Showing posts with label Alton Brown. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Alton Brown. Show all posts

Monday, September 14, 2009

Frozen Blueberry Pie

I don't regularly watch Alton Brown's show Good Eats. (On a side note, my friend Trapezista confessed to having a small crush on Alton!) However, one day last winter, I watched an episode on blueberry and saw him make a frozen blueberry pie. I love blueberries and blueberry pie! I promised myself that I would make it when blueberries were going to be in season.


Frozen Blueberry Pie
From Alton Brown's Kinda Blue (Blueberry) episode.
The secret to this recipe is the frozen filling. Not only is it very easy and quick to make, but it allows you to make the filling when blueberries are in season, freeze it, and have a blueberry pie during the winter. Not that I actually did that... As for the dough, any pie dough recipe will do. On the show, Alton suggests just buying pie dough and saving your efforts on the homemade filling (which is so, so easy). I used leftover dough from the peach crostata my sister's fiancé D made the previous night.

* 4 cups blueberries
* ½ cup sugar
* ⅛ tsp salt
* 5 tbsp tapioca flour
* 1 tbsp fresh orange juice
* 1 tsp orange zest
* 2 (9") store-bought pie doughs
* 1 egg yolk whisked with 1 tsp water

For the frozen filling
Wash the berries and pat dry.
Mash up
half of the blueberries in a large bowl.
Add the sugar, salt, tapioca flour, orange juice and orange zest and stir to combine.
Let the mixture sit for 15 minutes.
Fold in the whole berries.
Line a 9-inch pie plate with aluminum foil.
Place the blueberry mixture into the foil and place in the freezer until solid, approximately 6 to 8 hours.
Once the filling is frozen, remove from the aluminum foil.
Wrap in plastic wrap and store in a freezer bag for up to 3 months.

For baking the pie
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Place the frozen filling upside down on a plate (carefully, if your filling wasn't hard solid, like mine).
Unroll first piece of dough and cover the frozen filling.
Place the pie pan on top of the dough and flip over.
Trim excess, if necessary.
Unroll second piece of dough and cut into 1-⅛" wide strips that are 10" long. (I just eyed the width of the strips.)
Lay 4 strips of dough across the top of the filling horizontally, leaving an even amount of space in between each strip.
Fold back 2 alternating strips and lay down another strip in the middle of the pie, perpendicular to the other strips.
Return the strips that are laid back to their original position.
Next, fold back the other 2 strips and lay down a strip to the left of the center perpendicular strip.
Return the strips that are laid back to their original position and repeat on the other side of the perpendicular strip, folding back the same 2 strips as you did on the other side.
Once you have a lattice, brush all the strips of dough with the egg yolk, trim excess dough and pinch strips and edge of crust in order to seal.
Place on the bottom rack of the oven and bake for about 1 hour 15 minutes; the pie should be bubbling lightly around the edges.
If the lattice is not browned enough in the center, place under the broiler for 1 to 2 minutes
Place the pie on a rack and allow to cool to room temperature before serving, approximately 1-½ to 2 hours.

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Crushing the blueberries for the filling was fun!

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Since the filling was not hard rock, it was easier to cover the filling with the dough, then the pie pan and flip it.

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Making a lattice with rolled dough is hard when you don't have extra dough...

The blueberry pie came out very well! The filling had the perfect texture. The only thing I would change is adding less orange zest. I added orange zest without measuring 1 teaspoon and I thought the orange flavour was too strong, slightly overpowering. My mom, on the other hand, loved it because of the orange flavour! I would definitely make this again! I may even go look for blueberries today to have a filling in the freezer, ready for this winter!


For another Alton Brown recipe:
Curry Chicken Pot Pie

Monday, November 3, 2008

Curry Chicken Pot Pie

My friends T&R are moving (boo! they'll be 25 minutes away instead of 5...) and I thought I would cook them something home-y for their last meal in their old house. This was also a chance for me to cook something more substantial and share because I wouldn't usually make chicken pot pie just for myself.

I remember seeing an interesting curry chicken pot pie recipe online. It was Alton Brown's Curry Chicken Pot Pie. It was a much simpler recipe than when I previously made chicken pot pie. That time, I made pastry from scratch and cream of chicken. It was a long process and highly fattening (lots of cream!). This time I could not be bothered to make pastry and used ready-made puff pastry. The recipe for the filling was pretty simple and relatively low fat (3 tbsp butter, ½ cup milk - I used skim because that's all I have). Topping the filling with puff pastry can't be easier!

I hesitated adding curry and thought about just making it plain. Sometimes, too much fusion leads to confusion. However, I did like the flavour of the curry. I actually added more than the 1 teaspoon called for. Although the recipe states it is sufficient for 6-8 servings, I would say it's more 3-4. So if you're cooking for a large crowd, double the recipe!

I would definitely use this recipe again. I would even try out making a vegetarian version. Once you do the béchamel-like sauce, it's just a matter of adding whatever ingredient you prefer. You could easily do different ones in individual ramekins. Just remember to let the puff pastry thaw (or carefully defrost it like I did...).

Cooked vegetables, ready to go.

Cooked free range meat from two thighs and one breast.

I could just eat spoonfuls of filling on its own...

Buttery puff pastry!