Two Fat Cats’ Wild Maine Blueberry Pie

By Yankee Magazine

Apr 19 2020

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Two Fat Cats’ Wild Maine Blueberry Pie

Photo Credit : Christina Wnek Photography

Portland is arguably New England’s best bakery town, and Two Fat Cats is one of our favorites. It’s the kind of classic bakery where you buy your kids’ birthday cakes, where the pie can cure whatever ails you, and where you stop on a whim for a simple but unimprovable chocolate chip cookie. But they also make an outstanding blueberry pie, which is why senior food editor Amy Traverso spent an afternoon baking with their team as part of a segment on Maine blueberries for a season three episode of Weekends with Yankee. We filmed the blueberry harvest in Machias, Maine, then returned to the Two Fat Cats kitchen to pile a mix of blueberries, lemon, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar into a flaky crust.

Co-owner Stacy Begin recommends baking this pie with unthawed frozen berries for two reasons: Freezing sets the berries’ pigment, which makes a prettier filling, and the cold fruit keeps the fat in the crust from melting before it hits the oven.

Yield:

6 - 8 servings

For the Crust

Ingredients

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
¾ teaspoon table salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
5 tablespoons vegetable shortening, cut into small pieces
6–8 tablespoons ice water
2 tablespoons milk, for brushing

Instructions

First, make the crust: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Sprinkle the butter and shortening over the dry ingredients and use your fingertips to gently rub them into the mixture so that they form flakes and small lumps. The dough will begin to take on a pale yellow color and look a bit like lumpy cornmeal. Add the ice water, a few tablespoons at a time, until the dough holds together but isn’t sticky or wet. Divide into two equal parts. Wrap each in plastic wrap, press into disks, and chill for at least one hour.

For the Filling

Ingredients

4 ½ cups wild Maine blueberries, frozen (do not thaw)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons tapioca starch
2⁄3 cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg

Instructions

Now, make the filling: In a large bowl, combine the berries and lemon juice. In a small bowl, whisk together the tapioca, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Sprinkle the dry ingredients over the fruit and mix thoroughly. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes, then mix again.

Preheat the oven to 375° and set a rack to the lowest position. Remove the first disk of dough from the refrigerator. On a clean, floured surface, roll it out to a 10-inch circle. Transfer this to a 9-inch pie pan, letting the excess hang over the sides. Pour the filling into the pan.

Remove the second disk from the refrigerator and roll it out to a 10-inch circle. Lay it over the filling. Pinch the bottom and top dough edges together and crimp firmly. Make three 1-inch steam cuts in the crust, then brush with milk and sprinkle liberally with sugar. (At this point you can wrap the pie in plastic wrap and freeze for up to two months. When ready to bake, unwrap pie and allow to thaw for two hours, then bake as instructed, adding an extra 15 to 20 minutes to the bake time.)

Bake on the bottom rack until the top is browned and the juices are bubbling through the vents, 50 to 60 minutes. Let cool completely before serving.