Friday, January 13, 2012

Whole Foods Friday: It's Pie!

When I was scurrying around Whole Foods looking for interesting ingredients, I saw a display of jarred fruits from a company called Red Hills Fruit Company. I brought home a jar of blueberries in light syrup without a clear plan for using them. I had ideas, but nothing set in stone.

I finally decided on pie. Mmmm... blueberry pie.

However, this was fruit in a thin syrup, not pie filling. I wanted to save all that lovely juice, but pouring a thin liquid into a uncooked pie crust wasn't going to work. So I knew I had to thicken the syrup before it went into the pie.

There are a lot of things you can use for thickening pie juices. Flour works, but it makes a cloudy sauce - I wanted a clear sauce. So I used cornstarch.

For the pie crust, you can use your favorite recipe, or, if you don't want to make your own, you can buy pie dough.

Blueberry Pie

1 29-ounce jar Red Hills Fruit Company blueberries in light syrup
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Pie dough for a double-crusted pie

In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch, salt, and sugar. Stir to combine and to break up any lumps in the cornstarch.

Drain the juice from the berries into a saucepan and add the sugar/cornstarch mixture. Heat, stirring as needed, until the sauce boils and thickens.

Remove the sauce from the heat and add the vanilla, lemon juice, and the reserved berries. Set the mixture aside to cool completely before you put it in the pie crust. Taste it, and add sugar if desired - this isn't a super-sweet filling, so if you prefer it sweeter, you can adjust it.

When you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Roll half of your pie dough into a circle slightly larger than your pie pan. Fit it into the pan and trim the edges. Pour the cooled berry filling into the crust.

Roll the second half of the pie dough into a second circle. Place it on top of the pie and crimp the edges as desired. Cut vent holes into the top crust.

Bake the pie at 375 degrees until the crust is nicely browned - about 50 minutes.

Let the pie cool, then refrigerate. You can serve it chilled, at room temperature, or warmed.

For more information about Whole Foods Friday and my partnership with Whole Foods, see the tab at the top.
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