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Classic Lattice-Top Blueberry Pie

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Serves 10

  • by Abigail Johnson Dodge from Fine Cooking
    Issue 117

Big, sweet summer berries are the heart and soul of this classic pie. The filling is thickened with just enough flour that the pie can be sliced without the filling running out. The lattice top is easy to put together if you construct it on a piece of parchment. Then you simply invert the lattice onto the pie, trim, crimp, and bake.

For the dough:
  • 12 oz. (2-2/3 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. table salt
  • 6 oz. (3/4 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces
  • 2 oz. (4 Tbs.) frozen vegetable shortening, cut into 4 pieces
  • 5 Tbs. ice-cold water
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
For the filling:
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1-1/2 oz. (1/3 cup) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest plus 1 Tbs.
  • Juice (from 1 medium lemon)
  • Big pinch table salt
  • 6 cups (30 oz.) fresh blueberries, rinsed and thoroughly dried
For assembly:
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tbs. coarse sugar, such as turbinado or white sanding sugar
Make the dough:

Put the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse briefly to combine. Add the butter and shortening and pulse until the pieces are slightly larger than pea-size, 10 to 12 pulses. Drizzle the water and lemon juice evenly over the flour mixture. Pulse until the dough forms moist crumbs that just begin to clump together, 8 or 9 more pulses.

Dump the moist crumbs onto two large overlapping pieces of plastic wrap and gather into a pile. With the heel of your hand, push and gently smear the dough away from you, rotating the plastic so you smear a different section each time, until the crumbs come together; 2 or 3 smears should do it. Divide the dough in half (about 12 oz. for each piece); shape one piece into a 5-inch disk and the other into a 4x6-inch rectangle. Wrap each tightly in plastic and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours and up to 2 days (or freeze for up to 1 month).

Make the lattice top crust:

Position a rack in the center of the oven and set a foil-lined heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet on the rack. Heat the oven to 425°F.

Remove the rectangle of dough from the refrigerator; if it’s very firm, let it sit at room temperature until it’s pliable enough to roll, 10 to 20 minutes. (If the disk of dough is also very firm, let it sit at room temperature while you make the lattice.)

On lightly floured parchment, roll the dough with a floured rolling pin into a 9-1/2 x14-1/2-inch rectangle that’s 1/8 inch thick. Roll from the center of the dough to the edges and try to use as few passes as possible to avoid overworking the dough. After every few passes, run an offset spatula or bench knife under the dough to be sure it isn’t sticking, and give the dough a quarter turn. Reflour the parchment and the rolling pin only as needed—excess flour can make the crust tough.

Using a fluted pastry wheel or a chef’s knife, trim the dough into a 9x14-inch rectangle. With the wheel or knife, cut 12 strips of dough that are 14-inches long and 3/4-inch wide. If at any point while making the lattice the dough becomes too soft to work with, slide the parchment onto a cookie sheet and chill the dough until firm.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment. Arrange 6 of the dough strips horizontally 3/4-inch apart; these will be the “bottom” strips.

Fold back every other bottom strip to the left slightly more than halfway. Slightly left of center, lay down one “top” strip vertically over the bottom strips, dabbing the bottom strips with a wet finger where the top strip will overlap them. Dab the top strip where the folded strips will overlap it, then unfold the strips. Fold back the other 3 bottom strips to the left. Lay a second top strip 3/4-inch to the right of the first, dabbing with water as before. These are the two center strips. Unfold the bottom strips. Repeat the process on both sides with the remaining top strips of dough.

Press gently where the strips overlap to seal. Loosely cover the lattice with plastic wrap and refrigerate on the cookie sheet while you roll out the bottom crust and make the filling.

Roll and shape the bottom crust:

On lightly floured parchment, roll the disk of dough into a 14-1/2-inch circle that’s 1/8 inch thick.

Carefully and gently roll the dough around the rolling pin and position the pin over a 9-inch glass pie plate. Unroll, easing the dough into the pan. Gently press the dough against the side and bottom of the pan, being careful not to stretch or tear it, and allowing the excess dough to hang over the edges. Let sit at room temperature while assembling the filling.

