Saturday, June 26, 2010
Blueberries explained - and baked!
I received quite a few comments about the prices of the blueberries I get. So, before you pack up and relocate to Southern Georgia, let me clarify that this is NOT THE NORM. Surprisingly, the prices in our grocery stores are just as high as they are in Orange County, California, but since this is a small town and people have known each other since childhood, many old traditions remain, one of which being this local man picking and selling his own blueberries to locals (only) at this low and unusual price of $2 per quart.
My neighbor and friend Betty has family who live outside the city in the country and they have three blueberry bushes/trees that are producing abundantly this year. I have been invited to go there anytime to pick to my hearts content, so that's even cheaper than $2 a quart, but you run the risk of back aches, sun exposure and fire ant bites. I went there a couple of days ago for about an hour and collected four bites from those ants that are still festering and probably will get worse before they get better... life's a trade-off!
But, I will most definitely be able to bake a nice blueberry pie from the berries I picked (recipe below!)
5-6 cups blueberries, washed and picked over
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice. I think it helps preserve the nice blue color.
1 Tablespoon butter for dotting the top of the berry filling before covering it up with the second crust.
If using frozen pie crust, be sure it's not frozen solid, but not yet completely thawed out, just so it's pliable and won't break when handling (refer to package directions!)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Place blueberries in a large bowl. (If applicable, pour the lemon juice over them and stir.) Mix flour and sugar in a small bowl. Pour on fruit and mix to blend. Don't over stir!
Pour into pie crust and spread evenly. (dot with butter, if applicable)
Place top crust on fruit and pinch the edges to make a tight and pretty border. Cut some slits in the top to allow steam out - or make a lattice design with overlaping strips or cut shapes, into top crust, like rounds, stars or half moons...whichever you like.
Place pie onto a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil to catch spillage during backing.
Bake at 425 for 10 minutes. Lower temperature to 325 and bake for an additional 30-40 minutes. Fruit and juices should be bubbling around the edges.
TIP: If the edges turn brown too quickly, then cover them with a strip of aluminum foil so they won't burn before the pie is done baking.
Be sure and allow to cool for at least an hour before cutting. Make it extra special by serving with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.... Mmmmmmm....