20 August 2008

Summer Blues

I realized something shocking this morning.

I have a flip-flop tan on the tops of my feet.

That means it's been an outdoors summer- the first I've had since high school, when the only rule, laid out by my mother, was having to get dressed before noon (but a bikini counted, thank God).

That also means that I'm getting melancholy over the fall feel in the air. It's refreshing, of course, but there's a part of me that's having trouble letting summer go.

Over the past few months, I've set aside my usually year-round steaming cups and rediscovered the beauty of cold tea- brewed over ice, in the refrigerator, flavored with vibrant summer herbs and spices. I know I can make it at any time, but iced tea is just not the same after August.

I'm not relinquishing my grasp on the season just yet: As long as monarch butterflies are accompanying me up concrete subway steps and cicadas are serenading me to sleep, blueberry pie will be made.

Its bright, just-sweet-enough taste is somehow the pinnacle of summer, even in this gray, towering city, even as the sun's warmth off the pavement is quickly fading.

Blueberry Pie
Makes: 8 servings.

1 double-crust pie dough (pate brisee), chilled, separated into two equal-sized disks
5 cups blueberries, washed
3/4 to 1 cup sugar
3-4 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1-2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1. Roll out one half of pie crust to fit in 9-inch pie dish; gently drape in dish, not stretching edges, and form a rim.

2. Roll remaining half into 9-inch circle and cut vent holes or decorative shapes with cookie cutters, if desired. Press cut dough shapes next to cut-outs, and slide onto a cookie sheet. Refrigerate both halves for at least 30 minutes.

3. Place blueberries in medium-sized bowl and mix with sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice and zest and cinnamon. Let mixture sit for 15 minutes.

4. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Pour blueberry mixture into pie crust and dot with butter pieces. Cover with top crust, tucking edges under rim and fluting decoratively.

5. Bake pie for 30 minutes, then slip a baking sheet underneath the dish. Lower temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 25 to 35 minutes more, until thick juices are bubbling up.

6. Let pie cool for several hours before slicing, or refrigerate overnight and eat for every meal until it's gone.

I had a slice for breakfast and paired it with a new tea- and not even iced, as it was 61 degrees this morning. Come back tomorrow and I'll tell you what it was.


Teep said...

nice to hear it "...been an outdoors summer" and I share your sentiment (melancholy) over the fall feel in the air... (entropy!)

the last thing I'll add is, I have a "van tan" b/c I don't like flip flops.

Bonbon Oiseau said...

uhhh...i hope you saved me a piece...that's one good looking flaky crust sister...

ana dane said...

i got one here with your name on it. but it is absolutely chock-full of gluten, i'm afraid.

i do have a flourless, tea-related dessert for us, though, so don't worry.

Pam said...

The pie looks delicious. There is something so comforting about blueberry pie.

Helene said...

My dad's favorite is blueberry pie...this would make his heart sing!!

AC said...

my favorite pie is blueberry with fresh whipped cream. but with fall comes apple, sweet potato and pumpkin pies, chock full of cinnamon!

Therese said...

I'd love to know what is atop your slice of blueberry pie - it looks like clotted cream...but couldn't be since I don't know where you would get it besides England!

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