The Behind the Curtain Dessert Challenge is all about baking and making sweets. Every month we are given two required ingredients to work with. This month it was Blueberries and Lemon. Two awesome fruits that pair so well. Lemon desserts are so summery and refreshing. Blueberries are gorgeous little blue gems that I adore. I wanted to showcase them separately but in one dessert. So I did sort of a half-half stacked pie with my creation: a Blueberry and Shaker Lemon Pie.
Pasta frolla is a fabulous recipe used to make pie crusts or shortbread-like cookies. It is a sweet and rich crust which I find makes it perfect for a tart filling, hence it often being used with marmalade like it was suggested in the challenge. This is not your boring pie crust. I think one of the reasons I don’t make pies a lot is because I usually care more for the filling. Not the case with the pasta frolla.
I had a friend who was crazy about lemons. She would eat them raw. I always teased her it was bad for her teeth but always bought her knick-knacks with lemons on them. One day I came across a pie recipe tht was made with whole thinnly sliced lemons. I made the pie for her and it was a huge success. The trick is to leave them for some time all sliced with a lot of sugar for a few hours. I letf them overnight so I choose to drain out some of the liquid, there was too much. I reserved this syrup for a later use.
In Quebec there is a region famous for its sweet wild small blueberries, it is called Lac Saint-Jean. The season is short so when they are ready we stuff our faces. Blueberry pie is one of my favorite pies, in the top 5 I would say. The Saint-Jean blueberries are not in season yet but I got a great deal at the for a crazy amount of blueberries.
Wanting both fruits to shine, I put a separator in the pie shell (cut out cardboard) filled with one half of each filling, turned the plate 180 degrees and put the other filling on top of the other. Cool right? The well macerated lemons were nicely tart, but not to bitter from the rind. The swet blueberries tempered the nice acidic notes, as did the sweeter pie crust. All that tried it really loved it.
Blueberry and Shaker Lemon Pie
- 1/2 cup minus 1 tablespoon superfine sugar
- 1 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- a pinch of salt
- 1 stick cold unsalted butter cut into small pieces
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk lightly beaten in a small bowl
- 2 lemons sliced as thinly as possible
- 1 cups sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups fresh blueberries
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/8 cup cornstarch
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
- Whisk together sugar, flour and salt in a bowl. Rub or cut the butter into the flour until the mixture has the consistency of coarse crumbs. You can do this in the bowl or on your work surface, using your fingertips or an implement of choice.
- Make a well in the center of the mounded flour and butter mixture and pour the beaten eggs and vanilla into it. Use a fork to incorporate the liquid into the solid ingredients, and then use your fingertips. Knead lightly just until the dough comes together into a ball.
- Shape the dough into a flat disk and wrap it. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least two hours. Use 3/4 of the dough and keep the rest for a lattice top or freeze it.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out 1 disk of dough into a circle, about 1/6 inch thick. Gently transfer the circle of dough to a 10-inch pie plate. Press the remaining dough around the border into the sides of the pan and prick the bottom of the dough with a fork in several places.
- In a non-reactive bowl combine the sliced lemons and sugar, mix thoroughly to coat all the slices.
- Let rest in the refrigerator at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
- Whisk together 4 eggs and kosher salt. Mix into the lemons thoroughly.
- In a large bowl, combine the blueberries, granulated sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and lemon juice until evenly mixed.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F, and position a rack in the middle of the oven.
- Use a cardboard cut out or a lid of a square plastic container to create a separation while you fill the pie. On one side put half the lemon filling and on the other place half the blueberry filling. Turn the pie plate 180 degrees and repeat. Remove the separator.
- Bake the pie for about 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 degrees F, and continue to bake another 25-30 minutes. Let pie cool on a wire rack.
With the extra 1/4 portion of dough left I was able to make a second little loaf pie with blueberries and a bit of the lemon syrup that I reserved mixed in with an egg.