Sunday, July 13, 2008

Blueberry Pie

adapted from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook

For the dough
All-purpose flour - 2 1/2 cups
Salt - 1 teaspoon
Unsolted cold butter, cut into small pieces - 1 1/2 sticks (170 g)
Ice water - 1/4 cup
Cold vodka 1/4 cup

For the filling
Fresh Blueberries, picked over - 6 cups (about 3 pints)
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Cornstarch - 1/4 cup
Lemon juice - 1 tablespoon
Cream - 1 tablespoon

- In the bowl of a food processeor, combine flour and salt.
- Add the butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some larger pieces remaining, about 10 seconds.
- To mix by hand, combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, then cut the butter with a pastry blender.
- With the processor running, add the ice water in a slow steady stream, then add vodka just until the dough holds together.
- To do by hand, mix with a spatula and add water and vodka.
- Test by squeezing a small amount of dough together, it should hold.
- Turn the dough onto a work surface. Divide in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap.
- Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight. The dough can be frozen for up to 1 month.

- On a lightly floured surface, roll out one half of dough into a 12 inch round.
- Fit dough into a 9 inch pie plate, predding it into the edges. Trim the edges.
- Chill the pie plate for about 30 minutes.

- Place the blueberries in a large bowl.
- With your hands, crush about 1/2 cup of the berries, mix.
- Add the sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice and mix.

- Spoon the mixture into chilled pie shell.
- Roll out the other half of the dough and using a small cookie cutter cut stars.
- Place the stars on top of the filling with the tips touching.
- Brush the stars with cream.
- Refrigerate the pie for another 30 minutes.

- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- Bake the pie for about 20 minutes.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 350F and bake the pie for another 40-50 minutes until the crust is deep golden brown and the juices are bubbling.
- Transfer the pie to a wire rack and cool.
- The pie can be kept at room temperature, loosely covered with plastic wrap, for up to 2 days.

- Scrap pieces of dough can be sprinkled with cheese and herbs and baked for about 30 minutes along with the pie. They'll be come amazing crackers to snack on.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Cold Yogurt Soup with Cucumber and Avocado

For 2 servings

Avocado - 1
Cucumbers, peeled and diced - 2 small
Dill, chopped - 2 tbsp
Vegetable broth - 1 1/2 cups
Plain Yogurt - 1 cup
Lemon juice - 1/2 lemon
Hard-boiled eggs - 2
Salt, pepper

- Cut the avocado in half.
- Place half of the avocado, cucumbers, dill, lemon juice, broth and yogurt into a blender.
- Process until smooth.
- Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Dice the other half of the avocado.
- Dice the eggs.
- Stir the avocado and eggs into the soup and serve.

- The original recipe called for cooked shrimp intead of egg. It also used green onion and didn't use any dill.
- Lemon pepper went really well with this soup.
- It was light, refreshing and really tasty!!!