I have to tell you a secret- I don’t remember exactly how I made this.
It was a warm summer day. We had a lovely big pot of clams and crusty bread for dinner (recipe for another day but fear not I will give it to you). We ate on the picnic table in the backyard. There was leftover pie crust lurking in my fridge and blueberries we had picked earlier in the week were threatening to take a turn for the worse.
Fancy dinners like clams call for fancy desserts. And wine. Lots of cold white wine. Even if it is a weeknight.
Ready for another secret? I used to be scared of pie crust. Then one day I talked myself into buying Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook from the local used bookstore. Her pate brisee (fancy name for pie crust if you ask me) is simple. Four ingredients and a food processor. I conquered my fear and could now make this in my sleep. It was in fact this very crust that was lurking behind the bowl of blueberries.
So I pulled it out, rolled it, shoved it in to some custard cups , filled it with peak of the summer Oregon blueberries, topped it with a star, and then, as soon as it cooled, I inhaled it. My sister, brother-in-law, and husband were impressed. Both by the dessert and my speed in eating it.
So please make this. Use up leftover pie crust. Throw in whatever fruit you have on hand. I am sure you could make with with pitted cherries, apples, apricots, peaches, or even strawberries. Be brave. Experiment. You won’t regret it.
Loosely based on these two recipes from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook :
Pate Brisee (Makes enough for one double or two single-crust 9 inch pies)
I had already made a double crusted pie and was using up the scraps I had left in the fridge. It made 4 mini custard cup pies
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small
1/4 cup ice water, plus more if needed
Dump flour and salt into the food processor; pulse to combine. Add butter, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs about 10 pulses 1-2 seconds each. (To mix by hand, combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, then cut in butter with a pastry blender.)
Turn machine on add ice water through feed tube in a slow, steady stream, just until dough holds together without being wet or sticky. Test by squeezing a small amount of dough together; if it is still too crumbly, add a bit more water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Turn out dough onto a clean work surface. Divide in half, and place each half on a piece of plastic wrap. Shape into flattened disks. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight. The dough can be frozen for up to 1 month; thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.
Pate Brisee (see above recipe)
8 cups blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon heavy cream
On a lightly floured work surface, roll out half the dough to 1/8-inch-thick circle, about 13 inches in diameter. Drape dough over a 9-inch pie pan, and transfer to refrigerator to chill for about 30 minutes. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Whisk together egg and milk to make egg wash, and set aside. Combine blueberries, lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch, and turn onto chilled bottom crust. Dot with butter. Roll out the remaining dough to the same size and thickness. Brush the rim of the crust with the egg wash, place the other piece of dough on top, trim to 1/2 inch over edge of pan, and crimp the edges with a fork or your fingers. Transfer the pie to the refrigerator to chill until firm, about 30 minutes. Brush with the egg wash, and bake for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for 30 to 40 minutes more or until juices are bubbling. Let cool before serving.
Now that you have the recipes here is what I did- I took the leftover pie crust, rolled it out and lined my custard cups with it. Then I mixed about two cups of blueberries with roughly 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, two tablespoons of sugar and a dash of lemon juice. I divided the blueberries between my four lined mason jars. Then I rolled out the leftover dough, cut a star out of the dough with my largest star cookie cutter, placed a small dot of butter on top of each mini pie, topped with the cut out star, brushed with egg wash, then sprinkled with sugar. Baked at 400 for about 20 minutes checking frequently.
Then stuff in your face. Preferably after a big clam dinner and loads of wine.