Blueberry Sour Cream Torte

A week ago I was talking with a friend about pie and they mentioned a rather easy and super-tasty tort. It’s like a pie and a cheesecake and it has blueberries. I love blueberries. And of course I also love pie and cheesecake.

Today I added to my Sunday to-do’s the torte recipe that was sent special delivery by Edith. It was very easy and made the house smell great.

The crust:

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup sugar

2 egg yolks

2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

Pre-heat your oven to 400F. Combine the butter, sugar and egg yolks. Stir in remaining ingredients until it forms a dry, coarse meal. Press 2/3 of the mixture into the bottom of a 9 in. spring form pan. Bake for 10 minutes and allow to cool. Press the remaining mixture 1 inch up the side of the spring form. Reduce heat to 350F. Set crust aside.

The filling:

4 cups fresh blueberries

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup quick cook tapioca

1/2 tsp finely shredded lemon peel

1/2 tsp round cinnamon

1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

Combine ingredients and let stand 15 minutes. Cook in medium saucepan until bubbly. Pour into crust.

The filling:

2 egg yolks

2 cups sour cream

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla

Blend ingredients and spoon over blueberries. Bake in over at 35F for 45 minutes. Allow to cool for about an hour. Then chill for 4 hours.

I love the taste of blueberries and the consistency of a cheesecake with a graham cracker crust. I would suggest greasing the spring form before pressing the crust. Most of the crust for the torte I baked is stuck to the bottom of the pan. I liked it and Andre, my stepson, liked it enough to have 2 pieces. I might do that too.

blueberry sour cream torte2


Mixed Berry Pie with Oatmeal Lattice Crust

2nd place on the least presentable list.

2nd place on the least presentable list.


The 4th of July has come and gone. We are half way through the year and it’s fairly hot in the state of Texas. Not 2011 hot mind you, but still very hot. It’s strange days when you consider the upper 90’s not-so-hot.

We went to friends for the 4th and had dinner and made our own fireworks show in their front yard. Dinner consisted of hamburgers, potato salad, beer or margaritas, and a bit of pie. Not necessarily in that order. This recipe was pulled from Epicurious circa 1997.  You don’t need a national holiday to make or eat this one. But it is certainly worthy of baking for such a day.

The crust!

4 1/2 tbsp. ice water

1 large egg yolk

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1/3 cup old-fashioned oats

1/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar

1 tbsp. grated lemon peel

1/2 tsp. salt

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into piece

Grease your pie plate. Whisk 4 1/2 tablespoons ice water and yolk in small bowl to blend. Blend flour, oats, brown sugar, lemon peel and salt in processor. Add butter and process until coarse meal forms. Add yolk mixture and process using on/off turns until moist clumps form. Gather dough together and divide into 2 pieces, 1 slightly larger than the other. Flatten into disks; wrap each in plastic and chill 1 hour or up to 1 day.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Roll out larger dough disk on floured surface (I use a floured baking cloth to make it easier to transfer to plate) to 12-inch round. Transfer dough to 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish. Fold overhang under (if you have any). Crimp edges.

Line your crust with foil. Fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake 10 minutes. Remove foil and beans. Continue to bake until crust is set, about 8 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

Roll out remaining dough disk on floured surface to 12-inch round. Cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips.

The filling!:

1 cup plus 1 tbsp sugar

2 1/2 tbsp. cornstarch

2 tsp. grated orange peel

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

1 3/4 cups fresh raspberries

1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries

3/4 cup fresh blackberries

1/4 cup blueberry preserves

1 egg, beaten to blend (for glaze)

Whipped cream (optional)

Mix 1 cup sugar, cornstarch, orange peel and nutmeg in large bowl. Add all berries and preserves and toss to blend. Pour filling into crust. Place dough strips atop pie, forming lattice; trim excess. Gently press strip ends to crust. Brush lattice with egg glaze. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar. Place pie on baking sheet. Bake until crust is golden brown and filling bubbles thickly in center, covering edges with foil collar if browning too quickly, about 1 hour. Cool on rack. Serve lukewarm or at room temperature, with or without whipped cream.