Make the filling:

In a large bowl, combine the sugar, flour, lemon zest and juice, and salt. Add 1 cup of the blueberries and crush them into the dry ingredients with a potato masher or fork to make a paste. Add the rest of the berries and toss to coat. Scrape the filling into the crust with a rubber spatula, spreading evenly.

Assemble and bake the pie:

Remove the lattice from the refrigerator. If it’s stiff, let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes. Put your palm under the parchment at the center of the lattice. Lift the paper and invert the lattice onto the filling in a swift, smooth motion. Press the top and bottom edges together and trim both crusts so there’s about a 3/4-inch overhang. Roll the overhang under itself to form a high edge of crust that rests on the rim of the pie plate. Using your fingers, crimp the dough into a fluted edge.

In a small bowl, beat the egg and 1 Tbs. water until blended. Using a small pastry brush, brush the egg mixture evenly over the lattice and edge, and then sprinkle generously with the coarse sugar.

Put the pie on the heated baking sheet and reduce the oven temperature to 375°F. Bake until the edges are pale golden, about 30 minutes, then cover the edges with foil and continue to bake until the lattice is golden-brown and the filling is bubbling about 2-inches from the center, 80 to 90 minutes total. (If the lattice is golden-brown before the filling is bubbling, cover it loosely with foil.)

Let the pie cool on a rack to room temperature, about 3 hours, before serving. It’s best eaten on the day it’s made, but you can make it up to 1 day ahead and store it, covered when cool, at room temperature. Leftovers keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 420; Fat (g): 19; Fat Calories (kcal): 170; Saturated Fat (g): 9; Protein (g): 5; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 5; Carbohydrates (g): 59; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2; Sodium (mg): 240; Cholesterol (mg): 50; Fiber (g): 3;

Photo: Scott Phillips

This recipe solves a problem I have had with the sugar/thickener not dissolving and thus the blueberries looking dry with a lattice crust. Hubby and I agree this is the best tasting blueberry pie ever. I use a different crust recipe and weave 4 strips each way on a 9" pie.

My husband declared this the best blueberry pie he ever had. The technique of mashing one cup of blueberries into the sugar, flour mix was different. It produced no leaking when it was cut. I did add 1/2 tsp of cinnamon, the slightest pinch of nutmeg and 1 tsp of vanilla to the mash mix. This pie is not overly sweet and some might want to up the sugar slightly. I used 3 pints of fresh blueberries. Not sure what country they came from. Since they are not in season now it might have been that they weren't that sweet. I'm sure in season would be sweeter. Still thought it was fabulous.

This pie is a WINNER! It is BEAUTIFUL and I love to take it to cookouts and dinners because people are impressed and delighted by the pie's taste and appearance! I made this for a friend of mine who is a self proclaimed "connoisseur of pie" and he said it was the best he'd ever had. My boyfriend also loved it, which shocked us both since he doesn't usually care for pie. I had never made a lattice topped pie, and it came out perfect the first try! The lemon is a nice touch and I have found that I prefer to add extra zest and juice to the filling if the blueberries are on the sweeter side.

Hubby claimed this the best blueberry pie he's ever eaten. The lattice trick worked perfectly and the crust tasted like dessert all by itself. The filling was delicious, the right consistency, and gorgeous. We loved this. You can view my full review at: http://bit.ly/OBNkLI

Outstanding blueberry pie filling. My husband and I and our guests all loved it. Not too sweet, just the right amount of flour for neat, not runny, slices, good idea to mash in some of the berries. I wove the lattice top the usual way--right on the filled pie--because it's so easy. The technique in the recipe seemed like a difficult solution in search of a problem.

Delicious! I only gave it 4 stars since I couldn't get the lattice top to work. I had a hard time getting 12 strips out of the top crust. Ended up throwing the lattice pieces out & made 1/2 recipe of the jumble berry pie crust and used it in the traditional manner. Looks great & slices perfectly. Very tasty!

Made this to take to a dinner party Saturday night and it was the best blueberry pie ever! I did not do the lattice top, I used the streusel topping in the parfait recipe in the same article, it was so good and so easy. This is a keeper!

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