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Adventures in Pastry School January 26, 2012

So, I’ve been slacking a bit on this whole blog thing, but I have a really good reason: last October I started pastry school!  I am currently enrolled in a six month program at Escoffier School of Culinary Arts, and it is amazing.  I’m having so much fun and learning all sorts of new tricks.  There are days when I get frustrated with my abilities, or lack there of, but most days it’s a blast.  I can’t wait to go to class each day and see what I’m going to learn.  I don’t really have a lot of free time to write posts most days, so I’ve been saving up pictures of all of my finished products to share with you now.  Enjoy!

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Blueberry Lime Pie February 1, 2011

Thanks to the Midwest Blizzard 2011, it’s cold outside.  It’s not snowing here, but it is very nearly freezing.  I frankly would prefer snow because cold without snow is useless.  I had plans to go shopping today for a little craft project I want to start, but decided that it is much wiser to stay inside where it’s warm.  Staying in gives me an excuse to be productive, though, and work on this little blog of mine.  I promised you recipes from my holiday baking adventures, so I thought I would oblige.

Thanks to a very good friend, I learned something very important over the holiday season: how to make pie crust.  And it is the easiest pie crust ever invented.  She uses it to make the best apple pie on earth* from a secret family recipe, but I used it to make Blueberry Lime Pie.  I modeled the recipe off of this one from Bon Appetit magazine.  I made the original recipe, but found it a little too tart for me (and I love cranberries!), so I made a few changes.  I eliminated the cranberries and replaced the lemon with lime.  (Blueberries with lime is one of those perfect combination like strawberries and balsamic.)   The result?  Fabulousness!

Here’s what you need:

Filling:

24 ounces frozen blueberries

1 1/4 cups sugar

3 Tbls cornstarch

2 cinnamon sticks

1 Tbls fresh lime juice

1/2 tsp grated lime zest

Crust:

1/3 cup hot water

1/2 cup cooking oil (I used canola)

2 cups unsifted flour

pinch of salt

Here’s what you do:

To make the filling, combine all of the ingredients in a large saucepan.  Cook over medium heat 12-14 minutes until it thickens and begins to boil, stirring occasionally.  Boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Transfer mixture to a glass bowl and cool completely.

To make the pie crust, place the oil in a small bowl and add the hot water.  Add the oil mixture to the flour and salt.  Mix with a fork and then your hand until the pastry forms a ball.

Divide the dough into two portions.  (Because I did a lattice top, I made the portion for the bottom bigger than the one for the top.)  Roll out the bottom portion between two pieces of wax paper, until it is 2 inches bigger than your pie plate.  Place the bottom pie crust into your pie plate.  Roll out the top portion between the same wax paper and cut into 3/4 inch strips for the lattice top.

Place the filling in the bottom crust, making sure to remove the cinnamon sticks.

On one piece of wax paper, lay out about half of the crust strips.  Using the remaining strips, create a lattice top by weaving: starting in the middle, fold down every other crust strip, place one of the remaining strips in the middle perpendicular to the other pieces of crust, and fold the strips over this new piece.  Repeat until you have a finished crust.  Using the wax paper, invert the lattice top onto the filled pie.

Trim the edges of the pie crust and crimp to seal.  I sprinkled the top with raw sugar before baking.  Place the assembled pie on a rimmed baking sheet.

Bake 400 degrees for about 1 hour 10 minutes.  Cool pie on rack before serving.

*Seriously, it puts my apple pie to shame.  Thanks JW for being gracious enough to let me use your crust recipe.  You’re the best!

 

 
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