Cooking Through "The Baker's Man": Blueberry Pie
One of my favorites movies is While You Were Sleeping, starring Sandra Bullock and Bill Pullman. I can watch (and have watched) this over and over again. The comedic lines still make me laugh, the romance still gives me the butterflies, and I still get teary-eyed at the end when she admits she loves "the other son."
One of the lines from this movie that comes to my mind often (mostly during times of disappointment or trials) is: "Life doesn't always turn out like you planned." I make lots of plans, I use a calendar, and I make lists. However, there are times when life has other plans for me, and my own plans go awry.
Chapter 7 in The Baker's Man is titled Blueberry Pie because Anna's plans have gone completely awry. Her mother isn't listening to her, her boyfriend isn't calling, and her heart isn't listening to her mind. She's a bit blue.
I'm listening to you Anna, and I know you're blue, so I've made you a blueberry pie! I love blueberries, and since it's blueberry season, they're in abundance and they're sweet. I could eat a whole carton of them at once (although I don't think this is a good idea).
This is an easy pie to make, especially if you use a store bought crust. I home made mine because it's my favorite go-to crust for pies, and if I come clean here, I should say that I can eat this pie dough raw. I'm not saying I've done that...but if I did, it's that good.
Difficulty Level: Moderately easy Ingredients
¾-1 c sugar
5-6 tbsp cornstarch
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
zest from ½ lemon
6 c fresh blueberries, washed and dried 2 9-inch pie crusts, rolled out 1 large egg yolk whisked with 1 tbsp warm water, for the glaze
How to Make
Preheat the oven to 425°F while the crust is chilling.
Combine the blueberries, ¾ cup of sugar, 5-6 tablespoons cornstarch, cinnamon, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a small bowl. Use more sugar if your berries are very tart and more cornstarch if your berries seem very juicy or if you prefer a firmer pie filling. Stir until the sugar dissolves into a gooey coating, and let the berries macerate on the counter 15 to 30 minutes.
Pour filling into dough lined pie pan. Adjust top crust, cut vents and flute rim (or make a decorative top pie crust, but be sure to vent).
Beat egg yolk with water, and brush all over top of pie.
Sprinkle top lightly with sugar.
Transfer the pie to a baking sheet (to catch any drips) and bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Turn down the oven temperature to 350°F and continue baking for another 30 to 40 minutes, until the berry juices are bubbling and the top crust is golden brown. If the edges of the pie are browning faster than the middle, cover the edges with tin foil.
Remove the pie from the oven and let it cool for at least 4 hours before serving. If serving the next day, leave the pie on the counter and cover with a cake dome or very large bowl once it has cooled.
The Baker’s Man can be purchased in paperback or for the Kindle from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, and other major retailers.
Chapter 1: Peanut Brittle
Chapter 2: Rum Cake
Chapter 3: Morning Glory Muffins