Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Blueberry Pie and Raspberry Chevre Tart for Pie Day!

What can I say, I love pie!  And what better way to celebrate pie than with a Pie Day!  A spontaneous thought from Shauna Ahern, the Gluten-Free Girl, turned into a virtual pie party.  In over a thousand kitchens today, pies are being baked for Pie Day.  That’s one party I don’t want to miss!

I grew up eating a lot of pie.  My mom baked pies, lots of pies.  Apple, pumpkin, chocolate cream, rhubarb custard, banana cream, blueberry …we had an incredible year-round selection.  She made crusts to perfection (as I’ve mentioned before), rolling the dough out on our kitchen table to precise measurements, always creating a light, flaky crust.  I really can’t say what my favorite kind of pie is, but after years of pie eating, I think I can finally narrow the choices to summer fruit pies.  And it’s summer now!  So let the pie baking begin.

In my opinion, blueberries are just the best berry around, with raspberries a close second.  For Pie Day, I could bake a mixed berry pie, which is always delicious, but decide instead to be a purist with the berries and highlight each one.  Which means two pies!  Taking that thought a step further, why not a sweet pie and savory tart?  You never know what will emerge when you start thinking this way …

I played around with my blueberry pie filling I’ve made over the years by increasing the blueberries and adding some blueberry jam to enhance the blueberry flavor.  A slice of this pie made the 4th of  July complete!

Blueberry Pie
Serves 8
Adapted from The Joy of Cooking by Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer and Ethan Becker

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 pieces
1/2 cup ice cold water

In a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar and salt together a few times.  Add the cold butter pieces and pulse only until it looks like coarse meal.  Gradually add the 1/2 cup of water, stopping to scrape sides if needed.   Pulse until the dough just comes together (don’t let it form a ball because this will overwork the dough).  If the dough is dry and won’t stick when a piece is pinched together, add a little more cold water a tablespoon at a time.

Lightly dust a surface with flour and put the dough on it.  Roll into a ball and cut in half.  Roll out one piece of dough to about a 13 inch round.  Gently roll up the dough onto the rolling pin and unroll into your pie plate.  Press the dough into the bottom and sides of the pan and refrigerate until ready to use.  Roll out the second ball of dough into a 13 inch round.  Lay it on a parchment lined baking sheet and refrigerate.

6 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup blueberry jam
4 tablespoons cornstarch
Juice of 1 lemon
Pinch of kosher salt
Milk for brushing
Turbinado sugar for sprinkling
Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream for serving.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Combine the blueberries, sugar, jam, cornstarch, lemon juice and salt in a mixing bowl. 

Pour the mixture into the bottom crust.  Brush the overhanging edge with cold water.  Place the flat piece of dough on top, seal the edges together and crimp or flute.  Cut a small hole in the middle of the pie to vent.  Brush the top of the pie with a little milk and sprinkle on some turbinado sugar.

Bake the pie on a baking sheet for 25 minutes.  Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake until the thick juices bubble through the center vent, about 25-30 minutes more.  Let the pie cool before serving.   Dollop slices with ice cream or whipped cream and enjoy!

I always enjoy fruit on a cheese plate.   In general, I’m not a big fan of grapes, though (surprising since I love wine, and Bob is just the opposite in that he loves grapes and not wine …but I digress).  Depending upon what cheeses are being served, I prefer berries, sliced apples or pears, or sliced stone fruit.  Since I want to spotlight raspberries and I think berries and chevre are a lovely combination on a cheese platter, I set out to bake a savory tart using both.  Sort of like a cheese plate in a crust (the cracker?).  Serve this tart to jazz up a cheese course or as a light lunch with a simple green salad.

Raspberry Chevre Tart with Poppyseed Shortcrust
Serves 8-10

3 ounces whole wheat flour
3 ounces all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon poppyseeds
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
4 ounces cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 egg, lightly beaten

In a food processor, pulse the flours, poppyseeds and salt together.  Add the butter and pulse until a course meal forms.  Add the egg and pulse to combine.  

Pour the crust mixture into a tart pan with removable bottom.  Using your fingers, lightly press the mixture into the sides and bottom of the pan.  Do this quickly, otherwise the crust will begin to stick to your fingers.  If needed, use a piece of wax paper to press.  Refrigerate the crust for about 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Place a piece of parchment paper on the bottom of the crust and layer with pie weights or dry beans.  Bake for 15 minutes, remove the paper and weights or beans, and continue baking for another 10 minutes until slightly golden.  Cool crust completely.

8 ounces soft chevre
8 ounces fresh ricotta
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons honey, divided
1/2 tablespoon flaky sea salt
A few grinds of fresh black pepper or grains of paradise
16 ounces fresh raspberries

Mix the cheeses, olive oil, 1 tablespoon honey, salt and pepper until well blended.  Spoon the mixture into the cooled crust and smooth.  Place the raspberries in concentric circles on top of the cheese mixture until surface is covered.  Refrigerate for 1 hour and up to 6 hours. 

Before serving, drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of honey on top of the raspberries.  Cut into slices and enjoy with a chilled glass of sauvignon blanc.  Cheers!  


  1. Ohh, if I had to choose I'd pick the Chevre one...because I am a cheese addict!!! Both look lovely, happy pie day!

  2. I was just thinking about blueberry pie. I have a recipe in an old advertising pamphlet I need to try. Blueberry is definitely one of my favorite pies, but I would have a difficult time choosing just one kind! Evidently there are people out there who don't like pies--I'm not one of them!

  3. @Marnely Rodriguez
    Thank you, Marnely! Happy Pie Day to you, too!

  4. @Lauren Hairston
    I think it's a sign you need to bake a blueberry pie. Happy to know you are a pie person, too! :)


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