Blueberry Pie's Free Lovin' Hippie Cousin

Recently hosting a small dinner party, I needed to create a quick, summery dessert with rustic appeal; so after a quick trip to the Fayetteville Farmers' market I devised a recipe for a simple, endearing Blueberry Crostata, a nuanced, slightly free form version of pie.

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Blueberries are in full bloom, so take advantage while you can - and feel free to add or substitute any of the other raspberries, blackberries that are also available at the market.  Fresh is the secret to the filling, soul of this dessert - if you attempt this recipe with canned or frozen berries you will fail miserably, and your friends with abandon you.

One additional virtue for our Ozark Blueberry Crostata is the incredibly rich, delicious, and EASY crust - only a few ingredients and the use of your freezer make this one a keeper.   And since we're not using a tart or pie pan, the end result is utterly free form and rustic - which is great if you're cooking with your kids or in need of a quick, memorable dessert this summer.

High South Blueberry Crostata

The Dough

1 1/2 Cups AP Flour

3 Tablespoons White Sugar

Pinch of Salt

1 Stick of Salted Butter, cubed

3-ish Tablespoons of Really Cold Water

The Filling

3 Cups Fresh Blueberries

3 Tablespoons White Sugar

2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice

1 Pinch of Cinnamon

1 Whole Egg, beaten but not berated

1 Teaspoon Flaky Maldon Salt

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Technique

Whisk together the flour, sugar and salt; then add butter cubes, toss until cubes are coated; place in freezer to chill out for 20 minutes or so.

Place chilly flour, butter combination into a food processor; pulse and grind until small pea sizes form; slowly add water until dough ball forms.  Turn dough onto a flat surface or board, use additional flour if dough is too wet; press into small salad plate size, then allow to chill in fridge while you construct blueberry filling.

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Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees; line a sheet pan with Pam sprayed parchment (I actually used a perforated pizza pan); remove the dough from cooler, dust with flour, and roll into a 12 to 14 inch oval or circle - no more than a 1/2 inch thick.  Move dough to prepared sheet pan.

In a medium sized bowl toss blueberries together with sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice.  Add blueberries to center of the flattened dough, then carelessly fold the sides of the dough onto the outer edge of the blueberries, sealing any open edges or seams.  Brush top of the dough with egg, then sprinkle with Maldon Salt and a whisper more of sugar.  Allow to collude in the fridge for 10 minutes before adding pan with dough to 400 degree oven.

Bake until the crust is a shimmering golden brown and the berries are bubbling, chatting, probably 40 minutes or so.  Allow to cool a bit before topping with Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream and devouring.  

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