June 24, 2012

ah'll be bahck.


I've decided that tapioca is the Arnold Schwarzenegger* (or any other over-avid bodybuilder, for that matter) of thickeners. Why? Simply because it's super strong and, if we're being honest, a little bit gross.


*Ah, just kidding, Ahnold. You came to mind first because I recently rewatched Total Recall (quality eye-bulging effects and stimulating dialogue!). I'll be the first to admit that you've made some really enjoyable flicks in your time, and as I understand it, some people really liked you as the Governator.

Let's discuss tapioca. In the past, I've always used either cornstarch or plain, good ol' all-purpose flour to thicken my pies, so this blueberry pie was definitely an experiment. Admittedly, in those past pies, the filling has been quite runny more often than not (but always delicious!). Not so with this one, friends--that tapioca is powerful!


I can appreciate the impressive absorption abilities, but to me, it's not a pie if it's dry! What's worse is that you can actually see the unabsorbed little pearls of tapioca, and that absolutely taints an otherwise lovely pie. Yep, this was definitely an overuse of the tapioca. Solutions: Use less, or just stick with the cornstarch.

So other than my terrible trouble with tricky tapioca, this is an excellent pie, thanks mostly to a magnificent crust--it's flaky, buttery, and sturdy yet tender. Fresh or frozen blueberries will work, but if you can get fresh ones, do it! You can also adjust the amount of sugar to suit your tastes (3/4 cup would be plenty for those of you with a less dominating sweet tooth).


Hasta la vista, babies!

Blueberry Pie
(based mostly on a recipe from Joy of Cooking)

one batch of pie dough (enough for a double crust)
about 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs, for extra absorption

5 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup tapioca
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
egg wash and granulated or coarse sugar, for top

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Roll out your bottom crust and nestle it into the pan. At this point, I've learned that sprinkling some graham cracker crumbs (just a smattering, don't go crazy!) helps absorbs some juices...if you're using a reasonable amount of tapioca, of course. Set this aside.
Combine all the pie ingredients in a large bowl and gently combine. Pour into the prepared pan and store in fridge while you roll out the top half.
Place the top crust on, crimp the edges in a decorative fashion, and poke the top with plenty of air slits or decorative holes. Brush the top with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.
Place a baking sheet underneath the pie to catch any overflow. Place in the oven and bake at 425 degrees F for 30 minutes. Turn the oven down to 350 degrees F and bake for another 25-30 minutes or until the juice starts to bubble out of the slits. Let cool completely before serving.

41 comments:

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A fantastic pie! I generally use cornstarch too...

Cheers,

Rosa

Pam said...

I don't bake, but I do love tapioca pudding.

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Faith said...

Mmm, I could go for a slice of blueberry pie right about now! Love the use of tapioca, I've never tried that so I'd be interested to play with it.

vanillasugarblog said...

right there with you on this one woman!
i make sure to have zero juices at bottom of said pie plate.

Elizabeth said...

Pies are my favorite thing to bake in the summer!

Beth said...

I'm with you on tapioca. I don't mind it, but it can leave unpleasant little lumps like you mentioned. Still, fruit pie thickened in any way is a winner!

Louisa said...

Aside from the tapioca issue this looks delicious! Now I want some pie :)

Robin Sue said...

Mmmm blueberry pie! I have discovered playing with kuzu for thickening, but I really think it's because I like saying kuzu over and over again.

Jackie @Syrup and Biscuits said...

I've never used tapioca for thickening and use cornstarch or flour. I appreciate your experiment. The color of your pie is stupendous!

mr. pineapple man said...

I love tapioca! By the way, those hot dog cookies are too cute!

Anonymous said...

I don't like the plumped up pearls either. To remedy this, I put the tapioca pearls in my Ninja and turn it to powder...no more chewy pearls of tapioca:)
Love your blog!

Deb

grace said...

@anonymous: thanks for the tip, deb! maybe i won't give up on tapioca quite yet. :)

Dianne @ My Southern Heart said...

It looks delicious - tapioca and all!

Anonymous said...

I always use 2 1/2 T. cornstarch and 2 1/2 T. tapioca to thicken my pies and it works out well! I read about it in a cookbook and they gave all the scientific reasons of why it works. I just know it tastes good!

