Yesterday morning I woke up to WNYC and heard Evan Kleiman raving about a fresh blueberry pie recipe. 30 words, maybe 15 seconds, and then the segment was over.
But it stuck in my head. A pie with fresh, succulent blueberries! Not indigo glop! Perfect for this time of year when the farmers market is awash in plump, pincushion New Jersey bluebs.
I went to bed last night and had air conditioner noise-induced dreams about this pie. Fresh blueberry pie….fresh blueberries…in pie…plump and juicy…quit it with the pie and fucking go to sleep already…fresh blueberries….
So when I woke up, I knew I had one task for the day and one task only – find that recipe and make that pie.
I googled “Evan Kleiman fresh blueberry pie” and found it: Dorothy’s Fresh Blueberry Pie from the blog Shockingly Delicious. And I’m telling you, it IS genius. You cook a little less than half the berries with some sugar and cornstarch, then you fold in bucketfuls of fresh blueberries and put the mixture into a blind-baked crust. Refrigerate for a few hours, then serve with a little whipped cream.
ZOMG SO GOOD. Huge hit at the barbecue I went to tonight.
This magical recipe solved my general problem with pies and cobblers in the summer, which are:
1. My kitchen is not air conditioned so I don’t want to have the oven on for an hour
2. It’s really hard to beat the texture and flavor of ripe, raw summer fruit. It’s one thing to make jams to preserve that flavor for the bland winter months, but it feels somehow audacious to think one can improve on the summer’s ripest fruit.
That’s why I love love love this recipe. It’s the best of both worlds – a tiny bit of cooking (blind baking the crust and making a sort of blueberry jam as a binder) and scads of juicy local blueberries, just as nature intended them to be enjoyed. The slices actually hold together much better than traditional goopy blueberry pie. It’s such a pleasure to take bite after bite of bursting, sweet-tart, raw blueberries which are slicked and sugared and spiced just enough to sex them up the tiniest bit. It’s like the difference between a little lip gloss and mascara vs. Glamour Shots spackling.
Also, it’s dead simple! Really, you must try it. Low LOE, high ROI. Thank you Dorothy Reinhold (and Evan Kleiman) for introducing me to my new summer standard.
A few notes:
- Get the best locally grown blueberries you can find. I got my fruit from the Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket where pints were 2 for $7. I used about 6 pints for two pies. Rinse well and pick them over for stems and leaves.
- I used Smitten Kitchen’s all butter pie crust recipe (go easy on the water). Blind bake at 375 degrees with parchment and pie weights for 20 minutes, poke with a fork all over, then continue baking another 10 minutes without the parchment and pie weights.
- And if you, like me, don’t have room in your kitchen for a stainless steel counter, I have one of these nifty Roul’pats for easy rolling.