Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Blueberry Custard Pie

Imagine a tiny, little town in the middle of Illinois where the fourth of July is a really big deal and where on that day the park is filled with food stands and carnival rides and a dunk tank and the night-time fireworks show draws a crowd larger than the town’s population, and I grew up there. The fourth of July holiday was the highlight of the summer. Those food stands sold everything from fried fish sandwiches to pulled pork to soup, and pie was always served for dessert. All, or most, of the ladies in town baked pies for the various stands, and the proceeds benefitted local churches and charities. Not much has changed over the years about the celebration, but I don’t make the trip to attend very often anymore. Instead, I check in with my Mom to find out what kind of pies she’s baking and how big of a crowd is expected. She went with peach pies this year. When the day arrives, I always wish I had traveled north to join the fun. The one thing that makes it seem almost like I’m there is baking a pie, and this year’s pie is one I spotted in the March issue of Living magazine. It was presented as a raspberry custard pie, but I found local, organic blueberries and used those instead.

First, the crust was blind baked and allowed to cool. I followed the pate brisee recipe that’s included in the article, and that happens to be the pie crust recipe I use most of the time. Then, flour, sugar, an egg, and cream were whisked together. The blueberries were tossed with sugar and a small bit of salt. The berries were placed in the baked and cooled crust, and the custard was poured over top. The pie went back into the oven for 45 minutes. Once removed from the oven, it was allowed to cool on a rack, and then it was refrigerated overnight. It was simple as far as pies go. I always feel like a pie is easier than it could be when there’s no top crust.

The custard was cold, smooth, and not too rich. The berries were sweetened just enough by the sugar and custard but retained their fresh flavor. Thinking back to all those different kinds of pies at the park, I remember how they were cut into equal-sized pieces and placed on small paper plates with a plastic fork sitting right on the plate. There would be a whole long table full of pieces of various kinds of pie. There were double-crust, lattice-topped, open-faced, chocolate-cream, fruit combinations, rhubarb-studded, you name it, but I don’t recall seeing many custard pies. I told my Mom about the blueberry custard pie I baked, and she commented that it sounded great except for the blueberries. I somehow went my whole life until last weekend before learning that Mom doesn’t like blueberries. That could explain why her pies are always apple, peach, or cherry, but I think I might be able to change her mind about blueberries with this pie.


41 comments:

  1. I will happily pretend that I intensely dislike blueberries if you will try to change my mind by sending me a slice of this (paper plate and fork would complete it!) No doubt this Blueberry Custard Pie is as delicious as it looks.

    The best thing about pies is that there is one for every taste; my goal is to taste every one! I hope that town ladies will always be baking pies for summer fairs and picnics.

    ReplyDelete
  2. What an absolutely yummy looking dessert- using the blueberries was inspired.

    Saw on Twitter, that you got a package from "Paris" yesterday amazed you were able to tear yourself away and do any baking.

    ReplyDelete
  3. YUM YUM YUM, may I have a slice pls?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow, I am really drooling. I haven't eaten sugar for two weeks and I want to grab it from the screen.

    ReplyDelete
  5. That's a nice story behind this pie. Looks very good indeed. The crust looks perfect.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Perfect crust! Like those white baking balls to do the blind baking.....

    Angie's Recipes

    ReplyDelete
  7. That dessert looks so good. Pictures could be in a mag. And the crust looks so perfect.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Your pie looks incredible! We're in the middle of blueberry season here in Texas, so this would be the perfect time to make that little beauty. If I could make crust that perfect, I think I'd make a pie every day and have to buy bigger pants every day!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Whoa! Look at all the blueberry goodness!!!!!Now I definitely wish i was your neighbor. Heck I'd fly over to where you live just for a slice of this.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Why is it that I make great tarts, but my pies come out lousy?
    It must be the fruit thing.
    Gorgeous photos and beautiful blueberry custard pie!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I am all in for this one. It kind of reminds me of those fruit custard tarts, but I guess the custard in those are not usually baked. I am starring this one to try soon. It looks fab!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'm not a big pie person, but I make exceptions for blueberry and apple. I'm with you - I almost never make pies with a top crust. So much easier and you can actually taste the fruit instead of just crust.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I think you could change anyone's mind about anything with this pie. It looks like a slice of heaven.

    ReplyDelete
  14. That pie looks like blueberry heaven!!

    ReplyDelete
  15. this is well crafted, fantastic pastry and I just love those berries! just makes me want to indulge it!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I love blueberry pie. Yours look so good and I am drooling on my keyboard.

    ReplyDelete
  17. This is absolutely a decadent dream of a dessert! i would love a large slice of this right now!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Oh wowow I love it! It must be delicious with fresh blueberries!

    ReplyDelete
  19. You could change anyone's mind with this pie! This looks wonderful! What a delectable treat. Your town is so patriotic - 4th of July and lots of American pie - I love it!

    ReplyDelete
  20. YUM!!! I happen to just bought TWO mega containers of blueberries from costco! this recipe came at the perfect time!

    ReplyDelete
  21. oh lisa. yet again, my drool runs free after seeing one of your posts. blueberries are at the top of my list these days, and pie is always a welcome treat. this is a unique yet irresistible creation!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Oh wow, that is one delicious looking pie! I just bought a bunch of berries and now I know what to do with some of them :D

    ReplyDelete
  23. custard pie sounds delicious, mouth watering clicks!

    ReplyDelete
  24. I grew up in a small town and really enjoyed reading about your memories. Am putting this pie on my "to make this summer" list as soon as the raspberries get ripe here.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Yummy!
    Delicious tart with custard filling is always a favorite in my home. Though I never made it with blueberry, it sounds delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  26. This looks very festive! I always find that it's a delicate balance when I make custard -- hard to get something creamy but not so dense it lands like a slab of concrete. This looks just about perfect. And that's a very patriotic shade of blue! :)

    ReplyDelete
  27. Delightful! I really wish this season could last for ever, inspite of the 100 + degrees.

    ReplyDelete
  28. What a great town to come from! I would love to have roots in a place like that. I love little old ladies pies.

    This looks like it fit the bill.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Wow-that's a lot of blueberries for every bite!!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hi Lisa, it seems like if I need to find a berry recipe, I have to come to your blog : )

    ReplyDelete
  31. What a beautiful looking pie! I always like adding a scoop of ice cream or custard to a pie so this is just perfect! :)

    ReplyDelete
  32. omg lisa, this looks incredible. I'm drooling at the sight of the abundant blueberries and the custardy body of the pie. Yummy!

    ReplyDelete
  33. Yummy, yummy! Blueberry and custard are my favourites....so tempting..

    ReplyDelete
  34. I'm drooling! That pie looks lip-smackingly gorgeous! What a fabulous treat!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

    ReplyDelete
  35. Custard pies are my favourite! And I love blueberries mmm. This pie looks delicious. And I love how you made the edge of the crust look. I must try that.

    ReplyDelete
  36. I so adore custard pies & yours looks amazingly woked!!

    Fabulous, Lisa! A winner!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Blueberries and custard.. oh my!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Oh my gosh, I've never had a custard pie and this looks amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Ooh the pie is soo mouth-watering!! Looks great :D And are those white things pie weights?

    ReplyDelete
  40. I truly enjoy the vivid descriptions of your hometown and this lovely pie. Gorgeous photos!

    ReplyDelete

Blogging tips