Who doesn’t like pie, honestly? Fruity sweetness. Buttery crust. Whipped cream or ice cream. Yum yum.
My favorites are Apple, Peach Sour Cream and Blueberry.
But honestly, I had never truly had real blueberry pie until my dad brought me a huge, fresh, amazing blueberry pie from downeast Maine. Oh. My. God. Amazing. This thing was legendary: huge, uber-fresh-burst-in-your-mouth wild Maine blueberries in a perfect, buttery crust, piled high with a miraculous whipped cream that always seemed to hold its shape despite the summer heat. Legendary, I tell you. Abso-f*cking-lutely unforgettable. But sadly, when I went wheat-free four years ago, that meant no more legendary pie for me on summer Maine visits. It was heartbreaking.
Enter last week’s fruit CSA share. I went to go pick up my veggie booty and my first week of fruit, and found a gorgeous pint of blueberries staring up at me, calling, “we want to be legendary pie, please!” On my drive home, I began to dream of how to capture the heaven of that downeast Maine blueberry pie, and mulled over my checklist of supplies at home.
Gluten-free pie crust: check.
Gorgeous blueberries: check.
Whipped cream: check.
An hour and a half later, I had amazing blueberry pie, nearly identical to the legendary first real fresh blueberry pie from my fond Maine memories. It was hard not to eat it all in one sitting.
Fresh Blueberry Pie
For the Pie:
- Gluten-Free Pie Crust (I cheat with the Whole Foods pre-made kind – its pretty good actually!)
- 1 tablespoon egg white, lightly beaten
- 4 cups blueberries, rinsed and dried
- 1/2 liquid cup
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch, whisked with 2 Tbs of water
- 1/4 cup sugar
- The juice of one lemon
- Pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 1 1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
- 1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- A chilled bowl and beaters
Prepare the crust:
Preheat the oven to 425°F at least 20 minutes before baking.
Since I use a pre-panned, gluten-free crust, this is easy. Take it out of the freezer, and prick the bottom and sides of the frozen crust with a fork. Then line the inside of the crust with a piece of parchment paper and fill with dried beans, rice or, if you wanna get fancy, pie weights.
Place in the pre-heated oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, and carefully lift out the rice or beans with the parchment. Bake for 3-5 minutes more, until the crust is a pretty, golden color. Remove from the oven and prick and bubbles that may have formed.
Cool the crust on a rack for 3 minutes. When cooled, brush the bottom and sides with the egg white to keep it from getting soggy.
Make the filling:
Meanwhile, measure out 1 cup of the blueberries from your 4 cup stash. In a medium saucepan, combine them with the 1/2 cup water. Cover and bring them to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring constantly for 3 to 4 minutes; you’ll see the blueberries will burst and the juices begin to thicken. While stirring constantly, slowly add the cornstarch mixture, the sugar, lemon juice, and salt, and simmer the mixture for a minute, until the mixture becomes translucent. Immediately remove it from the heat and quickly fold in the remaining 3 cups of blueberries.
Pour the mixture into the baked pie crust. Smooth the surface and let the pie set 1-2 hours. You’ll know when its set because the berries will become a room temperature, gel-like filling.
Make the Whipped Cream:
After the pie filling has set, prepare the whipped cream topping. Fill a small saucepan with the 1/4 cup cold water and sprinkle the gelatin over the surface. Allow to sit and soften for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, dissolve the gelatin over low heat, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat when the gelatin is completely dissolved, and allow to stand at room temperature for 10 minutes. The gelatin must be liquid, but not warm, when added to the whipped cream.
Pour the cream, sugar, and vanilla in the chilled mixing bowl, and beat on medium speed until beater marks begin to show distinctly. Continue beating, while slowly pouring in the liquid gelatin. Beat until stiff peaks form (almost immediately).
Spread the whipped cream over the top of the blueberry pie, creating a smooth, thick, creamy layer the covers all of the fruit. You should end up with a layer at least 1 inch thick. It’s better that way, trust me…
Enjoy your extremely fresh, extremely summery piece of heaven. It will take your tastebuds to the rocky shores, or wood shrouded lake cabins of Maine!
And, just because it’s that time of the week, here’s a look at my tasty treasures from this week’s CSA take!