Ready, Set, Weekend with Simply Beautiful Eating

Photo 2015-12-27, 5 16 44 PM
Photo 2015-12-27, 5 16 44 PM

You already know that I’m slightly obsessed with blueberries. During the height of the warm season, when they are stupidly low in price, I literally stock up by the crate. It’s one of my favourite times of the year and one of my least favourite. Why? Let me tell you because I’m positive that you’re dying to know.

The washing.

AND THEN.

The freezing on cookie sheets.

AND THEN.

The flying blueberries.

AND THEN,

The storage bags.

You need time and patience for this. LOADS of PATIENCE.

Blueberries are small, unpredictable bouncy balls chock full of antioxidants.

Photo 2015-12-27, 5 18 38 PM
Photo 2015-12-27, 5 18 38 PM

Ready? Here’s the process…..

Each blueberry carton gets dumped into a colander, washed and dried well. I must use 2 rolls of paper towel during this drying stage and I don’t like it one bit because paper towel is another one of my obsessions. I can’t sleep if there are less than 6 six packs in my cupboard. If TLC wants to contact me, I’m sure there’s a show about paper towel hoarders I could star in.

I have about 4 – 5 cookie sheets lined with wax paper and then I dump the blueberries on those trays. Next, I pop them into the freezer for a few hours until they are totally frozen. Then I carry all the trays upstairs (because the large freezer is located in the basement) and the bagging process begins. There is usually blueberries rolling and flying all over the place BUT I manage to get their little blue bums into the zippy bags even though it’s a pain in my butt. Finally, they are returned to the freezer (back downstairs) for storage. UNTIL NOW.

Photo 2015-12-27, 5 20 10 PM
Photo 2015-12-27, 5 20 10 PM

I do the same thing with other seasonal fruit and let me just say that it is the best thing ever to have a “taste of summer” come back into the kitchen on a cold winter day.

Now, I need to talk about these pie cutters. I’m not much of a pie crust aficionado. In fact, I tried making a crust the other day and it was a total DISASTER. I’m not even sure what happened. All I know is this….I took the crust out of the fridge and ended up with a crumbly mess AND I followed the YouTube video to a T so what the ___?

Anyhoo. Round number two was a trusty old recipe by Ina Garten.  Oh hello Ina. Do you know that I would sell my soul to have lunch with you and Jeffrey in the Hamptons? Yes, MY SOUL.

Oh…the pie cutters. That’s right. I knew I was talking about something.

I’ve been eyeing them for a while now. They used to have these at Williams Sonoma and when I looked recently they no longer stock these sooooooo I went on Amazon and ordered them from Chicago Metallic.

Photo 2015-12-27, 12 53 40 PM
Photo 2015-12-27, 12 53 40 PM

I waited and waited and as I watched the pie season fade into the horizon. Uh…I still hadn’t received my pie cutters.

They must have been lost or maybe someone at UPS was making some pretty darn good looking pies.

They were worth the wait….dontcha think?

Photo 2015-12-27, 12 34 36 PM
Photo 2015-12-27, 12 34 36 PM

Winter Pie with Summer Fruit -12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) very cold unsalted butter -3 cups all-purpose flour -1 teaspoon kosher salt -1 tablespoon sugar -⅓ cup very cold vegetable shortening, or in other words....Crisco. -6 to 8 tablespoons (about ½ cup) ice water

Filling -1 cup sugar -⅓ cup all-purpose flour -½ teaspoon ground cinnamon -⅛ teaspoon ground allspice -3 cups sliced peeled fresh or frozen peaches -1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries *Note - if using frozen fruit make sure they are thawed and well drained.

Topping: -Egg wash or milk -Cinnamon and coarse sugar

1) Start with they pie crust. Dice the butter and return it to the refrigerator while you prepare the flour mixture. Place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse a few times to mix. Add the butter and shortening. Pulse 8 to 12 times, until the butter is the size of peas. With the machine running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse the machine until the dough begins to form a ball. Dump out on a floured board and roll into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. 2) Preheat oven to 400F. 3) Cut the dough in half. Roll each piece on a well-floured board into a circle, rolling from the center to the edge, turning and flouring the dough to make sure it doesn't stick to the board. Roll until it's about ⅛ inch in thickness. Fold the dough in half, place in a pie pan, and unfold to fit the pan. 4) Repeat with the other half of crust and use your pie cutters to make all the pretty cutouts. 5) Make the filling by combining all the ingredients listed and tossing well. 6) Place filling into the pie crust and top with cutouts.

Photo 2015-12-27, 12 36 00 PM
Photo 2015-12-27, 12 36 00 PM
Photo 2015-12-27, 12 53 52 PM
Photo 2015-12-27, 12 53 52 PM

7) Brush top with milk or an egg wash (1 egg beaten with tablespoon milk) 8) Sprinkle with cinnamon and coarse sugar. 9) Bake for 15 minutes and then cover edges with foil. Bake additional 30 minutes or until golden brown and filling is nice and bubbly.

Photo 2015-12-27, 5 17 14 PM
Photo 2015-12-27, 5 17 14 PM
Photo 2015-12-27, 5 21 05 PM
Photo 2015-12-27, 5 21 05 PM