Eating blueberries was a treat when I was little. It didn’t happen that often, but when it did it was in the form of blueberry cobbler with vanilla ice cream. I loved biting into the plump blueberries and the stain they left when I smiled like the Cheshire Cat to show off my purple teeth. This week’s recipe from the amazing new cookbook Soul: A Chef’s Culinary Evolution in 150 Recipes by Chef Todd Richards encloses summer’s plumpest blueberries in a crisp crust to make Fried Blueberry Pies with Meyer Lemon Glaze. You get a two-in-one with this recipe, because Todd uses a crust recipe by Erika Council of Southern Soufflé. —Kristina
For a chance to win a copy of Soul: A Chef’s Culinary Evolution in 150 Recipes, respond in the comments section below by August 15th, 5PM EST to the following question: What is your favorite pie, sweet or savory? We will announce the winner in the comments section, so be sure to check back!
Why Todd loves these pies: This is a special dish, especially for summer, because the combination of textures between the crisp crust and the bursting freshness of the blueberries is incredible. The inspiration for this dish comes from growing up in Chicago and eating Hostess pies… this is a bit more healthy!
About Todd: Todd Richards is a self-taught cook who paid his dues in countless restaurant kitchens before garnering national attention. He was a James Beard nominee for best chef in the Southeast, an Iron Chef competitor, and named one of four new chefs to watch by Esquire magazine. He is currently owner/chef of Richard’s Southern Fried at Atlanta’s Krog Street Market. Find Chef Todd Richards on Instagram at @cheftoddrichards.
Images above: Book Cover and Portrait of Todd Richards by Eric Vitale
Image above: Blueberry Fried Pies, photo by Greg DuPree
Image Above: Enjoying a meal of Todd’s recipes, including the Blueberry Fried Pies, photo by Victor Protasio
- Blueberry Pies
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3⁄4 cup (6 ounces) water
- 1⁄4 cup (2 ounces) dark rum
- 1 teaspoon orange zest (from 1 orange)
- 1⁄4 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 1 thyme sprig
- 4 cups fresh blueberries (about 1 1⁄4 pounds)
- Erika Council’s Piecrust (recipe below)
- All-purpose flour, for dusting
- 1 large egg
- 4 cups (32 ounces) vegetable oil
- Meyer Lemon Glaze (recipe below)
- Erika Council’s Piecrust
- 3 cups (about 12 3⁄4 ounces) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 ounces (3⁄4 cup) very cold unsalted butter, cut into 1⁄2-inch pieces
- 1⁄3 cup very cold vegetable shortening
- 6 to 8 tablespoons ice water
- Meyer Lemon Glaze
- 1 cup (about 4 ounces) powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice
- 1 to 3 teaspoons heavy cream
To Make the Pies:
1. Whisk together the sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan. Add 1⁄2 cup of the water, and whisk until combined. Whisk in the rum, orange zest, vanilla bean paste, and salt. Add the thyme sprig. Cook over medium, whisking constantly, until the mixture is thickened, 12 to 14 minutes. Remove from the heat, and fold in the blueberries. Let stand for 30 minutes. Remove and discard the thyme sprig.
2. Cut the piecrust in half. Refrigerate 1 portion until ready to use. Roll out remaining portion to 1⁄8-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut the dough into 10 circles with a 4 1⁄2-inch round cookie cutter, re-rolling scraps once. Repeat with remaining dough half.
3. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of filling into the center of each dough circle. Whisk together the egg and remaining 1⁄4 cup water. Brush the edges of the pies, and fold over so the edges meet. Press the edges together with a fork to seal. Repeat the process with the remaining dough, filling, and egg wash.
4. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium to 375°F. Fry the pies until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Turn and cook about 2 more minutes. Drain on paper towels, and let cool 20 minutes. Drizzle with Meyer Lemon Glaze.
To Drink: Sparkling wine, Champagne, Chardonnay, rosé, Shiraz, Moscato, hard ciders
Serve with: Ice cream, lemon sorbet
To Make Erika Council’s Piecrust
This basic piecrust is by Erika Council, a talented baker in Atlanta and founder of the blog Southern Soufflé, where she shares Southern Soul food recipes and her family’s legacy. (Her grandmother was the legendary Mildred Council, owner of Mama Dip’s, a 40-year-old restaurant in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.) Erika’s piecrust recipe can be used for both sweet and savory pies.
Makes enough for 2 (9-inch) piecrusts
1. Place the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor, and pulse a few times until combined. Add the butter and shortening, and pulse until the mixture resembles small peas, 8 to 12 times.
2. With the processor running, drizzle 6 tablespoons of the ice water through the food chute, and process until the dough begins to form a ball. (Add up to 2 more tablespoons, 1 tablespoon at a time, if needed, to reach desired consistency.)
3. Turn the dough out on a lightly floured work surface, and shape into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or up to 2 days.
To use: Cut the dough in half. Roll each half into 1 1⁄8-inch-thick round on a well-floured surface.
To Make the Meyer Lemon Glaze
Whisk together the powdered sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl. Whisk in the heavy cream, 1 teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached. Makes 1⁄2 cup
Excerpted from Soul by Todd Richards. Copyright © 2018 Oxmoor House. Reprinted with permission from Time Inc. Books, a division of Meredith Corporation. New York, NY. All rights reserved.