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Food Friday: Summer Pies 8/3/18

Deanna Fox's blueberry and lemon meringue pies
Deanna Fox
Deanna Fox's blueberry and lemon meringue pies

Summer is a time for BBQ, ice cream and of course summer pies. Food Friday fixture Deanna Foxreturns to the show with this year's take on summer pies. WAMC's Brian Shields hosts.

The number to call is 1-800-348-2551. You can also email voxpop@wamc.org.

Perfect Pie Crust

Makes enough for a 9-inch double crust pie



2 1/4 cup pastry flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/3 cup very cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon shortening

5-7 tablespoons ice water



Food Processor

In a food processor, combine dry ingredients with butter and shortening. Pulse to incorporate butter and shortening until the dough resembles sand and peas. Slowly add water, one tablespoon at a time, and pulse until the dough just comes together (might take less than five tablespoons, or more than seven... many factors come into play here. Be sure to add water until just combined). Divide dough into two balls, wrap each with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for up to an hour.


Hand Blend

In a bowl, combine dry ingredients and whisk to combine. Cut in butter and shortening with a pastry cutter until the dough resembles sand and peas. Slowly add water, one tablespoon at a time, and blend together until the dough just forms a ball (might take less than five tablespoons, or more than seven... many factors come into play here. Be sure to add water until just combined). Divide dough into two balls, wrap each with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for up to an hour.


Blueberry Pie

Make one 9-inch pie



3 tablespoons sugar, divided

1/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup light brown sugar

1/4 cup minute tapioca

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

5 cups blueberries

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Pinch of salt

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1 large egg, beaten with 1 teaspoon water



Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. On a well-floured surface, roll half of the pie dough into a 12-inch circle and carefully transfer to a 9-inch pie plate. Dust the inside bottom of the pie crust with two tablespoons sugar.


Stir together the berries, 1/3 cup sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon, kosher salt, and tapioca in a large bowl. Place filling in the bottom pie crust and dot with bits of butter. Roll out the second half of pie dough into an 11-inch circle and place over the top of the pie filling. Trim the top and bottom pie dough so that their overhang beyond the pie plate is only about 1/2-inch. Tuck the dough underneath itself (so that it lies on the lip of the pie plate) and crimp. Cut vent slits in the top dough.


Brush the egg mixture over the top dough. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of white sugar over the top. Cover the edges of the pie crust with strips of foil to prevent burning. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove the foil. Reduce the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for an additional 25-30 minutes. The pie is done when the crust is golden and the juices are bubbly.


Transfer pie to a wire rack to cool for several hours before serving. Can be kept at room temperature for up to three days.


Lemon Meringue Pie

Makes One Pie



Half of the Perfect Pie Dough Recipe (bottom crust only)

Dried beans, rice, or pie weights


For the filling

1 tablespoon lemon zest

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

1 1/3 cup water

1 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

6 egg yolks

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature


For the meringue

6 egg whites, at room temperature

3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/2 cup granulated sugar



Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Roll out the pie crust to 1/4-inch thick and in a large enough circle to cover a 9-inch pie plate. Place the dough in the pie plate and trim a 1/2-inch overhang around the edge of the pie plate. Tuck the overhang under itself and crimp the edges as desired. Poke several small holes in the bottom of the pie crust with the tines of a fork (this is called docking), then crumple a pie of aluminum foil or parchment paper and then unravel and lay inside the pie plate on top of the crust. Place beans, rice or pie weights on the foil or parchment paper to help weigh the crust down when it bakes. (This is called blind baking.) Bake for 10 minutes then remove from the oven and discard the foil/parchment paper and weights.


Meanwhile, make the lemon filling: Combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, water, sugar, cornstarch and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk everything together for several minutes, being sure to whisk out cornstarch lumps if any should form. (To prevent this, you can slowly whisk the cornstarch into the other ingredients.) After about 5 minutes, this mixture should thicken and bubble, like pudding. Whisk vigorously for 1 minute, then remove from the heat. Place the egg yolks in a medium mixing bowl and whisk together, then slowly spoon small amounts of the cornstarch mixture into the eggs, whisking vigorously with each addition. (This is called tempering the eggs, and will prevent the eggs from curdling.) Repeat this slow addition and mixing process until 3/4 of the cornstarch mixture is added to the eggs. Pour the warmed egg mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining cornstarch mixture and whisk to thoroughly combine. Set the saucepan over medium heat and whisk as big bubbles form. Cook and whisk for one minute. Remove this lemon filling from the heat and carefully pour into the prepared pie crust. Allow to cool slightly while you make the meringue, but not completely, or the meringue will separate from the filling.


Make the meringue: in the bowl of a stand mixer or with an electric hand mixer, beat the room-temperature egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. (This should take about 3-4 minutes; when the beater is lifted from the whites, the peaks should bend over fully.) With the mixer running, slowly add in the sugar. The whites will deflate slightly, then become glossy and airy again. Beat until stiff peaks form (when the peaks from the lifted beater hold their shape). Gently dollop the meringue over the top of the lemon filling in the pie crust, being sure to coax it over to the edge of the pie crust. Make swirls on the top of the meringue, then bake the entire pie in the 400 degree oven for 20 minutes, or until the meringue top becomes golden (darker in the peaks). Allow to cool at room temperature for one hour, then in the refrigerator for up to 4 hours. Eat as soon as possible, as lemon meringue tends to separate and weep.

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