Today I was blessed to be with my husband's 93 year old grandmother Zelma. Before our visit I made some pastry dough and pulled 2 bags of blueberries from the freezer. (Last summer I went to a "pick your own" blueberry patch in Marion NC and froze 3 gallons). Zelma was up for anything, so we spent the morning in the kitchen. Here are photos from our journey. Along the way I cherished stories of her midwife mother "Miss Gussy" who was continuously summoned to "catch a baby" at all hours of the day, and other tales of her resilient family of 9. As good as the pie was, being with this incredible woman trumped all!
Memorable Blueberry Pie:
For Pastry: (this will make 2)
*2 1/2 cups flour
*1/2 tsp salt
*12 Tbsp unsalted butter, cold and cubed
*4 Tbsp organic vegetable shortening, cold
*6-8 Tbsp ice water
Blend flour and salt in a cuisinart or in large bowl. Add cold butter and shortening. Blend or pulse until a course meal forms. Slowly add ice water while blending until dough forms. On a floured surface, briefly/gently kneed dough into a ball. Divide in half. Working with about 3 Tbsp of dough at a time, smear dough in a forward motion on work surface will the palm of your hand. (This helps distribute the fats evenly). Form into 2 disks, wrap in wax paper and allow to chill, about 3 hours in fridge or 1 hour in freezer.
Roll out 1 disk of dough on a floured surface for crust.
Place first crust in pie dish, weight with pie weights or dry beans over parchment paper. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and lift out weights.
Roll out top layer of crust and cut shapes out for steam to escape while baking.
*about 5 cups blueberries, thawed and drained
*squeeze of lemon
*1/3 cup flour
*1/3 cup raw cane sugar
Mix all ingredients together gently. Pour into the par baked pie shell. Place top crust on top and bake at 375 for as long as it takes for the fruit to bubble and crust to golden. Allow to cool and serve as is or with fresh whipped cream. Enjoy with your grandmother, or someone else's.