Bourbon Blueberry Pie
A blueberry pie is a very good thing. A blueberry pie with a splash or two of bourbon… well that’s the new taste of summer, as far as I’m concerned. The alcohol bakes off, of course, making it totally fine for kids. But it still leaves a hint of that bourbon-y, vanilla-y, smokey flavor. Add a few sliced peaches in here. Do a crumble top instead of a lattice. Play around!
This recipe was made in combination with the Kitchen Clambake we did to celebrate Gray Malin. It’s an excellent one-two punch.
For the pie crust:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 sticks butter, cubed and cold
- Pinch kosher salt
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- About 1/4 cup cold water
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup demerara sugar
For the blueberry mixture:
- 2 pounds blueberries
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup bourbon
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 large pinch of salt
Make the crust: Note: this recipe makes enough for two crusts -- use one and store one if you’re doing a crumble topping for this pie or use them both to make this a lattice or closed top pie.
First, measure the water and drop in a few ice cubes to keep it cold. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and sugar. Add the cold, cubed butter and work it into the flour mixture using either a pastry cutter or your hands. (If using your hands, which I prefer, work quickly. The goal is to keep everything as cold as possible.) When you get to butter pieces the size of peas and when the flour has begun to take on a bit of a yellow tint, stop mixing. (It shouldn’t look uniform yet.)
Drizzle the water over the flour mixture. Using a large metal spoon or your hands, quickly distribute the water throughout the dough, bringing it together. Add water, a little at a time, until the dough easily clumps together. On a flat and floured surface dump the dough out and work it, lightly, into a mound. Cut the mound in half and flatten each half into a round disc. Wrap each of them completely and tightly with cling wrap and let them rest in the fridge for an hour and up to 2 days. (Or if making these way ahead, store in the freezer for up to 3 months).
While the crust rests, mix together all of the blueberry mixture ingredients in a large bowl. Make sure everything is well combined and the fruit is evenly coated with the cornstarch and liquids. Let the mixture sit, in the fridge or on the counter, for 30-45 minutes to thicken and combine.
Preheat the oven to 375F.
To roll out dough, flour a flat surface (using probably more flour than you think). Place chilled crust onto the surface and begin rolling out in the center, turning it over to make sure it’s not sticking. Roll until the dough is about 1/8-inch thick. Using your rolling pin, lift and transfer the pie dough into the bottom of your pie dish, pressing lightly with your hands to make sure it fits well. Transfer this pie dough to the fridge while you roll out the other disc.
Using the same process, roll out the second round of dough. If you’re doing a fully closed pie, simply make 4 (decorative) slices, where the steam will come out. If doing a lattice top, gently cut the rolled out dough into long, even strips.
Bring the first pie crust out of the fridge and fill it with the blueberry mixture. Then, add your top crust. If doing a lattice, arrange half of your dough strips in even and parallel stripes along the top of the mixture. Then, fold up every other strip in half and place the first perpendicular strip in the center. Fold those first strips back down. Repeat folding, placing, and unfolding until you have a braided lattice effect. Using your fingers, pinch the edges of the bottom and top or lattice crusts together. Cut off any excess crust.
Pour the 1/4 cup of milk into a small bowl and, using a pastry brush or the back of a spoon, brush the milk over the top of the crust. Then sprinkle the demerara sugar.
Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the crusts look beautifully golden brown and the fruit is bubbling.