Sammy the Seal

Blueberry pie, topped with marzipan/almond crumble

In delicious on Sunday, 15 May, 2011 at 19:09

So I was just going to do blueberry pie, and then D goes and links me to some recipe for blueberry with a marzipan crumble. Then, I was going to make the filling according my own routine, but opted to try it a new way, i.e., cooking the filling on the stove before baking. But I always reserve the right to cut the amount of sugar or add spices or little accoutrements.

2 lb. frozen blueberries
2/3 – 3/4 sugar (baker’s/superfine this time)
3 T lemon juice
1/4 c + ~1 T corn starch
zest of one lemon

1 1/4 c flour
~5 oz marzipan or almond paste (I used the former)
6 T chilled butter (I only had salted on hand, so if you have unsalted, I’d add ~1/2 t)
cinnamon, a few dashes
cardamom, a few dashes

I still had one lump of crust dough from when I made strawberries and cream pie (which I forgot to photograph, which is why it’s not on here), I used the dough recipe from before rather than the one provided in the above recipe (it says use lard– uh, my ass!). Like before, let chilled dough sit on the counter about 30 minutes before rolling out, and add a day in the fridge if it’s frozen.

So, for the filling, I whisked together the sugar and corn starch, then added the frozen berries and lemon juice and cooked them on medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickened and bubbled, then removed from heat. For whatever reason, I stirred in the zest upon cooling, rather than cooking. I set it aside to cool on the counter, which took close to an hour, so maybe I’ll put it in the fridge next time to expedite the process.

For the topping, I whisked together the flour and spices first, then added the butter and marzipan in slices about 1/4 – 1/3 inch thick. The original recipe says use a food processor to combine all these ingredients– well, I don’t have one. I used my mixer for about a minute, before deciding to just knead it all together manually, which is always fun. That took about three minutes. Then the mixture went to the freezer to chill for about ten minutes.

The rest is pretty obvious, pour the filling into the crust and crumble the topping on top. My portions made for a copious amount of topping, as I prefer to err on the side of more topping. I mean, duh, right? I put the pie plate on a baking sheet, and moved the oven rack to one slot below center. The recipe said bake at 400° for 50 minutes, but next time these two variables will be adjusted, explanation to be found underneath the photo.

So this is a good example of why you take nothing for granted when following a recipe. It’s not that bad, but there’s just too many dark spots:

Yes, it's cooling next to the window!

The original said 400° for 50 minutes, and it’s a good thing I read some of the comments, they alerted me that 40 minutes is sufficient, and actually, when I checked on it at only 37 minutes, half the topping was golden brown going on dark brown– hence, the less than aesthetic visual. When dealing with any type of pie with crumble top, I go with 400° for about 10 minutes, then drop it to 350° for the next 30 or so, to prevent exactly this: scorching the topping. So cooking the filling first isn’t so strange, since the cook time for the pie as a whole will be relatively short.

It all tasted fine, especially when heated up, and the crust was very nicely flaky, so I’m most definitely sticking with that crust recipe with its 1.25 cups of butter. However, I wasn’t completely satisfied with the blueberries, as I probably could have cooked them a bit longer. I could still feel the texture of the skin of the berries, whereas ideally it’d be all soft and you bite through everything with no resistance. However, I’m curious as to whether I won’t just do it all my way next time, turning down the heat during baking and not cooking the berries beforehand. I mean, pies usually bake for 45-50 minutes, not 37. Also, I might think about trying almond paste for stronger flavor. Upon further inspection, there is a significant difference between almond paste and marzipan, the paste containing 45% almond, marzipan only 28%. Also, I’ll have to budget for it next time, as a tube of either costs at least $6-7.

So, if ever something is not quite right, go with your instincts, common sense, and what’s worked for you in the past. Oh, and flick on the oven light and check in on your product a liberal amount of times.

  1. this looks awesome + really good, would have gone well with frito pies

  2. Sorry, guy, I didn’t receive the idea until Saturday morning!

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