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Fruit Pie Series: Cold Blueberry, Short and Sweet

August 9, 2012

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)


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.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Michelle permalink
    August 10, 2012 6:05 am

    It there is anything I like more than pie, it is your scrumptious writing, Meredith. I have had the exact same problem with blueberry pie! Thank you for finding the solution.

    • August 10, 2012 8:22 am

      Michelle, I’m eager to hear what you think of the pie! I watched it being made and ate it but have not yet made it myself — have been afocus on key lime this summer, because is it the fastest. That recipe is next in the series!

  2. Larisa permalink
    August 29, 2012 1:25 pm

    Meredith, I read your blog from time to time and your thing about the vision vs. reality of having kids made me laugh so hard I got coffee in my nose. You never think you’re going to have to yell “STOP LICKING THE DISHWASHER!!!” or get stuffed animals off the roof. The two pie recipes look amazing too! Rock on.

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