Blueberry Pie inspired by ‘Joy of Cooking,’ crisp recipe

Posted Aug. 03, 2010, at 5:18 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 29, 2011, at 12:52 p.m.

Nearly all of us surely have at least one blueberry pie recipe that we like to use so perhaps another is as welcome as one more car on Route 1 through Ellsworth.

This recipe is a variation on one I found in the “Joy of Cooking” that we like a great deal at our house. I added a few ideas from my favorite blueberry crisp recipe, and of course, for a difference you could put a crisp topping on your pie instead of a pastry crust.

Obviously, the pie is best made with fresh blueberries and the recipe is meant for the little wild ones. When I use frozen berries or have larger domestic ones, then I think a little more thickening is in order and my favorite is a tablespoon or 2 of instant tapioca sprinkled in. If you lack tapioca, you can use more flour, but I think overall the tapioca gives the pie a better texture. I don’t like cornstarch as thickening because of the glueyness, though it might not bother you at all.

The lemon juice and nutmeg are must-haves. If you like your lemon a bit more noticeable, you can grate in a little lemon rind. I also prefer a lattice top crust for blueberry and other berry pies.

Looking for … sardine recipes. Really. Last Saturday, the Maine State Museum celebrated sardines with an exhibit of things they collected from the Stinson plant in Prospect Harbor when it closed in April. There was sea music and poetry about sardines. I was lucky enough to speak about historic sardine cookery. The audience made great comments and asked questions, and now I am curious about what else to do with sardines besides eat them straight from the can on crackers or bread. Do you have a recipe or two for some way to prepare sardines? Please share.

Send queries or answers to Sandy Oliver, 1061 Main Road, Islesboro 04848. E-mail: tastebuds@prexar.com. For recipes, tell us where they came from. List ingredients, specify number of servings and do not abbreviate measurements. Include name, address and daytime phone number.

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Blueberry Pie
Yields one 9-inch pie.
Pastry sufficient for two crusts
1 quart blueberries
1½ tablespoons lemon juice (half a lemon)
Grated nutmeg to taste
¼ cup light brown sugar
¼ cup white sugar
¼ cup flour
2 tablespoons tapioca, if berries are juicy

Preheat oven to 425 F. Put berries in a large bowl with the lemon juice and toss. Add the other ingredients and toss until berries are well coated with flour and sugar mixture. Line pie plate with dough for bottom crust. Put berries into the pie plate, and top with a solid or lattice top crust. Bake at 425 F for 35 to 45 minutes until it is bubbly and the crust is golden.

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