Using Joyce Maynard's directions, I created a Peach Blueberry Pie. I've always been a good pie maker myself, but I think I've fallen in love with a new crust.
For a 10-inch pie
3 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup shortening (approximately), or lard
7-8 tablespoons butter, (approximately), cut into small pieces
7-8 tablespoons ice water, (approximately)
6 cups sliced peaches
2 cups blueberries
Sprinkle of Minute tapioca (maybe a tablespoon)
Sprinkle of cinnamon, maybe 1/2 teaspoon
1/2 cup sugar (or less)
2-3 tablespoons butter, cut up
Combine flour, shortening, butter and salt in a large bowl. Cut in with a pastry blender. If you don't have a pastry blender, you can use a couple of forks.
"I do not believe in making crust in a Cuisinart," Joyce Maynard insists.
If you don't want to use butter, which gives the crust a richer flavor, increase the amount of shortening or lard.
"I probably use a little more butter than Crisco," says Maynard. "Go by feeling. There's more than one way to make a great pie."
When combined, make a well in the center of the bowl and splash in only enough ice water for the top crust; gather up just enough of the flour mixture for one crust and just enough so that it can be rolled out.
Using a rolling pin, roll out the crust on a square of wax paper. If you don't have a rolling pin, no problem, says Maynard, just use a wine bottle with the label removed. Use swift, brisk strokes, rolling from the center out, into the shape of a circle. Where the dough doesn't hold together, use the heel of your hand to gently press it together.
Don't handle the dough too much or you will end up with a tough crust.
When the dough has been rolled out thin enough and large enough to fill the bottom of the pie pan, place the pan in the center of the rolled out dough, then flip it all over, into the pie pan. Peel off the wax paper.
On the bottom of the crust, sprinkle Minute tapioca, which will help soak up the juices and prevent a soggy bottom crust. Maynard, who never measures, says the amount should "look like salt on a road in winter, when there's ice."
You should also sprinkle some Minute tapioca in with the fruit, especially if you are using berries.
Note: When I made this pie, I sprinkled roughly a teaspoon of Minute tapioca on the bottom, and my pie, while delicious, was very runny. I contacted Joyce and she said I hadn't used enough. She also said the problem could be that I used frozen blueberries. When she uses berries, in addition to sprinkling the Minute tapioca on the bottom, she mixes some in with the berries to help absorb the juice. My berries, having been frozen earlier this summer, had a lot more liquid.
In with your sliced peaches and blueberries (or whatever fruit you are using), sprinkle a little bit of sugar and some cinnamon. Joyce doesn't use a lot of sugar and doesn't like sweet pies. The reason? Because you should always serve your pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side.
Cut up 2-3 tablespoons of butter and sprinkle over the peaches in the pie pan.
For the top crust, add a little ice water and gather the dough into another ball, then roll it out on a square of wax paper. Fold the dough, then lift it off the wax paper and place on top of the pie. This can be a delicate maneuver and takes a little practice.
Crimp the edges of the top and bottom crust together, then brush the top with milk and sprinkle with sugar. Pierce the top crust in three places with a fork to allow the steam to escape.
Bake in a preheated oven for 45 minutes. Serve warm and don't forget the ice cream!