Sunday, June 17, 2012

Fresh Blueberry Pie

I know it's been awhile. . . . . . .

The kids are out of school.  Our days are still full, but in a different way.  We're still gathering around the table nightly for dinner, but our summer meals sometimes are much more simple.  My free time for photographing food preps and then documenting them via the blog has been a bit more limited.  I think I should have been saving up blog entries.  As I read other mom bloggers, I think that's what they do.  I want to spend my time with my kiddos, not in front of the computer. 

But I assure you, I've been shopping frugally using coupons and weekly sales items keeping our grocery budget around $100 a week.  I've been keeping up with my favorite food/mom bloggers commenting when I have something to share and filing away recipes I want to try in the future.  I've been doing much more meal planning for our lunches and snacks which has helped greatly this summer.  I've made meals to share with friends, meals to celebrate the good moments in life, and had a few new recipe family favorites (and a few flops!) I've been including my girls in more of the meal preps, and they've had fun creating a lunchtime/bakery cafe in our basement.  It's been heartwarming to watch my babies share in my passion of creating easy to fix and serve food that others love to eat.

Today is Father's Day, and my dear husband has taken his girls to see a movie at the Dollar Theater as it's a rainy afternoon here in OH.  While he is gone, I put together a Strawberry Rhubarb pie, sorted through a few piles of recipes in the kitchen, and made a list of the recipes I hope to get posted in the next few days.

Here's the first one I want to share because it's one of my very favorite summertime recipes - Fresh Blueberry Pie!

I got this recipe from my neighbor, Ingrid, back when we first moved to Perrysburg, OH, in 2000.  Ingrid was one of those women that God knew I needed in my life and sent her just when I needed her most.  We had just moved to town, I was pregnant with my first baby, we had our first house, my husband had his first post-collegiate job as a chemistry professor, and I was trying to find my way into this new role of wife and stay at home mom.  Ingrid welcomed me to the neighborhood with open arms and always had a space around her kitchen table for me.  We shared many good times during our three years in Perrysburg.  We shared a love of frugal living, kids, family, God, hospitality, and most importantly - food!  Ingrid had a small collection of favorite recipes, where my recipe files have always been bursting at the seams, but her favorites were all really good, just like this fresh blueberry pie!

One of my favorite memories of this pie is from when we went blueberry picking in MI near my parents' home when my bigger girls were just 3 years old and 9 months old.  We came home with blueberries as big as nickels and sweet as can be.  I made this pie, and we enjoyed it for dessert that night.  The 9 month old kept signing "more" after each bite and cried and cried and cried when we finally took the pie out of her sight for fear of what might happen if she ate any more blueberries!  She just could not get enough pie! 

The key to this pie is that you have to use FRESH blueberries.  While we can't pick blueberries straight off the bush here in central Ohio, I love when I can find them on sale for just 99 cents at the grocery.  Last week was one of the weeks that Aldi ran their berries for 99 cents.  I picked up 4 pints and put together a fresh blueberry pie on Friday night to serve as dessert following our grilled turkey burgers that we shared with the new pastor from our church.  The other key ingredient to this pie is the addition of FRESH grated lemon zest.  That little zing makes this pie unlike any other blueberry pie that you might have tasted.  (or at least that's what everyone says after they take a bite). 

This pie comes together in less than 30 minutes, but it needs about 2 hours to firm up.  I usually use a pre-made crust for ease, but if you have a favorite crust recipe, go ahead and use that. (and share your recipe with me; I'm no good at pie crusts!) Feel free to top the whole pie with Cool Whip or just add a dollop of Cool Whip as you serve it.  I like to decorate the top with additional blueberries and lemon slices.  The pie will hold up for a couple of days in the frig before it starts to liquify, but it's definitely best the day it is made.

Here's the recipe:

Fresh Blueberry Pie

4 cups fresh blueberries, divided
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 tsp grated fresh lemon peel
3 Tbsp corn starch
Pie crust, baked and cooled
Cool Whip (light, fat free, creamy, or regular)

1. In a medium saucepan, combine 1 cup blueberries, sugar, water, lemon peel and cornstarch.
2. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture comes to a boil and thickens.
3.  Let cooked fruit mixture cool.
4.  Fold in remaining 3 cups of blueberries.
5.  Pour filling into baked and cooled pie crust.
6.  Cool in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
7.  Top with cool whip and garnish with additional blueberries and/or lemon slices.

Fresh Blueberry Pie

What's your favorite way to enjoy fresh blueberries?

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