I hope that everyone was able to escape the heat one way or another this weekend. Kramer and I spent as much time indoors as possible, including the always faithful movie theater. We saw Captain America, and I thought it was good, but not great. Captain America is just one of those more vanilla superheroes, although I suppose that’s what you get when you’re the all-American good guy. I thought Chris Evans did a great job, though, and I loved all of the World War II era costumes and whatnot. If you see it, be sure to stick around until after the credits, because there’s a trailer for The Avengers that comes out next summer, and it honestly looks pretty cool.
I made these pies for a barbecue that some friends had over the Fourth of July, but to be honest, I had a hard time getting them all over there, as Kramer and I couldn’t stop “sampling” them. Is there anything more delightful then popping a bite-sized blueberry pie into your mouth? I’m not certain that there is. Everyone looks forward to summer fruit like blueberries; they come and go so quickly, that it’s hard to get your fill! These miniature pies will definitely help you with those cravings, and you can even freeze them, so you can enjoy summer all year long. This pie crust is flaky and buttery, and the blueberries are juicy and perfectly sweet. I did, however, do a bit of tweaking once I was assembling the pies, because if you know me, you know that I usually bake in large quantities, and I didn’t think I could stretch the dough to make more than 24 or so pies. I decided to make a quick streusel to top half of the pies with, and even the streusel was amazingly good – good enough to steal pinches of in between topping the pies, anyway. I love miniature desserts because they are easy to serve and easy to eat, and these summery bluberry pies are no different.
Your pie crust ingredients (and a blurry Kramer in the background).
Blend together your flour, sugar, and salt for your pie crust, then add in the cold butter and shortening.
Pulse until coarse crumbs form (you can always use a pastry blender or clean hands, of course).
Add the water and vinegar in until the dough comes together, then form into 2 loose balls and chill for a minimum of 3 hours.
Now get your filling ready (looks like Kramer disappeared!).
Zest your lemon.
Toss with the sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, zest, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
Set aside until ready to use.
Also prepare your streusel by placing all of your ingredients in the bowl of a food processor (you can always do it by hand, of course).
Pulse until coarse crumbs form and set aside.
Now roll out your dough.
Use a shot glass to cut out circles to fit into your miniature muffin tins.
Press the dough into the pan.
Add in the blueberries.
Then, either sprinkle with streusel…
Or top with another circle of pie dough, brush with your egg wash, and sprinkle with a little sugar, then cut a criss-cross in the top of the pies.
Bake at 400 degrees F for 15-20 minutes, until golden and set.
- 3¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅔ cup unsalted butter, COLD (NOT room temperature), cut into pieces
- ⅔ cup shortening, COLD (NOT room temperature)
- ⅔ cup ice cold water, plus more as needed
- 4 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
- 1 egg yolk, for the egg wash
- 1 tablespoon cream, milk or water, for egg wash
- raw sugar, for sprinkling
- 1 lb. fresh blueberries, cleaned
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch, sifted
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ cup old-fashioned (not instant) oats
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
- 3 tablespoons almonds, pecans, or walnuts, roughly chopped
- ⅔ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- *I used a streusel topping on half of these pies, because I wanted to make as many pies as possible and knew I wouldn't have enough crust. This is a great way to stretch your crust, but if you don't need so many pies, then you can just use the original dough.
- First, make your pie crust. Whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Place the flour mixture in the fridge for 15 minutes or so (I put mine in there for 30 minutes). When ready, take the flour out of the bowl and add in the chopped pieces of COLD butter and COLD shortening. Blend together with your hands, a pastry blender, or a food processor, until you have coarse crumbs (it doesn’t have to be perfect as long as you take care to keep everything as cold as possible). Place the dough back into the fridge for 15 minutes or so, so it stays cold.
- Mix together the water and vinegar in a small bowl. When ready, slowly drizzle it over the dough, a tablespoon or so at a time, gently stirring the mixture with a fork, until fully incorporated and the dough comes together (you may not need to use all of it). It might seem a bit too wet at this point, but it will dry up while it sits in the fridge. Form the dough gently into 2 loose balls, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and chill in the fridge for a minimum of 3 hours or as long as overnight. It's really important that you chill your dough, and this crust calls for one of the shortest chilling times I've used, so think ahead when making a pie crust!
- When the crust is about ready, prepare your blueberry pie filling and your streusel. Rinse and pat dry the blueberries, then toss them together in a large bowl with the sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, lemon zest, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Let the blueberries sit for a few minutes so that the juices develop and dissolve the sugar a bit. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the oats, flour, brown sugar, butter, nuts, and cinnamon, until coarse crumbs form. Set aside until ready to use.
- Now, it's time to make the pies! Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Spray your mini-muffin tins with non-stick spray. Bring one of your balls of dough out of the fridge and roll out on a lightly floured surface, until about ½ inch thick. Use a shot glass or similarly sized glass to cut out circles of dough, then press them into the mini-muffin tins. Be sure to save enough dough to make a top crust layer, unless you plan to use the streusel. Fill each pie with about a tablespoon of blueberry filling, then either cut out more circles to top the dough with, or sprinkle the streusel over the top of each miniature pie. If you are using pie crust to top the pies with, brush each one with the beaten egg and cream/water mixture, then cut a criss-cross in the top, and sprinkle with sugar.
- Bake the pies at 400 degrees F for 15-20 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through, until the crust is golden and the blueberry filling is bubbling. Allow the pies to cool completely before removing from the pan. I found it worked best to use a butter knife to loosen the pies a bit, then pop them out of the tins. It takes a delicate hand and a little patience, but I didn't lose a single pie when removing them from the tins - just work carefully. Serve and enjoy!