Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Fresh Blueberry Pie

Today is my son Buster's birthday and a large version of these fresh blueberry tarts is what he requests every year since my mother made it for him one summer. He surprised all of us by eating it almost single handedly. Of course this was at the upstate New York farm in deep July when the berries were huge and sweet and from a local farm.
My mother was French and would have loved the local-slow food wave. I can still see her in the front seat of our old Buick holding a piece of Wonder Bread I ,at five years old, had begged her to buy. She squished it into a tiny gummy ball and said" Do you see ? Do you really want THIS in your body?" She was way ahead. I wanted frozen dinners, she would be making me drink the water she had cooked dandelion greens in. " For your blood, Naneu". Actually I find myself craving that flavor today-minerally, with salt and lemon she had added- I always imagined I could feel the slightly heavy liquid going into my blood stream as it went down.
Anyway, the tart. It comes from The Fannie Farmer Cookbook and I can barely read it anymore-my mother was not a neat cook- you could always tell one of her favorite recipes from how much the recipe was smeared with bits of ingredients.

Open Blueberry Pie

Pastry dough for 9 in pie
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter
4 cups fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 425F. Line a nine inch pie pan with the pastry dough.
, prick the dough all over and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, till lightly browned. Mix the sugar,cornstarch,salt and 1 cup water in a saucepan. Cook over low heat,stirring constanly, until thickened(this will take longer than you think but don't stop till its pulling away from the pan or you'll never get elegant slices out of it.) Add the butter, stir till melted, and let cool. Fold in the blueberries and pile into the baked shell.

Mama would add a ring of whipped cream around the edges. Simple and so good. I 'm even willing to buy some blueberries out of season. I've got to have a piece right now!!


  1. Nana, looks great! Love Blue Berries.

    An old friend (Mike Topf).

  2. Mike sent me to look at the blueberries and my mouth is watering even though I just /had/ fresh blueberries. :)

    I actually vividly remember my Granny (Daddy's mother) telling us one time at dinner about balling up her white bread when she was younger and putting it in her glass of water. She explained how it reacted to the water and then said almost /exactly/ the same thing... "Can you imagine what it does in your stomach if it does that in your glass?"

  3. Give this recipe a try Nana. It's an old family favorite.

    Blueberry Buckle



    1/2 c. sugar
    1/3 c. flour
    1/2 tsp. cinnamon
    1/4 c. butter


    2 c. blueberries, rinsed and drained
    1/4 c. butter
    3/4 c. sugar
    1 egg
    1/2 c. light cream or milk
    2 c. flour
    2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
    1/2 tsp. salt

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Measure topping ingredients into a small bowl. Combine with a pastry blender until like fine crumbs; set aside. Wash and dry blueberries; set aside.

    In mixing bowl, combine butter and sugar; beat a short time at high speed. Add eggs, beat several minutes longer until light and creamy. Combine flour, baking powder and salt. While mixing at low speed, add dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with cream. Beat only until smooth.

    Fold berries into thick batter. Spread into greased and floured 9-inch pan. Sprinkle on crumb topping. Bake about 45 minutes at 375 degrees. Serve warm. Can be frozen and topping will remain crunchy. Thaw complete before serving.

  4. Stephanie-I love buckles-I'm definetly going to try this-thanks!

  5. It's true you know which recipies in mom or gran's books were faves by the ones that fall open to or are stained.

    Last year was my Father's 80th, and he wanted a special cake rather than a traditional birthday cake.

    We had a couple false starts, since he initially mis-named the cake (he said it was a Bea Sting cake) and we found several recipes for that, and tried a couple versions as well as a store bought version, none of which cut muster.

    Finally, he remembered that it was actually a cake called Butterkuchen, or German Butter Cake. A sweet-yeast dough with butter dimpled into the surface.

    Back on the hunt through Mom's collection, and finally one of the German cuisine's fell open to a page, with flour, oil and other stains, a few pencilled scribbles..... That was it. We made it, and it turned out just as he remembered it. success!

    Further thumbing the books we further discovered old faves, many I remember as a child. And the tiny three-ring of loose recipes was the worst. Many pages in there will need to be transcribed due to the staining and fading.

    One regret is not having gotten a few of the old favs out of Mom's "hidden" recipe stash, her head. There are a few that she never comitted to paper. Miss you Mom!


  6. Nana it's great to see you blogging!

    I love Rosemary, I'm going to try this for sure, the addition of that herb to a sweet cake is just so intriguing.

    When you mention a "damp" cake I think of a cake I haven't had for years. My childhood friend Phyllis was Greek and her Mum used to bake a cake she called "Breakfast Delight" with semolina and a sugar syrup. We used eat it warm with Sunday lunch. I think I still have the original handwritten recipe her Mum gave me.

  7. I remember your beautiful mother very well! Kiana and I will certainly try this recipe! Love your blog. Love your website. Love you more.

  8. O.M.Gosh! That looks *so* wonderful. Must try soon. I'm so glad to find your blog, and am so happy to see you doing something so wonderful and creative and spiritually satisfying. Food is such an important Delight in Life.

    I'll be watching your blog. So far, many of your recipes work for me -- I'm currently on a sulfur-free/light diet, and it changes how one uses food in a big way -- have to be very creative. Dairy and eggs are out, alas, which is so very sad, but necessary. Can't wait to let the tastebuds dance with your recipes.

    Congratulations on your endeavor! I wish you great success and hours upon hours upon hours of joy in the process. :)

    Very best,