I was reminded the other day of summers past when I dropped by my sister’s home and her grandchildren, Adah and Owen, were in the backyard picking blueberries.
In my New Hampshire summers of yore, berry picking was a regular pastime with my own children and it was heartening to see that the rules had changed little in the past three decades: two berries in your bucket, five in your mouth, wipe hands clean on t-shirts, shorts, and in hair. Rinse child with hose. Repeat.
We may have outgrown the delight of running a berry-stained hand through our own hair, but we can still know the pleasure of baking a fresh-picked blueberry pie. Isn’t this what the carefree days of summer are for, taking pleasure in the moment? The difficulty, if there is one, isn’t about procuring good raw material to work with; fresh blueberries are everywhere right now. It’s deciding their destiny: crumb top or pastry lid? All berry, mixed fruit, or something creamy?
How about this hybrid, something creamy and crumb topped? How about Blueberry Sour Cream Crumb Pie?
Never tried anything like it? Then imagine a cheesecake with berries in the filling instead of on top, and you’ll be off to a good start. Unlike cheesecake, the filling is much creamier, with none of the dryness of a New York style cheesecake. I’ve taken to spiking the cream filling with a spoonful of amaretto, the berries and almond flavor being a great partnership. But feel free to substitute an equal amount of your favorite berry liqueur.
I suppose it could be done, but I’ve not tried to make this pie with a pastry top crust instead of the crumb topping. For one thing, you wouldn’t end up with the pretty little pockets of blue peeking up through the top. Nor would you achieve the distinct textural contrast that you get between the sweet, crunchy brown sugar topping and creamy soft interior.
What to serve with our already creamy pie? Not ice cream or whipped cream; too much cream on cream. Frankly, no garnish is fine, but if you do want to dress it up, peach slices make for a lean and refreshing contrast. Perhaps a sprig of mint from the herb garden, too.
They’ll be more blueberry pie decisions to ponder this summer. But the season is still young, the days are long, and they’ll be plenty of time to consider where to go from here. Enjoy. (Scroll to the bottom of this post for the recipe.)
The Pie Academy Featured in ‘The Bluff’ Magazine
One of the most gorgeous Lowcountry home communities we’ve ever visited is Palmetto Bluff, located about halfway between Hilton Head, South Carolina and Savannah, Georgia. One day owning a home there is on our bucket list. (Visiting friends there will do for now.)
The community puts out a gorgeous color magazine each quarter – The Bluff – so when they asked if they could include a story about The Pie Academy in their spring issue, we were more than happy to oblige. Click here to read the online version. (When the magazine appears, click on the Table of Contents, top right, then click on story #14.)
Our thanks to author Dylan Sell and The Bluff magazine for a great write up. They did an excellent job of telling our story and we’re proud to be in their pages.
Our Early Pie Bird Special Pricing Ends Soon for The Lowcountry Pie Getaway
That’s right – at the end of June, our special ‘Early Pie Bird’ pricing runs out for this October’s Lowcountry Pie Getaway in Charleston. You’ll save $100 off the regular pricing if you take advantage of this special deal, so don’t delay. And in case you missed the Getaway video we posted last week, you’ll find it here.
If you’re into making pies, meeting other friendly bakers and Pie Academy members from around the country, and having the time of your life in one of America’s greatest towns – Charleston, South Carolina – this is an event of a lifetime and you won’t want to miss it. Send us an email if you have any questions. We hope you can make it.
Finally, if you know of anyone who loves pie like we do, loves blueberries and might appreciate this recipe, please share this post with them. We rely on our members to help spread the word about The Pie Academy and really appreciate it when you do.