PIE-A-DAY #42

This post comes from Dorothy Reinhold of the blog Shockinglydelicious.com.

Dorothy's Fresh Blueberry Pie

Every July, when blueberries are at their most abundant (and least expensive!), I make this amazing Fresh Blueberry Pie. A few berries are cooked with some sugar and flavoring to make a sort of delicious glue, which binds the rest of the blueberries that are left fresh and uncooked. It all goes into a blind-baked crust (use your favorite recipe or cheat and buy one) for a relatively quick and easy pie that takes advantage of all that just-picked blueberry goodness. I got the recipe from my sister-in-law who grew up in blueberry country (I blogged about it here) and have tweaked it over the years to create my best version.

Dorothy’s Fresh Blueberry Pie

This is best made with fresh, not frozen, blueberries.
3/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2/3 cup water
5 cups fresh blueberries, divided use
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons butter (not margarine)
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (yellow only, not white part)
10-inch pie crust, blind baked and cooled

In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, salt and cinnamon. Blend in water and 1 1/2 cups blueberries. Bring to a boil, stirring and smashing half the berries deliberately (use a potato masher a few swipes if you like). Boil, stirring constantly, until mixture is very thick, a minute or so. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract, butter, lemon juice and lemon zest. Cool. (See note below on how to cool it quickly.)

Fold in 2 1/2 cups blueberries, stirring to coat them well. Scoop into cooled baked pie shell. Arrange remaining 1 cup of fresh berries over top. Cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 2 hours, or overnight if needed.

Serve plain, or with whipped cream, vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt. To serve, remove pie from refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature. Sift powdered sugar over top for a pretty and professional look.

Note on cooling the filling:
A quick way to cool the filling before adding the rest of the blueberries is to fill a large salad-type bowl with ice and water. Partially submerge the pan with the cooked blueberries in this cold bath, stirring every once in awhile, and in 5 or so minutes it will be sufficiently cooled to continue with your recipe. You can also just set the pan on an unused burner while it cools off, but the cold water bath is much faster and lets you get your pie in the refrigerator more quickly if time is important.

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