Summer has come.
The time for sunblock, the sound of children running around my neighbourhood, and festivals has arrived.
Unfortunately, Veronica and I are separated for the summer. I’m home in warm and practically land-locked Ohio (I know there’s Lake Erie but come on…). I have been having the hardest time finding a pick-your-own farm around here! Like most families in my city, we get our produce from chain supermarkets year-round, and the local farmer’s markets when we’re feeling indulgent during the summer.
We always have at least one bunch of bananas in the house. Right now, we also have a few pounds of strawberries and a pint or five of blueberries between what’s in the fridge and the freezer. The amount of fruit (and milk and yogurt and orange juice…) my family goes through every few days is somewhat astounding. For me, it’s hard to keep food in general from spoiling when I’m only feeding myself at school. Now my brothers are essentially food black-holes for anything I decide to cook.
Blueberries are around a dollar a pint now and I decided to take advantage of this to make pie. Blueberry pie is only second to pumpkin pie in my heart. Since it’s getting hot and humid, I don’t want anything too sweet that’ll make me feel heavy later. I like my berry pies and cobblers tart and a little tangy, with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream to provide the creaminess and extra sugar into the mix.
I defend my use of a store-bought pie crust (GASP) only because my mum had one in the freezer that she wanted me to use up. Plus they are cheap and easy to use in a pinch, so there is no shame in using store-bought crust! There is no reason you can’t whip up a homemade crust for this recipe as well. My trials with a homemade crust will be for another day though (when I have more butter).
Adapted from Taste of Home
Makes one 9-inch pie
½-¾ cup white sugar*
2 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ cup water
5 cups of blueberries
1 tablespoon butter
Juice from one lemon*
1 9-inch pastry shell
*I like my pies tart, so I like to add all the juice from a lemon, which is about 2-3 tablespoons, and only ½ cup sugar. Next time, I might even add zest for that extra citrus kick. However, the original recipe called for just 1 tablespoon juice and ¾ cup sugar so if you’d rather have a sweeter pie, use those measurements.
Bake your pastry shell according to instructions. Mine needed 10-12 minutes under 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
While the shell is baking and/or cooling, prepare the filling by combining 4 cups of the blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, and water in a medium sauce pot. Bring to a boil. Stir until thickened, bubbly, and a deep violet color (about 2-3 minutes).
Remove the pot from heat and mix in the remaining cup of berries, lemon juice, and butter. At this point, the filling will be a glossy violet mixture. Pour the filling into the pie shell and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until serving or to store for a few days.
Serve a slice, heated by microwave if you wish, with scoop of ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream and more fresh blueberries.