Editor’s Note: The Best of Bud is a compilation of some of the advice and recipes gathered by the late Ralph W. “Bud” Leavitt who retired as the BDN’s executive sports editor and outdoor editor in the fall of 1988. He continued to write a weekly column for the paper until his death on Dec. 20, 1994. During his nearly half-century as the BDN’s outdoor columnist he penned more than 13,000 columns and one book, Twelve Months in Maine. He starred in his own TV program, “The Bud Leavitt Show,” that aired on the Hildreth Network for 20 years and the nationally acclaimed “Woods and Waters” outdoor program on the Public Broadcasting System. While some of the folks Bud interviewed have died, their contributions and memories remain with us.
Before Paul McCann decided to go honest by accepting an offer to become the Great Northern Paper Co.’s public relations officer at Millinocket, he was an Augusta newspaperman.
He was a sports editor, an innovative layout specialist and a man who looked forward to a few days each summer at his Washington county camp and back 40.
McCann delights in the pleasures of fall deer hunting. The air has a bite, it’s clean and clear, and the nights are bright and sparkling.
Since his camp is smack in Washington County’s blueberry belt, it figures that his particularly specialty is an old outdoor person’s favorite, Down East Blueberry Pie.
McCann’s personal recipe for a blueberry pie:
1 can blueberry pie filling
½ cup sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
4 pkg. soft cream cheese
1 cup dairy sour cream
9-inch unbaked pie shell
Preheat oven to approximately 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Spread half of blueberry pie filling in bottom of pie shell; set rest of filling aside.
Bake 15 minutes until crust is golden. Remove from oven.
Reduce oven temperature to 300F.
Place cheese, eggs, sugar and vanilla in mixing bowl. Beat until smooth.
Pour over hot blueberry pie filling; bake 30 minutes. If there is still enough daylight, go hunting and allow pie to cool.
McCann says to serve, he spoons sour cream around the edge of the pie and fills the center with the remaining blueberry pie filling.
“I doubt if my version of a Down East Blueberry Pie ever will take a medal, but I’ll say this: We’ve never had seconds around once I served,” says Paul.
I can only submit that for a former Kennebec Journal sports writer, Paul has come a long way — and his camp version of a Down East Blueberry Pie is one of the reasons.