Tuesday, April 28, 2015

National Blueberry Pie Day

There isn't much to say about today's subject. One needs to feel the dough as it's hand-mixed. Hear the fruit and sugar bubbling on the stove as it reduces into a thickened filling. See the pattern of the lattice work take shape across the filling in the pie shell. Smell the aroma of berries and pastry baking in the oven. Taste the product of your culinary skill and nature's unforgettable sweet berry bounty. Downright sensational.

Below is the recipe we've enjoyed most in the last thirty years. It comes from The Southern Heritage Pies and Pastry Cookbook (1984), one of a series of nineteen books in The Southern Heritage Cookbook Library published by Southern Living.

Blueberry Pie

1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 cups fresh blueberries
2 tablespoons butter 
Pastry for 1 double-crust (9-inch) pie

Combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan, stirring well to remove lumps. Add berries; mix well. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Add butter, mixing well. Set mixture aside and let cool.

Roll half of the pastry to 1/8 inch thickness on a lightly floured surface; fit into a 9-inch pie plate. Pour cooled berry mixture into the pastry shell.

Roll remaining pastry into 1/8 inch thickness. Cut into 3/4 inch wide strips, and arrange in a lattice design over filling. Trim edges; seal and flute. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees, and continue baking for 30 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Yield: one 9-inch pie.

The Southern Heritage Cookbook Library has served us well over the years. It's filled with classic Southern recipes, foodways history and personal anecdotes, and scores of photos and illustrations from Southern archives. I don't understand why this series isn't republished for a new generation of cooks. If you find the cookbooks at a yard sale for a dollar or two, grab them. You won't be disappointed.  

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