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Gretchen's table: This blueberry cream pie may be the tastiest ever

Gretchen McKay, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on

Published in Variety Menu

Blueberry season is upon us, which means berry-studded muffins, pancakes, salads and smoothies. The plump and juicy berry — thought to have one of the highest antioxidant levels of all everyday fruits — also makes a great base for a summer pie that's both sweet and jammy, with just a touch of tang for balance.

This super-easy recipe from Cook's Country magazine pairs the sweet-sour pop of fresh blueberries with a cooked berry puree in a simple (but oh-so-good) graham cracker crust. It's topped with a cheesecake-like, no-bake whipped topping that whisks together in a stand mixer in around 5 minutes. No bothering with dough means the whole process is no big deal, making this a perfect pie for novice bakers and cooks for their July 4 or any other summer cookout.

The original recipe in the June/July magazine featured piped rosettes of topping on the pie, but I'm pretty clumsy with a pastry bag. So I chose the easier option of spreading the topping across the top of the pie with an offset spatula, and then swirling in the puree in a marble pattern with a butter knife. I also added a strawberry flower in the center.

Be sure to chill the pie after it's prepared for the recommended 4 hours or it will fall apart when you slice it. (I refrigerated mine overnight.) The magazine posits the dessert "just might be the best blueberry pie you'll ever eat," and they're not kidding: Everyone who tasted it begged for more.

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BLUEBERRY CREAM PIE

PG tested

For crust

12 whole-grain graham crackers, broken into pieces

2 tablespoons sugar

Pinch table salt

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For filling

1/2 cup sugar

4 teaspoons cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon table salt

1 1/2 pounds (about 4 3/4 cups) blueberries, divided

1 tablespoon lemon juice

 

For topping

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup heavy cream, chilled

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees.

Make crust: Process cracker pieces in food processor until finely ground, about 30 seconds. Add sugar and salt and pulse to combine, about 3 pulses. Add melted butter and pulse until combined, about 8 pulses.

Transfer crumbs to 9-inch pie plate. Using bottom of dry measuring cup, press crumbs into bottom and up sides of plate. Bake until crust is fragrant and beginning to brown, 16 to 18 minutes. Transfer plate to wire rack.

Meanwhile, make filling. Whisk sugar, cornstarch and salt in medium saucepan until no lumps of cornstarch remain. Process 2 cups blueberries in clean, dry work bowl until smooth, about 2 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Strain puree through fine-mesh strainer into sugar mixture in saucepan, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard solids. Whisk puree into sugar mixture until combined.

Bring puree mixture to simmer over medium heat, whisking frequently. Continue to cook, whisking constantly, until whisk leaves trail that slowly fills in, about 1 minute longer (mine took about 4 minutes total). Off heat, whisk in lemon juice. Reserve 2 tablespoons of puree for topping.

Stir remaining blueberries into remaining puree in saucepan. Spread filling evenly over bottom of pie crust. (It needs be completely cooled.)

Make topping: Using stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whip cream cheese, sugar and vanilla on medium-high speed until very smooth, about 2 minutes, scraping bowl as needed. With mixer running, slowly pour in cream and whip until stiff peaks form, 1 to 3 minutes, scraping down bowl as needed.

Spread cream cheese topping over filling. Drizzle reserved puree over topping. (If it has thickened, microwave until loosened, about 15 seconds.) Using a butter knife, swirl puree through topping, making marbled pattern.

Refrigerate pie for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours, then serve.

Serves 8-10.

— cookscountry.com

(c)2022 the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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