First blueberries of the season.

we all love fresh berries! in winter, though, frozen ones are a great option

Last night I made a quick and easy adaptation of a classic blueberry pie. I was in an unusual and very fortunate situation: I had a bag of frozen blueberries, some flour, and eggs all on hand, all at the same time! I checked the cupboards for my usual supply of baking/cooking supplies… yes, I had sugar, salt, milk powder and oil, so I thought “why not”.

I placed about 2 cups of blueberries with a half cup of water in a little pot on the stove. I cooked this at low temperature until the berries had thawed. I smushed them around a bit, to extract more of the juices. You don’t need to do this, though, you actually shouldn’t try to extract the juices. You don’t need to add this much water, either. I was removing some of the juices and blueberry-dye for more artistic purposes, that I will tell you about another time.

Once the berries are soft, you can add a bit of sugar. I used brown sugar, about a third of a cup or so. You don’t need to add sugar at all, but I was feeling decadent. Into this I stirred two eggs (you could use three if you really like a jiggly pie and have enough eggs). I threw in a tiny sprinkle of salt, imagining the salt and sugar contrasting with each other to bring out the blueberry flavour even more. I didn’t really cook this any longer, I turned off the heat at this point.

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I used a quick little no-cook pie crust recipe:

1.5 Cups flour3/4 tsp salt

Sift/stir around in your pie-plate or other pan.

Add: 1/2 Cup oil (I used grape seed that I had on hand, in the past I’ve used olive oil) + 3 Tbsp milk (I used a dash of milk powder, and a dash of water)

Mix with a fork or your fingers (I use my fingers) ’til it’s blended enough to press into the pan firmly. You don’t need to pre-bake the crust, though a few minutes in your pre-heated oven before adding the filling can’t hurt. (I didn’t last night, and it’s still a fine and delicious Breakfast-Pie at the moment.)

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The next step for this pie is to pour the remaining frozen blueberries (about 2 cups) into this pie crust, then pour the gooey blueberries on top. Put into the oven (preheated to about 300 or 350 F) and bake until the middle of the pie starts to firm up. This is about 30 minutes, I do believe.

You could try this with variations, different frozen berries, cinnamon, vanilla, other flavourings to suit what you have on hand and your taste. I would like to try making the crust with a gluten-free flour. I almost added some almond slivers to the top of the pie, but thought better of it in the end. Maybe next time…

Natasha Henderson, Montreal

(Whipped cream is not necessary, but highly recommended.)

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