I’m sharing this recipe today because it’s something I’ve been making variations of since the first pie-able subjects appeared at the market in the spring. I keep a stash of this butter-crust pie dough in the freezer and pop one on the counter to thaw whenever friends are gathering or the fancy strikes. I have been making free-form galettes and these big pop tarts all summer long.
The casual, rustic appearance and spontaneous nature really suit my current life. I only snapped one pic of the finished pie for my Instagram and didn’t actually intend to post it. I changed my mind this morning when I saw a disc of dough kicking around my freezer and had the sudden urge to share the recipe, since the spirit of it is so relevant to me right now, even if summer berries aren’t.
My mom and stepdad are visiting from New Brunswick this week and it has been so nice. My sister and her husband joined us for an extra-long long weekend on Salt Spring Island.
I brought my camera, but then had more fun capturing the trip through just my eyes. I had it around my neck on the first day, when we visited the marina, and you’re looking at the only two pics I took on the six-day trip.
We all stayed in a great big house and enjoyed lots of good meals and long chats.
We went on a long hike with the kids, quite by accident. I’d read online that it was a family friendly park, so I expected a leisurely stroll on a gravel path. It turned out to be extremely steep and very cliff-y with fallen trees to clamber over, and rocks and roots to climb up. Occasional tiny guide flags nailed to trees that were the only thing preventing us from becoming permanently-wandering mountain folk. Everett (almost two) walked a bit of it, shouting “NO, NO, NO” at every leaf that dared graze his ankle, then spent the rest of the time teetering on someone’s shoulders as they tried not to fall arse over teakettle down a mountain. Theo (four) was a real trooper until his legs almost gave out about an hour and a half in. It was comically difficult, and definitely a memory made.
After the hike, a two-hour ocean kayaking tour was a breeze. Adarsh held Everett in the front of a two-man vessel, while I paddled solo for the three of us over the sea. We found sea stars and jellyfish and saw baby seal pups playing with their mamas. If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen it all in my stories. It was pretty magical. And then Everett got hungry. The last 45 minutes were spent pinning him down in the kayak while he screamed “APPLE, APPLE, APPLE, APPLE, APPLE” (kid really likes apples) while trying to jump out. Theo sat in my sister’s kayak and had a great time.
It’s such a hilarious, exhausting, exasperating, sweet season of momming right now. A season that calls for easy, casual, homey desserts like this one. Feel free to swap in any fresh or frozen fruit you have on hand.
Giant Blueberry Pop Tart (or mini blueberry pie)
For Pie Dough
- 2 1/2 cups 11.25 oz all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter cubed, and chilled
- 6-8 tbsp ice water
- 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 tbsp corn starch
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Scatter cubed butter over top, then use a pastry cutter to work it into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. (Or pulse in a food processor.)
- Sprinkle 6 tbsp ice water over top, and use a stiff rubber spatula to gently stir and press the dough together. Add more water only if needed to get the dough to stick together. Dump the shaggy mixture onto a lightly floured counter, and divide into two even piles. Gently press each pile into a disk, and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate 1 hour, or up to 48 hours.
- Preheat oven to 500ºF. Roll out one disc (keep the second one in the freezer for another pie!) between sheets of parchment paper placed on top of a dampened paper towel (this anchors the parchment to the counter). You're aiming for a large rectangle, dimensions don't really matter. Transfer the dough to a large baking sheet and peel off the top layer of parchment paper (reserve it). Pop the whole pan in the freezer for 10 minutes to make sure the dough isn't too soft.
- Combine filling ingredients in a large bowl, then dump them onto one end of the pie dough. Fold the dough over the filling and press it to seal (link to pictures in the post). Cut a couple of steam vents with scissors or a sharp knife. Place pie on bottom oven rack, reduce oven temperature to 400ºF and bake until crust is deeply golden and filling bubbles out of the steam vents, about 45 minutes.