Pam said...

I always thought it was weird when recipes called for tapioca. I guess I need to give it a try. The pie looks fabulous Grace.

Mimi said...

Yummy pie. I love tapoica in fruit pies, but a little does goes a long way.
Mimi

lisa is cooking said...

Good to know! I've never used tapioca as a thickener. But, blueberry pie in the summer is fantastic. Love the layer of graham cracker crumbs.

foodhoe said...

I would have thought tapioca would be good and confess a fondness for tapioca, but it certainly does seem to have sucked out all of the lovely juices. I'm sure the lovely dollop of whipped cream made it all better

Blond Duck said...

Have you ever tried crust with lard? I'm thinking of going away from shortening?

Nutmeg Nanny said...

Yum! Blueberry pie is my favorite type of pie...nom nom. I usually use cornstarch or pie thickener from King Arthur Flour. My step-mom used to use tapioca in her beef stew...it was so weird!

Deborah said...

I have never even used tapioca as a thickener. But that is one mighty fine looking pie!!

Lynda said...

Your pie looks plenty delicious; wonderful flaky crust and lots of filling, just like I love it. Too bad about the tapioca-I agree that a pie should be somewhat juicy, but it's still outstanding Grace!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

That tapicoa trick works beautifully! LOL Love that intro paragraph. Never did I think that Arnie and tapioca would be linked :P

Joanne said...

I've made exactly one pie with tapioca as the thickener and I can't remember any visible tapioca-ness that still remained. Hmm. Usually I'm a cornstarch gal all the way!

Guru Uru said...

I will forever associate Arnie with tapioca now, it works a real charm :D

Cheers
Choc Chip Uru

Monet said...

I haven't used tapioca with my pies yet. Mostly because I like them juicy too! But this pie looks delicious. And I didn't even see the tapioca in the picture. Looks like sugar to me! Thanks for sharing sweet friend!

Juliana said...

So interesting using tapioca to thicken the pie filling...and yes it looks delicious. Love the filling that is thick and shiny.
Thanks for the recipe Grace and hope you are enjoying your week :)

Amy (Savory Moments) said...

I've used tapioca before and sometimes flour for my pie thickener. I like both, but I don't like when white pieces of tapioca stick out the top of the pie...

Barbara said...

I'm a cornstarch user too. Or flour. Never have tried a pie with tapioca. (but I love tapioca pudding) Your pie turned out really well, Grace, but I've got to have ice cream on my piece...

Catherine said...

Dear Pam, Blueberry pie is one of my favorites! This looks beautiful and perfect for summer. Blessings dear one, your friend, Catherine xo

Erica said...

I don't bake pies, but I like tapioca pudding! Your pi looks deliciuos,Grace!

Natasha Price said...

Yeah I find tapioca tricky to use as well. A fantastic looking pie, yummy!

Carolyn Jung said...

Does that mean Arnold would call this a "girly-man'' pie? LOL

I WIlkerson said...

I love tapioca as a thickener--especially with really runny fillings like frozen raspberries in sauce. Like your earlier commenter, I use the pre-pulverized tapioca.

Karly said...

I've never actually had tapioca pudding. The name alone makes me cringe a little. I have, however, used it as a thickener in raspberry pie. Now I must try it in your blueberry pie. Yum!

Rosita Vargas said...

Exquisito buen gusto tiene Arnold S una verdadera delicia,abrazos hugs,hugs.

kellypea said...

Okay, so, teh boy and I were just talking about Ah-Nold. Really. Each summer we try to have a movie marathon and he came up for this summer's must watch one after the other. I'm thinking we'd need this pie to sustain us. Agreed on the tapioca. Something I learned in Home Ec when they actually had it about 50 years ago. Go figure! Gorgeous "pah" grace. :)

Half Baked said...

I love blueberry pie! I generally use cornstarch as a thickener. When I saw the unabsorbed tapioca in your pic; The classic quote from Kindergarden Cop "It's not a toomah" came to mind...;)

Lori said...

Love pie.

Happy Fourth!

QT said...

Looks soooo good!