Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Blueberry Season

One of the first places I discovered when we moved here last year was the blueberry farm just a few kilometres south of us. Last week they opened for this season, and as I drove down the country road on opening day I was so happy.


I love blueberries in any form - pies, crisps, smoothies, and best of all handfuls of fresh berries that have been picked that very day.



I thought I had picked and frozen enough blueberries last year to feed an army, but I underestimated my consumption levels. Early in April I ran out, and it has been a long wait for this year's berries to ripen. One mistake I made last year was not keeping track of how many pounds of berries I picked and froze, so this year I am being more diligent. As of yesterday I've picked 76.25 pounds. Twenty pounds of those are for a friend, and another ten or so are for my mom. The question is, will the remaining 46 pounds see me through until next year? The farm will be open for another few weeks, and I'll be back many times to pick berries for eating fresh out of the fridge, but I don't dare put too many more bags of berries in the freezer. I have a meat order coming this fall that I need to save room for, and between the frozen strawberries, raspberries and now blueberries my freezer is already halfway filled.

The first thing I made was a fresh blueberry pie. The great thing about this recipe is it works for just about any fresh fruit, but blueberries are my favourite filling. You bake a pie crust, then fill the bottom of it with fresh berries.


 Then you cook a blueberry sauce until it looks like this.


You let the sauce cool for a bit, then spread it carefully over the top of the fresh berries.


Top with whipped cream and prepare to fall a little bit in love.


One of the things that makes this pie so special is you have to have fresh berries. This means it can only be made in season, so go ahead and have a second piece while you can. Better yet, make a second pie!

Fresh Blueberry Pie

Bake one pie shell and let cool completely.

Put 2 cups of fresh berries in the bottom of the pie shell. 

Cook until clear and thick, stirring frequently:

¾ cup sugar
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
¼ cup water
2 cups fresh berries

Remove from heat and stir in:

1 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. lemon juice

Cool the cooked sauce, then spoon over the top of the fresh berries. Refrigerate pie for several hours. Serve with whipped cream and a smile. 

Just in case you are wondering if I'm still knitting, the answer is yes. I have several major projects on the go and several smaller ones as well. My current sock seems to fit in with this post's blueberry theme.


When I looked back at my post about the blueberries from last year I noticed I was knitting blue socks then too. This might mean I had some subconscious longing for blueberries when I started the socks. But probably it just means blue is my favourite colour. Please let me know if you try the pie recipe. I'll be interested to hear if you like it as much as I do.

56 comments:

  1. It's blueberry season here too! My sister loves blueberries as much as you do, and she also tries to pick enough for a year. Every spring she begins anxiously calculating whether the berries she has left in her freezer will last her until picking time.

    That pie looks amazing. :)

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    1. I'm like your sister. I anxiously watch my blueberry supply dwindle throughout the winter and early spring, trying to make it last as long as I possibly can. :-)

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  2. Looks like a great recipe, that I will certainly be giving a try...it looks and sounds delicious.

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  3. Good grief that pie looks delicious! I have two small blueberry bushes that I was given for my birthday last year. I have been picking some every day for about a week now. Enough for adding to yoghurt for breakfast, or adding to other fruit to make a crumble. Olly loves picking them too.
    Leanne xx

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    1. Lucky you to have your own blueberry bushes, Leanne! That's even better than having a blueberry farm nearby.

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  4. The pie looks delicious and makes me want some blueberry bushes. Alas, I don't have any and won't be getting any. If I make this pie, I will have to buy the blueberries.

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    1. It's worth buying the blueberries to make the pie, Charlotte. I used to do that before we moved here. You won't be sorry!

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  5. Goodness that pie looks wonderful, I want some now

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    1. I think you have some grandsons who would like to share the pie with you, Sue. :-)

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  6. You picked 76 pounds?! Wow. I have never eaten blueberry pie (yes, I know, hard to believe). Yours looks so yummy that I wish I was sharing it with you. Cx

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    1. You are really missing out if you haven't ever tried blueberry pie, Christina. This is a good one to start with. Easy to make and also very delicious!

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  7. Kristie we are living in parallel universes! Blueberries are awesome , definitely one of my favs. I didn't pick mine well picked them up at the grocery store. You have picked a lot of berries, bet you have blue fingers too!I saw on the news last night we are in for a bumper crop this year, lucky us! Your socks look great, what yarn are you knitting with? Thanks for the pie recipe I am going to make it this week.

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    1. I can believe it's a bumper crop. The bushes at this farm are loaded! I'm using some Opal yarn for the socks. I love the way Opal holds up. I have some pairs I knit seven years ago with Opal that still look great.

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  8. That sounds like an awful lot of blueberries!! I want your freezer!!

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    1. It's a very big freezer, Sarah. You might not want it if you saw it in person. :-)

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  9. Wow, I can only dream of having access to such bountiful blueberries. The pie does look delicious: something I have never tried. I buy blueberries frozen in a box, quite expensive. Only use a few at a time. Blueberry sox look pretty nice too :)

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    1. Is there no place in Australia that produces blueberries? If yours are all imported they must cost a fortune. I wish there was a way to send you some fresh ones from here, Patricia. :-)

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  10. I love your blue blueberry inspired socks! I cannot imagine what it must be like to pick that many blueberries!! It must take you ages and your fingers must be exhausted. They are so darned expensive over here though that if there was such a thing as a blueberry farm here perhaps I would do the same if it made them more affordable. It sounds as though you will have all kinds of scrummy things in the freezer by the end of summer though. I hope that you enjoy them all - I am sure that you will! xx

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    1. It actually didn't take all that long to pick the berries. I went for about an hour to an hour and a half for four days in a row to get that amount. The bushes are so loaded it makes for easy picking!

