There's no better way to show off your patriotism through food on this Fourth of July holiday than through dessert, especially with a knock-out recipe for a traditional American staple: blueberry pie.
In her cookbook, "Martha Stewart's Pies and Tarts," the queen of the kitchen offers more than 150 recipes for delectable and savory pastries, each with a different presentation category.
A Note From Martha Stewart:
A woven lattice makes a striking top for a fruit pie, especially colorful fruit, such as blueberries. The open weave allows a peek at the filling and lets steam escape as the pie bakes.
The process of weaving the top is easy to follow -- cut the dough into strips, preferably with a fluted pastry wheel, and arrange them on top of the filling.
This pie and many others with juicy berry fillings are thickened with cornstarch, which has stronger thickening properties than flour (a more appropriate choice for less-juicy apples or pears). You may want to adjust the amount of thickener if the berries are particularly juicy, or if you prefer a firmer or looser pie filling.
Makes one 9-inch pie
All-purpose flour, for dusting
Pâte Brisée (recipe follows)
2 pounds (about 7 cups) fresh blueberries, picked over and rinsed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 large egg yolk, for egg wash
1 tablespoon heavy cream, for egg wash
Fine sanding sugar, for sprinkling
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water
A Note From Martha Stewart About the Pâte Brisée:
The rich flavor, delicate texture, and versatility of pâte brisée have made it the standard at Martha Stewart Living and in this book, where it is used for pies and tarts both sweet and savory.
From three main components -- flour, fat, and water -- plus a little sugar and salt, you get a crust that is incomparably flaky, yet sturdy enough to contain nearly any filling. An all-butter pâte brisée tastes best, but some cooks use shortening or lard for additional tenderness.
The name pâte brisée means "broken pastry," and refers to cutting the butter into the flour, either by hand or with a food processor. The butter-flour mixture should resemble coarse meal, with some pieces of butter the size of small peas, before cold water is drizzled into it; these bits of unincorporated butter give pâte brisée its famously flaky texture by releasing steam as they melt.
Makes enough for one 9-inch double-crust pie or two 9-inch single-crust pies
Preparing the Pâte Brisée:
1. Pulse flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor (or whisk together by hand in a bowl). Add butter, and pulse (or quickly cut in with a pastry blender or your fingertips) until mixture resembles coarse meal, with some larger pieces remaining. Drizzle 1/4 cup water over mixture. Pulse (or mix with a fork) until mixture just begins to hold together. If dough is too dry, add 1/4 cup more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse (or mix with a fork).
2. Divide dough in half onto two pieces of plastic wrap. Gather into two balls, wrap loosely in plastic, and press each into a disk using a rolling pin. Refrigerate until firm, well wrapped in plastic, 1 hour or up to 1 day. (Dough can be frozen up to 3 months; thaw in refrigerator before using.)
Instructions for how to prepare the pie are on the next page.