Blueberry Pie is the dessert du jour because April 28 is national Blueberry Pie Day. The timing is perfect for Florida growers because our berries are in plentiful supply. Florida’s history of blueberries began with wild berries in the late 1800s, according to the Florida Blueberry Growers Association. The industry declined in the 1920s and it wasn’t until the 1960s that things began to change with a low-chill blueberry breeding program at the University of Florida. In 1976, the first southern highbush cultivars were released. Hundreds of small blueberry farms have opened across Florida over the past three decades. Florida produces only a fraction of the berries that industry leader Michigan does. But Florida’s berries are harvested before other locations around the country giving Florida farmers an advantage with limited competition.
Yield: 6-8 servings
1 (2-crust) package refrigerated pie crust
4 cups blueberries
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
1. Roll out one sheet pie crust to flatten. Fit into a 9-inch pie dish.
2. In a medium saucepan combine 1 cup of the blueberries, sugar, cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water. Bring to a boil; cook and stir until mixture is thickened and clear. Stir in butter; cool for 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining 3 cups blueberries and lemon peel.
3. Preheat oven to 400F. Turn cooled filling into pie shell.
4. Lay the remaining pie crust on a sheet of wax paper. Roll out to flatten. With a knife or pastry wheel cut pastry into 3/8-inch wide strips. Arrange in a criss-cross pattern on top of blueberries, pressing ends into the edges of the bottom crust and crimping to seal.
5. Place pie on a baking sheet. Bake in the bottom third of oven until crust is golden and filling bubbles gently, about 30 minutes. Cool on rack.
- Cornmeal Crumb Top: Do not use top crust. In a medium bowl combine ½ cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, ¼ cup cornmeal, ¾ teaspoon cinnamon and 3 tablespoons softened butter until blended. Crumble over filling. Bake as above.
- Decorated Lattice: Cut top crust into 3/4-inch wide strips. Set the two end strips and two short strips aside. Arrange remaining strips in a criss -cross pattern on top of blueberries. With the large end of a piping tip or a small knife cut out 15 small circles and 12 small leaves . Brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar. Place in clusters decoratively on the pastry lattice securing with a little milk. Bake as above.
SOURCE: U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council