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Jovial Recipes

A lighter pie crust

Our family loves to eat blueberry pie when blueberries are in season at the farmer’s market, so I often bring a slice to work. Doesn’t cold blueberry pie taste delicious on a hot summer day? And, although it is a dessert, I feel good about feeding the powerful antioxidants in blueberries to my family. Well, seeing all this pie at the office got us talking about how much fat and butter is in the crust. Once we started to do the math for a traditional pie crust, we found way more fat in one healthy serving than we really wanted to eat. We also concurred that the buttery flavor of traditional pie crust can be overly rich. Our quest for a lighter pie crust began.

To make traditional pie crust, the recipe is 3 parts flour, 2 parts butter and 1 part water. We were able to achieve a lighter pie crust by using less butter and substituting the remaining part of the butter and cold water with yoghurt. We used a whole milk yoghurt that did not contain thickening agents. The results were still flaky and the pie still had a nice buttery flavor, but it also seemed lighter. This pie crust is a little denser, but with half the fat per serving, we really thought there were more pros to cons here. We tested the recipe in both einkorn and gluten free versions and they were both comparable in flavor and texture, although the gluten free dough is more delicate to roll out before you bake. Depending on whether you use an 8 or 9 inch pie dish, you might have to add or cut back on the ingredients. Another thought for making a lighter pie was to reduce the amount of dough by not making a double-crust, but a single and a half. We used a cookie cutter to cut out hearts to decorate the top!

EINKORN BLUEBERRY PIE

INGREDIENTS FOR PIE CRUST

  • 2½ cups (300g) einkorn flour
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 8 tablespoons (113g) cold unsalted butter, cut in ¼-inch cubes
  • ½ cup (120g) cold plain whole milk yogurt

INGREDIENTS FOR FILLING

  • 6 cups (3 pints) of fresh blueberries
  • ½ cup (100g) cane sugar
  • 4 tablespoons einkorn flour

GLUTEN FREE BLUEBERRY PIE

INGREDIENTS FOR PIE CRUST

  • 1/2 cup  (80g) millet flour
  • 1/2 cup (80g) sorghum flour
  • 3/4 cup (130g) white rice flour
  • 3/4 cup (90g) tapioca or corn starch
  • ½ teaspoon guar gum
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 8 tablespoons (113g) cold unsalted butter, cut in ¼-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup (120g) cold plain whole milk yogurt

(We were happy with the flavor and texture of this mix, but if you are baking gluten free, you might have your own favorite flour mix for pie.)

INGREDIENTS FOR FILLING

  • 6 cups (3 pints) of fresh blueberries
  • ½ cup (100g) cane sugar
  • 4 tablespoons sorghum flour

INSTRUCTIONS FOR BOTH

  1. Combine einkorn flour (or the gluten free flours and starches) and salt in a large mixing bowl. With a pastry blender, cut in the butter then add the yogurt and squeeze with your hands on a clean work surface until the mixture holds together well. At first, it may not seem like it will hold together, but after using the heel of your hand to press the dough flat a few times, it will smooth right out.
  2. Divide the dough into two pieces, with one part being about 25% larger. Wrap the smaller piece in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. Roll the larger piece out on parchment paper dusted with flour to be about 2 inches larger than your inverted pie dish. Trim the overhanging edge to ½-inch larger than the rim of the pie dish. Place dough in pie dish and press dough evenly into the bottom and sides of the pan. Refrigerate the dish for 30 minutes.
  4. Mix together the flour, and cane sugar before adding the blueberries. Incorporate all ingredients well, being careful to mix in any flour that has settled at the bottom.
  5. Pour blueberry mixture into your piecrust. We don’t normally add butter or lemon, but that is up to you.
  6. Roll out the other piece of dough for the top and place over the pie and crimp or cut out shapes with a cookie cutter to place on top.
  7. Bake at 425°F for 15 minutes, then lower 350°F for 40 minutes. If you would like a nice golden crust, brush the top of the pie with an egg wash before baking.

 

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