I scorched the crust as you can see but the sugar, glaze and berry mix did a nice job of taking that away . It was a bit messy to serve up but tasted very good and was a good way to end the evening. Onward to Labor Day…

Pie #12 – Blueberry Sour Cream Pie

Busy, busy weekend. Lots of Halo Reach. Lots o’ basketball, shopping and prepping for Andre’s 9th birthday party.  A party of over a dozen 8 and 9 year-old boys, with a few 10-year-old girls thrown in for nerf gun target practice. There were games, cake, a pinata, and lots of sugar. Our last guests left around 7pm. I wanted to go with something comforting but simple. Blueberry sour-cream it is.


The crust:

1 1/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 stick chilled unsalted butter cut into 1/4 inch cubes

2 tbsp. sugar

pinch of salt

3 tbsp. or more of ice water

Blend the flour, butter, sugar and salt in a food processor using on/off turns. Add 3 tablespoons of water and mix until moist clumps form. Add additional water by teaspoon if the mix is dry. Remove from processor and form into a ball. Flatten and wrap in plastic wrap. Let set in the fridge a minimum of 3o minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and remove the dough after half hour. Roll out on lightly floured surface into a 13 inch circle. Transfer to a 9 inch pie dish. Trim the dough and use the remnants to patch any holes you might have around the crust edge or in the dish. It doesn’t have to be pretty, you’re going to fill it with blueberries in cream.

Freeze the crust for 10 minutes. Line crust with foil and add dry beans or pie weights ( I still haven’t seen these) and bake for about 15 minutes until the sides are set. Remove from oven, remove beans and foil.

The filling:

1 cup of sour cream

3/4 cups sugar

2 1/2 tbsp. unbleached flour

1 egg, beaten  (physically not verbally)

3/4 tsp. almond extract

1/4 tsp. salt

2 1/2 cups fresh blueberries (2 containers, 4 bux at HEB)

Whisk the sour cream, sugar, salt, flour, almond extract and egg  in medium bowl. Mix in the blueberries. Spoon the filling into the crust. Bake at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes, until the filling sets.

The topping (it’s clumpy crumble):

6 tbsp. unbleached flour

1/2 stick unsalted butter (I used one stick by mistake and added a couple of tablespoons of flour to give it more crumble. It kinda worked)

1/3 cups chopped pecans

2 tbsp. sugar

Using your fingertips, mix the flour and butter until small clumps form. Mix in the pecans and sugar. Sprinkle the topping over pie. Continue to bake at 400 degrees F until the topping is lightly browned, about 12 minutes. You may want to place a tin foil collar around the crust as you would be reaching the point of super crunchiness. Cool on a rack and serve at room temperature.  And that’s it. The prep time isn’t long and the baking isn’t really bad either. And it is reaaallllly tasty.

Pie #8 – Lattice-Topped Blueberry Pie

The "least presentable" in todays pie category

I love blueberries. I put them on cereal, I eat them in bagels. Breakfast bars of course. I don’t care about antioxidants. If they do something healthy, that’s nice too. I just like the way they taste. That and they’re really purple. Who names purple berries blue?

From the handy Bon Apetit Deserts Cookbook

Best Ever Pie Crust (this is debatable):

2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup non hydrogenated solid vegetable shortening or lard, frozen, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
5 tbsp. (or more) ice water

Blend the flour, sugar and salt in processor. Add butter and shortening. Using on/off, cut in until mixture resembles a coarse meal. Transfer mixture into large bowl. Mix in 5 tablespoons of water, adding more ice water by teaspoonfuls, if needed, until moist clumps form. Gather the dough into a ball; divide in half. Flatten each half into a disk, wrap in cellophane and chill at least 20 minutes.

Point of note: make sure your processor is big enough to accommodate the above crust recipe or things could get messy and frustrating…

While the crust is chilling, prepare your blueberry filling. Yes, I meant to do that.

The filling:

32 ounces frozen wild blueberries or regular blueberries (unthawed) of 7 cups fresh wild blueberries or regular blueberries ($14 total at your local HEB)
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. finely grated lemon peel
Heavy whipping cream
Vanilla ice cream (also known as pie garnish)

Combine the blueberries, sugar, cornstarch lemon juice and lemon peel into a medium-sized saucepan. Cook over medium heat until mixture thickens and bubbles, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Continue to cook 1 minute longer, stirring constantly. Cool until warm.

