30 December 2014

Blueberry Apple Pie

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It is that week in between Christmas and New Years where it seems like no one is working, or really wants to work.  What is the point really?  A long weekend last week and another this week.  Why not just take off the entire week instead and have a really long holiday?

That is, unless you work in retail.  In this instance, all of the holidays just blend together.  There really is not a time to breath and just relax.  Unless you create a time and hold yourself responsible for respecting that space.

Time is probably the most important commodity this time of year.  Additional time cannot be purchased and added onto the end of the day.  In many ways it is the most important gift that can be given to others, a wrapped gift is a purchase that shows you are thinking about someone.  Time is more beautiful, it is showing the recipient you are present in their life.

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For me, presence is also taking time to breathe, and breathe deeply.  I find peace in photography and creating images.  I am exceptionally present when I run and meditate.  I discover peace every time I am in the kitchen working with my hands to nourish my body.  

May that presence fill the new year.

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Apple and Blueberry Pie

Ingredients for filling:
  • 5 Granny Smith Apples
  • 1/2 Cup Superfine Sugar
  • Pinch ground ginger
  • 1 Zested and juiced lemon
  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 Tbsp milk
  • Demerara Sugar for finishing
Ingredients for crust:
  •  1 2/3 cup wheat flour
  •  Pinch of Sea Salt
  • 1 Stick Chilled Unsalted Butter 
Begin by preheating the oven to 400°F.

To begin making the pie, the crust foundation needs to start first.  In a bowl that was cooled in the refrigerator, sift the wheat flour.  Cut the chilled butter into little slices, add it to the flour and use a pastry cutter to work it into the dough.  Work the pastry  until it begins to become fine like breadcrumbs.  Add in a tablespoon of cool water at a time and slowly begin to mix in the dough until it starts to form a ball and pulls away from the bowl.  Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator for a half hour to firm up.

While that magic is happening in the fridge, begin to peel and core the apples into 1/2 inch slices.  In a saucepan pour 1 cup of water, the superfine sugar, ground ginger, and lemon zest.  Bring this mixture to a boil, and then pull back the heat to medium and allow it to percolate for 15 to 20 minutes.  Once the apples have softened, now is time to add the more delicate blueberries into the pan and let them cook for an additional 10-12 minutes.  Turn off the heat and pull off the burner to cool down.  Place a strainer over a bowl and drain the liquid from the apples and the blueberries.  

In a 9 inch springform pan, use the butter wrapper to grease the inside.  Pull the dough out of the refrigerator and using 3/4 of it, roll it out so it is about a quarter inch thick.  Line the inside of the springform pan, using a measuring cup can help form it to the round edge.  Allow the dough to spill over the top.  Line the dough with parchment paper and place with baking beads to hold it down while baking for about 10-15 minutes in the oven.  Remove when the edges are slightly golden and remove the baking beads and paper.  Add in the apple and blueberry mixture.

With the remaining 1/4 of the dough, roll it out to a quarter inch thick and cut it into 1 inch strips.  Making a lattice out of the strips, lay on top of the pie and pinch the edges to the already baked pie crust.  Brush the top with beaten egg and milk mixed together, and sprinkle a bit of Demerara sugar for finishing.

Bake the pie for 50 minutes or until the top pastry takes on a golden color.  In the sauce pan from earlier add the juice of one lemon, and add back in the juice from the blueberry mixture.  Boil for 10-15 minutes until the liquid has reduced in half and then pull from the heat to cool.  

Serve the pie with the compote and optional with a dollop of cream.  Enjoy.

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