Friday, September 28, 2012

Blueberry Crumble Pie

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I was in a pie making mood recently, and put together a Peach Pie that I froze for the winter. That got me thinking about other pies that I could make and freeze for later use. I had recently bought a big bag of frozen blueberries and thought they would be perfect to use for a "freeze now, use later" pie since they were already frozen. And I have ready-made pie crusts in the freezer as well, so that part is done. Now, for the top of the pie I thought I would do something different. Instead of the usual double crust pie (with a pastry crust on both top and bottom) I thought I would use the crust on the bottom and make a crumble for the top. Some people would also call this a "crisp" topping. It's a mixture of oats, butter, flour, sugar and nuts to make a wonderfully crunchy top to contrast the soft cooked berries inside. It's going to be amazing!
   We love blueberries. When they are in season, we eat them by the bowl full just as a snack. My husband doesn't really care for cooking with blueberries because he feels it takes something away from how delicious the berries are when they are raw. Well, I hope he likes this pie. :) I think it will be "blueberry-y" enough.

It was a cinch to put together, because I already had everything on hand.

It all starts with the berries.
To the berries I added some cornstarch

and some sugar (about 1/2 cup). The amount of sugar will depend on how sweet your berries are, and how sweet you like you pies. My husband is affectionately known as "the Sugar Nazi" so we are o.k. with a tart pie. If you want more sugar, by all means add more!

After the berries, cornstarch and sugar are mixed, I added some cinnamon (not enough to taste of cinnamon, just enough to give a slight warmth to the pie)

and a touch of vanilla

Then I zested one lemon,

about 1 tsp?

and added the juice of the lemon as well.

Make sure to strain the juice, to get all the seeds.

When everything is stirred together well, I pour the mixture into my frozen pie shell. It's a deep dish 9 inch.

Next comes the crumble topping:  I made enough topping for two pies and then used the remaining half to top a peach and blueberry crumble pie. It's pretty much the same recipe as this, but I used 4 cups of peaches and 2 cups of blueberries. It's great if you have some peaches and blueberries you want to use. :)
  So, into a bowl I combine 1 cup of rolled oats.

1/4 cup of slivered almonds

1/2 cup of dark brown sugar

1/4 tsp cinnamon

and 1/3 cup flour

That gets mixed with 1/3 cup of cold butter, cut into cubes.

I started cutting in the butter with my pastry cutter. This also helps chop the nuts a little.

When it was almost combined, I used my fingers to gently press some of the butter chunks into the mixture, so that it gets more evenly dispersed. You want some chunks left behind, but not a lot.

When it's all mixed, it looks like this:

Then I just start piling it on top of the pie.

Like I mentioned earlier, this is enough to top two pies, so this is the remaining half. You can use it to do another pie, or make a fruit "crisp" or crumble in a baking dish or even individual ramekins!

This is my finished pie ready for the freezer. I just put it in my freezer to get hard; wrapped it a few times in plastic wrap and then put it into a labeled zip-lock freezer bag and back into the freezer for another time.
  If you wanted to bake it now, just set the oven to 375 and bake it off for about 45 minutes. The crust and top should be brown and the fruit should be bubbling. Turn off the oven, crack the door open and allow it to cool in the warm oven.

Blueberry Crumble Pie

1 Deep Dish 9 inch pie crust
6 cups blueberries
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar (depending on how sweet your berries are)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon
pinch of salt (about 1/4 tsp)

Topping (for 2 pies):
1 cup rolled oats (old fashioned)
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup cold butter, cubed
1/3 cup flour

Mix together the berries, cornstarch, sugar, cinnamon, lemon zest and juice and salt. Mix until thoroughly combined. Pour into the 9 inch pie crust.
In a separate bowl, combine the ingredients for the Crumble Topping. Cut together using a pastry cutter, and then your fingers (Really smash down most of the butter cubes to get the oats, nuts, sugar and flour coated in the butter.) Combine until it holds together when you squeeze it, and there are still some pea sized butter pieces visible. Top the pie with 1/2 of the Crumble mixture.
If you are baking it now, heat the oven to 375F. Bake for 45 minutes, until the crust and topping are brown and the filling is bubbling. (Bake on or over a cookie sheet, just in case it bubbles over in the oven.) When done, turn the oven off, crack the door and let the pie cool in the warm oven until you can take it out with your bare hands. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

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