It wasn't hard picking the fruit that I would turn into today's tribute, but what to make. When I thought about the desserts my mom would bake, pies were always one of her favorites. However, since pie isn't necessary a "portable" treat, I decided on a slab pie, which I've come to love more than the round, deep-dish ones.
Ahh, blueberries. Not only the perfect color, but one of my favorite summertime fruits. It's also one of the only three indigenous fruits of America--cranberries and concord grapes being the other two. So how patriotic is that!
Growing up in Maryland, my mother made huckleberry pies, muffins, and jam. They were abundant on their property and all of us kids loved to go picking for the rewards that would come--eating all the wonderful baked goods. The huckleberry is similar in taste to it's cultivar cousin the blueberry, however, smaller in size, so we had to pick a lot to get a pie. My grandfather, years later, decided to plant a grove of blueberry plants, which produced some pretty excellent pies at our picnics too...and was easier on the back to pick:-D
Blueberry Slab Pie
1 recipe of Perfect Pie Dough
Instead of dividing it into fourths, divide the dough in half and wrap in plastic. Chill for a couple of hours or overnight.
2 lbs. (about 8 cups) fresh blueberries, washed, dried and picked over to remove stems, etc.
1 cup dried blueberries
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
5 T cornstarch
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 T unsalted butter
Preheat oven to 400F-degrees.
Prepare the blueberries and place in a large bowl along with the dried blueberries. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the sugar and cornstarch. Pour over the fruit and with a spatula, fold in.
Roll out one of the "half" rounds of pie dough to fit a 10" x 15" baking sheet that has been lightly sprayed with a non-stick baking spray.
Spoon the fruit mixture over the pie dough. Squeeze 1/2 lemon over the filling and dot with the unsalted butter.
Roll out the second half of the pie dough and lay on top of the filling. Any "overhand" should be tucked under. Flute the edges--I use my mom's "2-finger, thumb" flute! Cut some slits in the top crust to allow steam to escape. I did three across and four down for a total of 12 slits.
Place the baking sheet on another baking sheet, lined with parchment paper (to catch any spills, should they occur). Bake in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes. Check the pie about 20 minutes into the baking and if the edges are getting too dark, make some aluminum foil strips to cover and protect them.
When the crust is an overall golden brown and the blueberries filling is bubbling through the slits made in the top crust, remove from the oven and allow to cool. If you're making the glaze, which I highly recommend, spread on the crust while still warm from the oven.
2 T unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 T maple syrup (I use a Grade B)
Use a spoon to "smoosh" the butter and mix in the confectioners' sugar. Add the maple syrup and continue stirring until you have a smooth glaze. Spoon dollops over the top of the pie, then, use an off-set spatula to smooth it all over.
Let the pie cool completely, about 1 hour before slicing. (This can easily be made the day before for your picnic, but I suggest hiding it from your family unless you want half of it missing!)
So, here's my tribute to the Red ~ White & Blue! Have a wonderful and safe 4th of July picnic. Tomorrow, I will draw the name for June's apron and shortly have July's Give-Away up. Enjoy!