I bought some star cookie cutters a couple months ago to use for the Fourth of July, when I thought I was going to make a fruit pie with stars-and-stripes topping.
That never happened because I made blueberry cobbler instead. I kept waiting for the right occasion to break out the star cutters, and then I realized that I had to make my own occasion. This past weekend I made a blueberry peach pie with lots of stars on top.
Don’t get me wrong: Traditional pies are great. I’m all for a flat top crust or a lattice weave, or another variation that you’d find sitting on tables in New England (for some reason, that’s the first place I think of when I think of pie). But sometimes you have to switch things up. Now that I’ve used stars, I’m thinking about making one with flowers. A whole new world of pie awaits.
I chose peaches and blueberries for this pie because they looked freshest at the farmers’ market over the weekend, but you could sub in a different type of berry. Blackberries are usually ripe and abundant at this time of year and they would also taste delicious with peaches in a pie.
I’ll always remember this pie as one of my proudest accomplishments because it was the first time I didn’t screw up the crust. I’m not talking about the stars part. That came together relatively easily. I’m talking about the bottom crust, or the one I rolled out all the way and had to get from the counter to the pie tin.
A lot of recipes counsel you to roll the dough onto the rolling pin, and then carefully roll it back out over the tin. I used to laugh at these directions because they seemed destined to fail. Inevitably, my crust would tear or break in half and I’d stare at it on the counter, trying to figure out where it went wrong.
That didn’t happen this time. I trusted my instincts and I carefully rolled the dough back onto the pin, flouring a little as I went to make sure it would easily slip off later. It worked! It was the most stress-free pie filling experience I’ve ever had.
A trick for rolling out pie dough (i.e., making sure it doesn’t rip and tear) is to consider two factors: Temperature and pressure. If you’ve had the dough in the refrigerator, let it sit for about 30 minutes on the counter until it comes to room temperature. It should not feel cold to the touch. Then, dust a rolling pin with flour and gently but firmly roll out the dough. You should roll from the center outward. If you roll too close to the edge, the dough won’t be evenly thin.
Another trick is to scatter a little flour on top of the dough and underneath the dough as you roll. This way it doesn’t stick to the counter. Don’t go too crazy on the flour though because then your crust will taste weird.
Here’s a song that reminds me of this pie. It’s perfect for the Tuesday blues, which is the feeling of being stuck at a desk when all you want to do is go home and eat pie.
Blueberry Peach Pie
for the dough:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
20 Tbsp unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
8 Tbsp ice water
for the pie:
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground allspice
3 cups sliced fresh peaches
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp whole milk
First, make the dough. Combine the flour and salt in a food processor. Then add the cubes of cold butter and pulse until there are pieces the size of peas. Then pulse in a tablespoon of ice water at a time until the dough comes together. It should be slightly moist.
Turn out the dough onto a lightly-floured work surface. Divide it in half and shape each half into a ball. Tightly wrap each ball in plastic wrap and refrigerate for two hours or up to a day. If you don’t want to use it right away, you can freeze the dough.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Take your pie dough out of the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature. Grease a pie tin and set it aside.
Lightly flour a work surface and roll out each ball of dough. Use a rolling pin to place one of the rolled-out doughs on the pie tin. Use the tips of your fingers to gently press the dough into the tin, making sure it adheres to the bottom, sides, and rim. Trim any dough that hangs over the edge of the tin. Place the pie tin in the freezer.
Use the other rolled-out dough to make your stars. Use cookie cutters to make the shapes and place them on a plate.
Toss the sugar, flour, cinnamon, allspice, peaches, and blueberries in a large bowl. Remove your pie tin from the freezer and distribute the filling evenly on top of the bottom crust. Scatter the tablespoon of butter over the fruit.
Top the filling with the stars and brush the stars with a tablespoon of milk. Place your pie tin on a baking sheet and put it in the oven to bake. Baking time is about 45 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling over. Enjoy!