There is no doubt in my mind which magazine is going to be next on my subscription list: Cook's Illustrated. The people in America's Test Kitchen continually beat the crowd for innovative ideas and recipes. Their vodka pie crust is just one example of their ingenuity at work. I've already made it several times, and honestly, it is just the best darned crust ever -- so flaky and tender. Of course, I took it to another whole level this time by making it with Limoncello (lemon-infused sweetened vodka).
Currently, I don't subscribe to CI; so, when I saw this recipe in our local paper I decided to try it. The article stated it was an adaptation of CI's blueberry pie. The recipe for their vodka pie crust, and the recipe for the pie were both printed. I had no earthly idea what it was they adapted, left out or added. So I just went with it.
The crust was, of course, fantastic -- made with limoncello, remember? The pie filling was good but not great. It was kind of on the thin side, with only 3-1/2 cups of blueberries. Of course, everyone else loved it. Am I the only persnickety pie eater out there? I knew I was right. So I researched on the internet and found the original CI blueberry pie recipe, which I promptly made and will be posting next. In the meantime, here is the adaptation which is also on the internet somewhere. If you're in a hurry, you can make this version because the original is a bit more work, but vastly superior to the adaptation.
Adapted from Cook's Illustrated by ?
Rating: 7.5 out of 10
INGREDIENTS: Cook's Illustrated Vodka Pie Crust or your favorite crust
3-1/2 cups blueberries, washed and dried
3/4 cup sugar
zest of 1 lemon
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
1 small green apple (about 1 cup) peeled and grated on large holes of box grater
2-1/2 Tbsp. quick-cooking tapioca
In a medium bowl, combine blueberries, sugar, lemon juice, zest, cinnamon, cardamom, grated apple and tapioca. Toss lightly and let stand about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400F. Lightly coat a 9" pie pan with cooking spray. Prepare crust; chill; roll out on well-floured counter to 12" circle. Transfer to prepared pie pan. Trim edges. Transfer blueberry filling and any juices to the pie shell, smoothing the filling into an even layer. Bake 20-25 minutes; reduce temperature to 350F and bake for another 35 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool at least 2 hours before cutting.
Roll scraps of dough out on floured surface and cut with your favorite cookie cutter. Place these on the pie, or better, on an ungreased cookie sheet to bake alongside the pie. Then you can put the pie crust "cookies" on top of the pie as a decoration. Brush them with some milk, cream or H&H and sprinkle with sugar before you bake them. As you can see, I put mine on top of the pie and they kind of curled up when they baked. They'll look nicer if you bake them separately.