Position rack in bottom third of oven and pre-heat to 400 degrees F. Roll out one disk of dough on a lightly floured surface to 12 inches around. transfer to a 9 inch diameter pie dish and trim dough so 1 inch hangs over the edge. Spoon the filling into the crust. Roll out the remaining dough to 13×10 inch rectangle, cut into 2/4 inch wide strips. I hope you have a ruler:) Arrange half the dough strips atop the filling, spacing evenly. Arrange the remaining strips at a right angle atop the first strips. Weaving is optional or, in my case, not realistic. Brush the crust edge with the cream so the strips adhere. Trim the dough strips even with the overhang on lower crust. Fold the edge of crust up over strips, pressing gently to seal. Crimp the edges decoratively. Brush the edges and the lattice lightly with cream. I didn’t do the previous six sentences, The cream was an oversight and the crust work was in need of some piecrust ninja. There wasn’t one to be found.

Place the pie on baking sheet and bake until crust is a golden brown, about an hour. Cool pie on a rack for about an hour.

Serve the pie warm or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream garnish.

The pie bubbled over quite a bit and the presentation is messy but it’s tasty. And I like tasty just as much as I like blueberries, bubbled over or not.

Blueberry Yogurt Cream Pie

The first.

I bought a pie recipe book with 500 different types of pies and tarts. I then went to William Sonoma and bought some pie crust mix and a really sweet pie dish. I decided that my wife and/or kids will choose a random recipe from the Pie and Tart Book week and then I will put it all together on Wednesday evenings. My family and I will sample the wares every Thursday after dinner. My family seems very agreeable to this. Home baked dessert once a week? Fabulous!

The monday before Thanksgiving I chose my first pie. It was to be a blueberry yogurt cream pie. Being so close to Thanksgiving, it became the 1st pie on my baking adventure. Thanksgiving fell on a Thursday so the timing was perfect.

The Crust (this recipe makes 2 crusts and todays pie only needs one so divide the recipe in half unless you want to make 2)!:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/8 tsp. salt

1/2 cup vegetable shortening

1/2 cup cold unsalted butter

1 large egg

2 tsp. white vinegar

2 tbsp. ice-cold water

Combine the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Cut the veggie shortening and butter into small chunks and add to the flour mixture. Using a pastry blender or two knives in a crisscrossing motion, blend until the butter and shortening mix with the flour and salt to give consistency of wet sand, with a few pea size pieces of butter and shortening remaining. In a separate bowl, using a whisk or fork. beat the egg with the vinegar and water. Blend into the flour mixture  and stir until mixture is moist. The dough should be able to be formed into a ball.  Divide into 2 balls  and wrap each one in plastic wrap. Form into a flat disk and chill for a minimum of half an hour.

Pre-heat oven to 350F

When you’re ready, lightly flour a surface to roll out crust.  Remove one disk from fridge and roll out from center to edge, until you have a crust that extends an inch past your pie plate. Transfer the pie crust to your pie plate and carefully press in. If cracks appear during transfer or when in’s in dish, push seams back together with lightly floured fingers. Crimp edges decoratively.

Bake for 15 minutes at 350F. Transfer to wire rack and leave it to cool.

The filling (truly delish)!:

1 envelope unflavored gelatin

3 tbsp. water

1 cup whipping cream

2 cups whole-milk vanilla yogurt

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 cups fresh blueberries

In a small saucepan sprinkle the gelatin over the water. Set aside for a few minutes while you fill a large bowl with ice and cold water. Then cook the gelatin for 3 to 4 minutes until dissolved. Pour the gelatin into a metal bowl filled with 1/4 cup of the whipping cream.

In a separate bowl, stir the yogurt and sugar together. Gently whisk the yogurt mixture into the metal bowl with the gelatin mixture then set the bowl in the ice bath. Brrrr…

Chill, stirring occasionally for about 10 to 15 minutes, until the mixture starts to thicken. Using a separate bowl and electric mixer, beat the remaining cream into stiff peaks. Gently fold the cream  and 1 3/4 cups of blueberries into the chilled yogurt and gelatin mixture. Pour the mixture into the cooled pie crust and place the remaining 1/4 cup of blueberries over the filling. Voila! Pie #1! Fifty one to go!!!

I haven’t baked in a while but everything came together nicely and tasted good. The consistency of the pie was also strong. All guests seemed to like the pie and they thought it noble to try a 52 week challenge. Next week, Mudd Pie…