All content copyright Katrina Hall 2008 through 2025

Thursday, July 16, 2009

blueberry pie with vegetable oil crust

I am so pleased to see the blueberry season in full swing here - there is simply nothing like picking, cooking, and freezing heaps and heaps of blueberries for the winter. Yesterday, I was intrigued to read an article in The Boston Globe comparing five different pie crusts ( lard, butter. butter and shortening, shortening, and vegetable oil) with the firm decision that the oil crust outranked the butter crust! Does anything get a cook going than questioning die hard pie making? I didn't think so either.

So I tried it. I tossed the blueberries with sugar, flour, lemon, and cinnamon, made the crust, and divided the berries between a smallish pie and a few ramekins topped with a sugared disc of crust. I'm just not much of a pie crust on the bottom person, preferring the almost-cobbler method of biscuit or pastry on top of fruit. I do have to say the vegetable oil crust is a breeze, and it stays nice and flakey. I'm sure you will make a tidier pie than I did, but I was feeling rustic today:)

How to make:

Preheat oven to 400F.

The crust:

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup milk

2 cups King Arthur flour

1/2 t. salt

Mix together well and squish with your hands to make a ball of dough.

Lay out wax paper on a wet counter, and roll the dough as wished.

The filling:

5 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed and picked over

1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup flour

1 t. grated lemon zest

1 t. cinnamon

a little salt

Mix well. Heap berries into ramekins or bottom pie crust, roll out dough as wished for the tops, making sure you cut a steam vent or use a tiny cookie cutter to cut out a star or heart as a vent for the pie. Sprinkle the crust with a little sugar.

I baked the ramekins for 30 minutes - they were bubbling away like crazy after a half an hour.

I baked the pie for 40 minutes - the berries were cooked well, but still retaining their shapes.

Served with good vanilla bean ice cream would be heaven!


Featured on TasteSpotting!!!


Barb said...

So??? Does an oil crust outrank a butter crust?

Judging by the photos - who cares? Those blueberries look heavenly and outrank any crust! Yum! don't you just love blueberries and cherries and peaches and plums and well, you know, the list is endless.

katrina said...

Hi Barb! Methinks it does - and I love the way it goes together so easily!
Ah, yes. Summer fruits. Just heaven on earth....... happy eating!

Martha said...

I've tried an oil crust and have never been pleased with it -- several times -- thinking, perhaps, the next time it would be better.

But it never was.

Perhaps I need to try your recipe.

The blueberry pie looks wonderful!

katrina said...

Glad you liked, Martha! I don't think I've EVER tried an oil pie crust - but I did like this vegetable oil one alot! I'd be interested how you felt about it - so let me know. Ummmmm, pie season is in full swing now, and could any of us be happier for it?


Alexis said...

An oil crust offends the gods of pie! It's SO WRONG. The whole point of using chilled butter and lard/shortening is that you have these chunks of fat which get ironed flat in the rolling. This fat will melt while baking, forming distinctive flaky layers. Oil crust would be just... wrong. And not flaky at all.

katrina said...

Dear Doth: I do understand your anguish on this recipe, but it was pretty good, sorry to say. I agree that puff pastry especially is sent from heaven, and there are reasons WHY it makes such a delectable crust. Still, I agree with the Globe critic that it's flaky and tender, though I'm not sure I'd say it beats classic butter puff pastry, or butter& lard. Also think it's great for folks on a dairy-free diet.

Laura said...

crust so I am all about trying this!

katrina said...

That's great, Laura! I'm thinking this is a great way to introduce kids to making pies, since it couldn't be easier - in addition to being mighty tasty! Thanks so much!

lisaiscooking said...

Interesting. I've used an olive oil crust for a savory tart but never for a sweet pie. Your pies looks delicious.

katrina said...

Thanks, lisa! Now you've got me thinking about olive oil crust...sounds wonderful for a savoury tart. I did like this crust, and will use it again - which does NOT mean the butter or lard dough is out the window forever:)

Kate/Massachusetts said...

I love your blog! It is such an inspiration!

What do you think of the idea to substitute cream for the milk in the piecrust recipe to make it richer?

Also, if you do come up with a good olive oil crust for savory pies, would you share the recipe with us? I have a health-god son who won't eat anything with shortening or butter in it...transfats, yaknow!

katrina said...

Hey ,Kate from my home state! I think you could use this crust recipe, substituting plain olive oil - not the virgin, unless you want a stronger taste. Maybe throw some chopped herbs into the dough?