with my findings…

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Maine Wild Blueberry Pie

New Englanders prefer a runnier consistency to their blueberry pie, so this recipe has just a hint of tapioca to firm it a bit, but it will be a little more loose.

Extra kitchen bits you’ll need: Food processor (you can also use a bowl and pastry cutter), parchment, plastic wrap, 9-inch deep-dish pie plate

Double-Crust Pastry Dough

Ingredients

  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling out
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 18 tablespoons (2-1/4 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
  • 6-8 tablespoons ice water

Instructions

Combine flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor. Pulse until blended, about 5 times. Add butter, and pulse until pea-size pieces form, about 10 times. Drizzle in ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse until just moist, about 10 times. Add up to 2 additional tablespoons ice water if necessary. (Dough will be very crumbly.) Remove dough to a clean, lightly floured work surface, and squeeze it together to form a ball. Be sure to not over mix, or dough will be tough. Divide dough in half, and shape each half into a 5-inch disk. Wrap each half in plastic wrap, and chill 1 hour.

After chilling, remove dough from refrigerator. Unwrap disks one at a time, and dust lightly with flour. Between two sheets of parchment paper, roll each half into a 13-inch (1/4-inch-thick) circle. Layer between sheets of parchment, cover with plastic wrap, and chill until ready to use.

 

Filling

Ingredients

  • 5 cups fresh wild blueberries
  • 1/2 teaspoon tapioca flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 egg whisked together with a splash of milk or water (egg wash)

Instructions

Wash berries, remove stems, and gently stir with flour and sugar. Sprinkle with lemon juice to taste. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 400°. Remove one rolled out dough from the refrigerator, peel off top parchment and transfer, peeled side down to a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate, draping any excess over the sides. Remove remaining parchment.

Pour berries into bottom crust. Distribute dots of butter over berries. Peel one sheet of parchment off top crust. Transfer top crust, peeled side down, to pie; then peel off remaining parchment.

Using a sharp knife, make three slashes in crust to let steam escape. Fold bottom crust up over top crust and crimp to seal. Brush with the egg wash, then bake until the crust is golden brown and juices are bubbling, 40-50 minutes.

2 thoughts on “Maine Wild Blueberry Pie

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