Fruit Pie Series: Cold Blueberry, Short and Sweet
I’ve got to keep this short and sweet, but coincidentally, I am going to tell you about a pie that is both short, and sweet!
It feels like blasphemy to announce, but blueberry pie usually bores me. Though a symbol of summer, it can often be unbalanced: syrupy and sweet, without an acid anchor.
But this is a blueberry pie, and it is perfect.
Served cold, it has a nice structure, but most importantly, it’s balanced. The filling tastes like—in addition to summer blueberries—butter, lemon, and Grand Marnier. (The crust also has an orangey element to set it off.)
It’s made with both cooked and raw blueberries, and was served to us last weekend by some dear friends who just bought a beautiful 108 year old house overlooking lots of lovely gardens and land.
Eating it overlooking her garden reminded me of my dream of living in a beautiful 108 year old house overlooking lots of lovely gardens and land. A slice of that dream was making pies, and another was having children.
In the dream, I am not crabby, nor am I scattered. I’m in a reverie. The children are . . . in the other room. Or outside, sunkissed and safe in the beautiful gardens, rather than peeing on the floor and then demanding in an inimitable shriek that I hold up an iPhone while they bathe, so that they can watch police Lego videos on YouTube. For some reason, I never thought about that scenario when I imagined having children.
Sometimes when it is summer and I make a pie and I have the radio on and my thoughts to myself, it feels like one of the photos—you know the kind, from the other sort of blog, the kind of blog written by some oddly successful woman who lives on The Plains.
In the magic hour, when the light is long, when she is done driving the cows from hither to yon and making everyone’s clothing by hand, and homeschooling, she will carefully pick a lens for her very expensive camera and use it correctly. The photo will lend everything a patina of wonder, blurring reality just a smidge, won’t it.
That is what time does to memories, and that is what the chance to make a great summer pie — or even to write a few words about one — does to my day.
Jane’s Blueberry Pie
PASTRY INGREDIENTS (Grandma Evelyn’s pie crust – makes 2, 9” single crusts)
2 ½ cups all purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup cold unsalted butter
½ cup Crisco
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
4 tablespoons cold orange juice (freshly squeezed)
Sift flour with salt in a large bowl
Cut in butter and shortening
Add orange peel
Blend until texture of course crumbs
Using knife or fork cut in OJ, don’t overwork
Refrigerate 1 hour before using – don’t skip this step. It’s difficult to work with if you don’t do it.
(By the way I use a Cuisinart)
PIE FILLING INGREDIENTS (for 1 pie)
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 ½ tablespoon corn starch
¼ teaspoon salt
2/3 cup water
3 cup fresh blueberries clean
2 T butter
2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 ½ tablespoons Grand Marnier
1. Heat oven to 425.
2. Make crust
3. Line 9” pie pan with pastry
4. Trim and flute the edges
5. Line pastry with aluminum foil and dried beans or rice
6. Bake for 10 minutes
7. Remove foil and beans
8. Bake for 5 minutes longer and let stand to cool.
9. Combine sugar, corn starch and salt
10. Stir then add water and 1 cup of blueberries
11. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly
12. Boil until very thick about 15 minutes
13. Stir occasionally
14. Remove from heat and stir in butter, lemon juice and Grand Marnier, then cool a bit, and stir in remaining blueberries
15. Refrigerate for 1 hours
16. Spoon into pie shell
17. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving
Make some whipped cream, adding confectioner’s sugar, Grand Marnier, and vanilla
You have permission to eat this for breakfast the next morning.