Shall we talk about pie today? It’s May Day after all and while I won’t be dancing around a maypole with scarves in hand, I will think about the plate that once held this blueberry pie.
In this house, we have a weakness for blueberries, as you may have read about here and here oh here too which means every year, usually in the hottest parts of July or August, David, Luke, and I make our annual pilgrimage to a local fruit orchard to stock up on a 10 month supply of blueberries. Around here, we take this matter seriously.
So in the middle of last week, when I baked the last 10 cups of wild low bush berries from The Benson Place farm into a blueberry streusel pie, my efforts were met with both joy and remorse. It’s only May after all and our freezer is already berry-less. Sure we have 4 pints of blueberry butter along with 2 half-pints of jam left in the pantry, but what about the pancakes, cornbread, coffee cake, muffins, and pies?
For someone like David, who grew up in New England with a moderate collection of blueberry bushes right in his front yard, the matter of running not just low but completely out of stock two months ahead of schedule is not a casual matter. Of course, there will be plenty of worthy fruits to distract us all in the months ahead, rhubarb, strawberries, then later on peaches, gooseberries, apples, pears, and cranberries that also find their way into similar baked goods.
For someone like me, who grew up traveling across state lines from Indiana to Michigan to search out the best berries at the height of the season, I celebrate their arrival and passing. Growing up, we picked about three months worth of berries, no more, no less. Summer remains a bittersweet celebration of the temporal nature of the season, fresh blueberries, beach picnics, and a car ride or two in the back of the tiny MG to the blueberry farm. All too often, we forget to truly savor the moment.
When David and I sat down for pie the other night, I can assure you, none of the lament we now feel was in our thoughts, nope, it was simply, This is damn good pie.
Hope you feel the same.
Blueberry Streusel Pie
makes one 9-inch single crust pie
1 prepared unbaked piecrust for a 9-inch single-crust pie
5 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (if using frozen berries, partially thaw so blueberries don’t stick together in frozen clumps)
3/4 cup natural cane sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of sea salt
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
To make the streusel topping: Mix the oats, flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt together in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add the butter and pinch it into the streusel mixture until crumbly.
To make the blueberry filling: Preheat oven to 375F. Stir together sugar, flour, and salt; add the melted butter then mix in the blueberries. Turn into the prepared piecrust pan. Crumble streusel mixture evenly over filling.
Bake on the lower shelf of the oven for about 1 hour, or until the crust and topping are golden brown and the juice bubbles thickly on the outer edge against the crust. If the crust edges brown too fast, cover them with a strip of foil while the pie finishes baking.
Transfer pie to a rack and cool for an hour or two before serving at room temperature. To serve warm, place the pie in a 375F oven and warm for 10 to 15 minutes before serving, with or without a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It’s good either way.