One other change I made was to eliminate the top crust. Who needs the calories? And from readers' comments, the top crust was cumbersome anyway. Everyone had trouble with it, because CI designed a top crust that had circles cut out all around, making the dough hard to handle and hard to place over the filling. Instead, I cut out stars of the leftover dough, and baked them after the pie came out of the oven.
And, oh, yes, another change -- I decided not to grate the apple. I did that with the adapted version and wasn't happy with the way it baked. Instead, I chopped the apple and cooked it with the first half of the berries. This worked much better. The apples are "invisible" in the pie -- you can't taste them or see them. I still think this recipe is overly complicated, even for a masochist like me. A jar of blueberry preserves would work just as well as cooking the blueberries on the stove. But here it is, if you are a glutton for punishment:
The Real Cooks Illustrated Blueberry Pie, Adapted
Rating: 9 out of 10
INGREDIENTS: Cook's Illustrated Vodka Pie Crust (Make it with Limoncello for an even better crust)
6 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, chopped
2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
1-1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar, divided use (I used 1/2 cup sugar + 1-1/2 tsp. Stevia)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
3 Tbsp. instant tapioca, ground (I used my coffee grinder)
pinch of sea salt
2 Tbsp. butter, cut into 1/4" pieces (I used Smart Balance 50/50 butter blend)
Prepare pie crust and refrigerate. When ready to make pie, roll out dough on well-floured surface, fit into 9" pie plate that's been lightly sprayed with cooking spray, trim the overhang, crimp edges and refrigerate. Roll remaining dough out and cut with star-shaped cookie cutters, or other favorite designs. Place "cookies" on a pie plate and refrigerate.
Adjust oven rack to lowest position, place rimmed baking sheet on oven rack and heat oven to 400F.
Place 3 cups berries, 1/2 cup sugar, zest, juice, tapioca, salt, cinnamon and cardamom in medium bowl. Toss to combine; let stand 1/2 hour.
Place 3 cups berries, chopped apple, and 1/4 cup sugar in saucepan and heat till thickened.
Combine berries; fill chilled pie crust. Dot with butter, pushing the pieces into the filling. Bake on preheated baking sheet for 30 minutes. Cover edges and top of pie with loose tinfoil. Reduce oven temperature to 350F and bake an additional 45 minutes, or till juices bubble. Transfer to wire rack to cool at least two hours before cutting.
While pie is cooling, brush raw pastry "cookies" with milk or cream and sprinkle with sugar. Bake about 10 minutes, or till nicely golden and cooked through. Place decoratively on cooled pie before serving.