Thursday, August 4, 2011

Mini blueberry pies with a lattice top and finding solutions to small problems

Mini blueberry pies with a lattice topping / Tortinhas de mirtilo

My sister and I go to the movies on a pretty regular basis and she says that her favorite time of all was when we watched "The Wolfman": the clerk refused to sell her a ticket because she was not old enough to watch the movie (the same movie, on several other theaters, had been rated for people younger than her); it was a Tuesday right after lunchtime and there was no one in the theater; we walked around for a couple of minutes, then came back and bought two tickets for "Tooth Fairy" – but entered “The Wolfman” theater instead (for the record, I only did it because we were the only people in the theater, aside from the clerks). :D

Small problems and simple solutions.

I’d had this recipe bookmarked since the book arrived, a couple of months ago, but the original pie, baked in a large pie plate, called for 5 cups of fresh blueberries; Fresh blueberries are pretty expensive here in Brazil – I really wasn’t in the mood for spending that amount of money in 5 cups of berries. But 2 cups I could definitely afford – so I reduced the recipe and baked it in small tartlet pans.

Small problems and simple solutions. :D

Mini blueberry pies with a lattice top
slightly adapted from the wonderful cooking/baking bible The Essential New York Times Cookbook

2 cups (280g) all purpose flour
2/3 cup (94g) confectioners’ sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
¾ cup (170g) unsalted butter, very chilled and diced
1 ½ tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
1 large egg yolk (plus 1 more if needed)
2 tablespoons heavy cream

5 cups blueberries
3 tablespoons corn starch
¾ cup (150g) superfine sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
whipped cream, for serving

Start by making the pastry: combine flour, confectioners’ sugar, salt and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times. Add the butter cubes and pulse until the mixture is reduces to flakes. Add the lemon zest, 1 egg yolk, and the heavy cream and pulse 5 times – the dough is ready when it comes together when pressed with your fingertips. If necessary, add another egg yolk.
Gather the dough into 2 balls, one slightly larger than the other flatten each into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
Make the filling: mix together the blueberries, corn starch, sugar, lemon juice and salt in a large bowl.
Roll out the large disk of pastry between 2 pieces of lightly floured baking paper. When it is 3mm (1/8-in) thick, remove the top layer of paper and invert the pastry onto a lightly buttered pie dish. Peel off the other piece of paper and, without stretching the dough, press it into the dish. Chill.
Roll out the other disk of dough 3mm (1/8-in) thick. Slice into 1.25cm (½-in) strips. Chill the strips on a baking sheet.
Remove the pie shell from the fridge and pour the berry mixture into it. Arrange the strips of pastry in a lattice pattern on top. Cut the overhang dough to nearly 2cm (¾ in), then roll it up and over the lattice, making a neat rounded border. Crimp the border. Chill the pie while you preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F.
place the pie plate onto a baking sheet and bake for 40-45 minutes or until the filling bubbles at the edges and the crust is golden brown – if the crust starts to brown too quickly tent the pie with a piece of foil.
Cool the pie on a wire rack. Serve with whipped cream.

Serves 8 – I halved the pastry recipe above + 2/5 of the filling recipe, used 9cm tartlet pans and got 5 tartlets (baked for 30 minutes)


Luv'n Spoonfuls said...

These look SO FANTASTIC...I too am a blueberry fan and love them every which way they come (except dried for some strange reason). I love your tart recipe...have you ever had any luck with using whole wheat flour. I would love to try it but wonder what kind of alterations I would need to make to keep it light and flaky. Another beautiful post! How do you find the time to post so often (but believe me, I'm so glad you do ;-) Too funny about the movies...I am guilty as well.

Sashquatch said...

Gorgeous :) blueberry pie is just such a wonderful treat and yours are just the perfect examples :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this Patricia.
Here in Peru Blueberries are very expensive, in fact, all berries are, except strawberry.
Anyway, I always try to buy them because I love blueberries, I will try your Tortinhas, maybe only for me...!!!

DessertForTwo said...

I love mini pies! I just made a peach version that serves two with 1 peach :)

Sashquatch said...

Sorry to comment again! Just to let you know I have given you and your oh-so-lovely blog an award, if you would like to 'receive' it then just pop by mine and check out the latest post :) Thank you for being an inspirational blog to me!

megan @ whatmegansmaking said...

I love mini desserts! And my husband loves blueberries, so this is perfect for us :)

Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets said...

Cute cute! I've been wanting to try mini pies for a while :).

Rivki Locker said...

Those are super pretty. I think anything in miniature is!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Hey, sweetie - I have never tried using whole wheat flour in pastry. Cakes and muffins - OK, but pastry - not yet.

soh said...

Hi I attempted to this pie, I not sure must I pre-cook the berries?
the filling turn out still remin whole berries, is it correct? pls advice.
Thank you

Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels said...

These blueberry pies look just perfect and so cute! Blueberry is one of my favorite kind of pies. :)

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