The inspiration for this combination pie comes directly from an article in a women's magazine that bob caught by chance in a doctor/dentist's office on the 14 super foods that can contribute to a more healthy cuisine for those of us Americans who are not only aware of what agribusiness and the food industry is doing to our national health but are ready to act locally to attempt to save ourselves from an eventual possibly unpleasant end should we make it that far. In fact this was a review of a new book that bob eventually ordered from Amazon after an eccentric food conversation with a colleague lead to the rediscovery of the book title and author with his help. Blueberries and walnuts are on the short list.
But it was really the free product sample at the Costco warehouse store that set the wheels in motion for the 2004 Thanksgiving dessert project. Dried blueberries? They look like purple raisins but they taste like blueberries. Sold! The fresh blueberry season is way too short, and although you can usually get them for 3.99 for a pathetically small plastic container-full out of season, the bob is not quite in the income bracket where that sticker price means nothing. Dried blueberries year round for his oatmeal with flax meal, banana, walnuts and fruit yogurt! Microwaved up with the oatmeal, they even loosen up a bit with the moisture. What a lucky find. One that bob would never have seen on his own wandering the isles impatiently searching for some other target acquisition. Free product samples really work.
The second contributing factor was the whole grain issue. 2004 had to go down in the books as the year of the new carb awareness craze. bob put refined white flour on his hit list. Aim for complex carbohydrates, like whole grain flours, yeah, that was the thing. And since bob loves baked goods, especially at the in-laws, whole wheat pastry flour had to be tried in whatever ways it could substitute for the killer white stuff. But someone had to lead the way in experimentation. Buying the stuff for the mother-in-law was not enough. The bob had to rejoin the ranks of the baking public that he had been away from too long, cheesecakes excepted.
So when the dr bob cooking team was relieved of the bird prep and supporting players activity for Thanksgiving, and stuck instead with the dessert job, it was only a matter of time before the pie idea came together. Sour cream, on the surface, might seem to defeat the possible health benefits of the other ingredients, but this seemed like the time to try nonfat sour cream in spite of our reservations about possible dangerous chemicals allowing such a product to be faked. Of course interpreting the container ingredient list requires a food expert and these guys are never around when you need them. Yogurt (another super food) might be a better substitute, but its baking with fruit properties were a possibly ruinous unknown factor that we did not need to introduce into the mix at this late time in the T-day countdown. The day before.
Pie crusts were something bob had mastered in his early single days, doing nice woven lattice topped apple pies for a few special occasions. But it had been years since we'd had any hands on experience with pies. Some new kitchen toys were ready: a pretty sleek black Good Grips rolling pin from Oxo and a silicone coated fiberglass Made In France Roll'Pat counter pastry mat that allows "dough to be rolled out effortlessly". Effortlessly that is, unless you absentmindedly approach this task without any recent experience.
After deliberating on the two whole wheat pastry dough recipes at the Bob's Red Mill website for some time, bob discovers a much simpler no-frills recipe right on the package as he prepares to execute the dough prep step. But one recipe on the website said something about refrigerating for 12 hours first, and having already learned the refrigeration trick in earlier times, this seemed like a good way to get that out of the way the night before. Unfortunately the little part about letting it sit an hour after removing from the fridge escaped bob's attention. The bottom crust was pretty stiff and seemed a bit hesitant to roll out easily like the hype said, but persistence got it out to the required diameter. However, no quick release! It had to be peeled off tediously, which it allowed without actually breaking although a few really sticky spots thinned out the dough as it pulled away. Meanwhile a cell phone spouse check from ani allows her to remind bob about room temperature dough, so he gets the brilliant idea of a brief microwave defrost cycle to warm up the top crust dough a bit. Fatal error, almost. The dough turned into superglue, so the rolling pin was useless. Not one to give up, bob simply presses it out with his hands. He's planning a lattice top anyway, so it doesn't have to be perfect. Indeed it is far from perfect since this one tears up in the peeling process. Not to worry. Carving out almost strip-like segments with the parmigiano cheese wedge tool, and giving up the weave complication, a jagged lattice top manages to get laid down in bits and pieces. The result looks great! Never admit defeat as long as there is hope for an alternative exit strategy. In the kitchen that is.
The filling required some web surfing to figure out how to marry the super food combo with sour cream apple pie. Eventually one from Epicurious that is actually in a cookbook in our library suggests itself as good start together with the adjustments from the other recipes that had popped up. Seems to work out okay. But the crust clearly needs some practice and maybe some modification. Not as flaky as advertised. But as ani suggested and bob initially rejected, warming your slice 30 seconds in the microwave before slapping on the ice cream is a good idea.