Frugal Recipe: Lemon Peel & Sour Cream Blueberry Pie

By Helen Chin Lui of The Healing Place in Medfield, MA 

Due to the high fat content of this piecrust it is a little fussy to make. Once you master it, you will be making it again and again. The crust is flaky, light and delicious.

Active Prep Time: 1 hour
Inactive Time: 1 hour
Bake Time: 1 hour
9” pie serves 8-10 people

1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
1 cup of cake flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 ½ sticks of chilled and cubed butter (cut in 12 pieces)
     Note: You can use 1 stick of butter instead but the crust will not be as rich and buttery.
3 tablespoons of solid vegetable shortening
¼ cup, room temp, sour cream (regular or lite)
1 fresh, lemon peel, grated
1 fresh, juiced, lemon (strain to remove seeds and pulp)
     Note: You can use dry lemon peel and bottled lemon juice, but it will not taste the same.
    Note:  We are working on recipe for a gluten free crust. Soon to come.

In a food processor mix all the dry ingredients for 30 seconds. Add sour cream, half of the lemon peel and all the butter/shortening. Pulse (off and on) until mixture resembles coarse meal (about 1-2 minutes.) Now with the food processor running, slowly add lemon juice until the mixture looks moist but not totally clumped together. If the dough does not clump add a little more lemon juice or ice cold water.  Turn the loose dough onto a work area (I covered my work area with wax paper.) See picture A below.
Using both hands gently compress coarse crumbs gently into two balls, (one ball a little bigger for the bottom piecrust, see pix B below.) Do not overwork the dough otherwise it will be tough. The dough must rest and refrigerate for an hour.
If you do not have a food processor: take a large stainless steel bowl and combine all the dry ingredients. Then cut butter, shortening and lemon peel using either a pastry blender or 2 knives until it resembles coarse meal. Add lemon juice and mix until large crumbs are moist. Turn dough onto a work area and using both hands push the dough crumbs together into two balls, one ball a little bigger for the bottom of the pie pan. Refrigerate for an hour.
In the meantime prepare your filling and set aside:

Blueberry Filling
Mix the following ingredients EXCEPT for the butter
4 cups of fresh, washed, regular or frozen wild blueberries. (2 pints or 2 bags)
       Note: You can also combine 1 cup of blackberries, 1 cup of raspberries and 2 cups of blueberries
1 cup of sugar
¼ cup Minute Tapioca (found in bake goods at markets)
1 tablespoon squeezed, fresh lemon juice
Remainder of the lemon peel
Place pieces of Butter on top of blueberries
Prepare the pie pan. Spray bottom and side with fats until it is lightly coated.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Direction for rolling out piecrust
Take dough out of refrigerator. For easier rolling, leave dough on counter for 5 minutes.
On a floured surface, roll out the bigger dough and place on the bottom of pan  (see pix C )
    Note: So the dough does not stick to the rolling pan, I roll out my dough between two pieces of floured wax paper
Fill pan with blueberry mixture. Dot top with butter. (See Pix D)
Roll out the second piece of dough and place on top of pie.
Because we love piecrust, we do not trim the edges but roll the edges so that it sit on top of the pie
     Note 1: Of course you may trim the edges, just imagine how many calories you will be saving.) Crimp the edges by using your thumb and first finger and pinch the edges together. (See Pixs E and F)
     Note 2: Try to roll the edges evenly in thickness. You may have to move some of the crust edge to another location; otherwise you may end up with over-baked areas. You can “glue” loose dough together by using a little egg wash.
    Note 3: If you want a crispy bottom crust you may bake the crust by “blind baking”. To do this, line the pan with one of the crusts. With a fork prick the bottom.  Cover the crust with a piece of aluminium foil, weighted down with either 8oz or 16 oz of  dry beans.  Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes and take the aluminium foil w/bean off . If any part of the crust is puffy, prick with fork and push back into the pan.  Continue baking for another 10 minutes at 375 degrees.  The crust should be golden brown.
If you want a shiny surface pie, you can make an egg wash by beating one egg with a tablespoon of water. With a pastry brush, brush eggs wash lightly all over the pie including the crimp edges. (See Pix G)
    Note 1: If you do not want to use an egg wash, you can brush the surface with whole milk or half and half.
    Note 2: Some people like a crunchy pie crust, if desire, sprinkle a tablespoon of sugar on top of the egg wash surface.
Prick the top in a few places with a fork for ventilation; otherwise your pie may burst while baking from steam built up. (See Pix H)
Place pie on a cookie sheet lined with aluminium foil. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes and then lower temperature to 350 degrees. Bake for another 45-50 minutes until golden brown. You know your pie is done when you see the filling bubbling through the ventilation holes and you can smell the pie. During the baking time if you notice that the edges are getting too dark, cover with strips of aluminum foil.
Cool on a cooling rack for an hour. We always serve our pie with vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!

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