Saturday, July 3, 2010

Pies in July!

"I'm gonna make a pie today!" That's what I said when I woke up Thursday morning. I said this out loud. The only one around to hear was my kitty Gracie, and she seemed unimpressed. I didn't let it deter me though. 
Why pie? My decision had more to do with the cool breeze running through the apartment than anything else, but the fruit stands over-flowing with summer's bounty might have planted the seed as well. An unseasonally cool day in July when berries abound is a gift that must not be squandered. And so pie was made. 
Pies must be in the collective unconscious this week. Deb at Smitten Kitchen's been making lots of pies lately, and Joy the Baker just whipped up a berry pie the other day. And we all know I'm on team pie.
Pies are truly wonderful. Anyone can throw together a cupcake, but if someone bakes you a pie, that's real love. 
With all this in mind, I've decided July will be pie month. If the heat wave comes back I can't promise anyone I'll actually be making pies, but I will (finally!) be giving that pie crust tutorial I've been talking about, and discussing tools, and giving some recipes. I hope you're all as excited about pies as I am!
Pies are pretty great for impressing boys, even if they don't have a sweet tooth. Trust me on this one. It also works really well on friends, bosses, and parents. Come to think of it, a homemade pie impresses just about any one. This is why you must do it. 
This pie in particular is what made my boyfriend fall in love with me. I can't guarantee you'll have the same success. On a related note, be careful who you share it with. 
I meant to tell you about this pie yesterday so that you'd have time to make it for your weekend barbecues. But I got distracted by all those muffins I have to bake. If you don't have enough time to make it before your Independence Day party, don't let it stop you from making it later this week. This pie is just as good for parties as it is for Wednesday morning breakfast. But please, make it while the berries are still plentiful, plump and DELICIOUS. 
I promise promise, PINKY SWEAR that I've got a pie crust tutorial in the works. Until then, for this recipe, I'm going to assume that you've got either A) got a crust recipe that you swear by or B) buy your crusts pre-made. Either way, I'm not judging you. Whatever you do, you'll need to completely pre-bake your crust before you make the filling. 

The Best Blueberry Pie You'll Ever Try
(I've been making this so long and adapted it so much, I don't know where it came from originally)

4 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed and dried
1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp of cornstarch + 2 tbsp of water
1 tsp lemon juice
pinch of salt
1 9inch pie crust, pre-baked

Pre-bake your pie crust, and allow to cool before you start making the filling. 
Rinse blueberries and lay them out to dry. Place one cup of berries in a medium sauce pan with 1/2 cup of water. Cover, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat and let simmer for about 3 minutes, or until berries burst. 
Meanwhile, whisk together cornstarch and water, set aside. Once berries have burst, add cornstarch mixture, lemon juice, sugar and salt, and stir. Continue to cook for several minutes until syrup becomes thick and translucent. Remove from heat, add remaining berries, and stir gently to coat with syrup. 
Pour mixture into pre-baked pie crust. Allow to firm up for at least 2 hours at room temperature before moving to fridge. I've never seen this pie last longer than 2 days, and cannot account for freshness after that point. 

*Note*- The reason this pie knocks people out and makes boys fall in love with you is because you don't smother the berries in sugar and bake them to death. Instead, it's mostly whole, plump berries slightly sweetened and held together with homemade jam. Because of this, the pie will only be as good as your blueberries, and frozen berries are not recommended unless you froze them yourself. 


  1. This pie is amazing! My crust turned out a bit burnt, but the filling is AWESOME!!! I literally ate half the pie in one sitting when I got home from work last night. I'm dreaming about the other half right now! Thanks for the great recipie!! :)

  2. I totally understand. You start justifying eating nothing but pie... Glad it worked out well for you!