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  11. Another recipe for me to try thank you. I love blueberries too, I try to gave them everyday with my breakfast.

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    1. I like having them every day with my breakfast too, Jacqueline. That's why I was so sad when I ran out early in the spring. I'm trying to make sure it doesn't happen again next year.

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  12. Kristie, how doe you freeze your blueberries? I use the IQF method (wash, allow to dry, spread out -- not touching -- on wax paper laid on cookie sheets, then freeze; once frozen, transfer to freezer bags or other containers), but they still get frosted over in the containers. Do you have any advice? (Please forgive typos. I can't edit, except by back spacing to delete all text after the problem spot!)

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    1. I used to do the IGF method, Kristen, but I have abandoned it since moving here. The blueberry farm doesn't spray their berries with anything, so they are clean. I pick them, come home and put four cups in a medium freezer bag, then throw them straight into the freezer. They hardly stick together at all, and if they do stick a bit when I got o use them I just bang them gently on the counter and they come apart. It saves so much time doing it this way!

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  13. I love blueberries, and eat handfuls of them out of the fridge. I can see why you are wondering if you have enough to tide you over. That pie looks delish!
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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    1. I eat handfuls out of the fridge too, Meredith. It's good they don't make skin turn blue the way eating too many carrots makes the skin turn orange. Ha!

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  14. Mmmmm. Your pie looks delicious! I could eat the whole thing!

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    1. I'm embarrassed to say my husband and I did eat the whole thing!

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  15. I just saw your post and understand now what you meant. :-) I thought my 6 and half pounds was a lot! Now I feel I should go back and pick more since it's so easy to freeze them your way. Your pie looks great. I'll have to try your recipe, but since I gave my guests my improvised Blueberry Crumble last night and blueberry pancakes this morning, I decided to make lemon cookies to serve with vanilla ice cream and berries of their choice--blueberry or strawberry, with a dollop of chocolate sauce and a dap of whipped cream. The pie will have to wait until we have guests again. It looks too dangerous to have around just for 2.

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    1. How far away was your blueberry farm? If it's close I think you should go back. It would be worth it to have more berries in your freezer this winter! I was rather shocked at how much you paid for your berries though. At the farm I go to if you pick more than 20 pounds they are $1.50 a pound.

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    2. It's about a 25-minute drive. The berries were $3.50 a pound no matter how much you picked. It was much cheaper than buying them at the organic market. I think they're $3.99 a pint when in season.

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  16. I'm going to try to find blueberries here....that recipe will make it worth the effort!

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    1. I hope you can find some blueberries, Helen, but if you can't you can try the same basic pie recipe with a different fruit.

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  17. Like Patricia, i wish I had access to blueberries on your scale, Kristie. I love them, but they are very expensive bought in small punnets in the shops here. Still, I will try your recipe when we get home, because it looks truly delicious.

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    1. I think you would find your money well spent if you buy the berries for this pie, Perpetua. If you don't have access to fresh blueberries you can try it with strawberries. It's almost as good with them as the blueberries.

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  18. I read this post yesterday but had to close out before commenting. Well, I didn't have to, but since I too love blueberry pie (it is the best filling) and know I won't be having any (we have racked up an impressive number of failed pies over the years). I needed to compose myself before composing a comment. :)

    Your pie looks amazing! I think the best blueberry pie I've had in the last 10 years came from Tastycake (or something like that). Isn't that sad??? We really need to practice. If it's not too late to get the fresh berries here, I'm going to try the recipe. The sock is really nice too, but being in a post with a pie... lol!

    PS - I have gotten a very small amount of fresh blueberries this year, so I consider myself lucky. Not pie lucky, but it's been better than nothing.

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    1. Here's my handy dandy baking tip for your pie challenged family. You can buy a ready made crust at the grocery store, come home and bake it, then proceed from there. I can almost guarantee you will be successful. Let me know if it works, Rick!

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  19. I think if 76 pounds is not enough for a year's supply, I would buy another freezer just for the berries.
    (What about raspberries?)
    I love the idea of having a year's worth on hand.
    LisaRR

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    1. I wish I had room for another freezer, Lisa, but the one I do have takes up all the space in our storage room. I have quite a few raspberries and strawberries frozen too, so between the three kinds of berries I should make it through to next summer. :-)

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  20. Looks totally wonderful! I'm ashamed to say that I missed strawberries this year. :-( I let myself get too busy and I know I'm going to regret it come November and I find myself wanting a smoothie. Raspberries are still going strong in my neck of the woods and I expect blueberries are just coming around. So I will take your post today as a reminder to get picking!

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    1. I missed out on strawberries last year due to our move and had just raspberries and blueberries for smoothies. They were actually quite good without the strawberries, so take heart. All is not lost if you have a good supply of them in your freezer! :-)

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  21. Wow your blueberry pie looks so good, it's not surprising that you need to keep going back for more blueberries with a recipe like that! With Cathy's recipe too I am going to have a blueberry weekend next week! Sarah x

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    1. Enjoy your blueberry week, Sarah! We need to make the most of the berry season while it lasts!

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  22. As chance would have it, I have a load of fresh blueberries from a friend in the fridge, exactly ONE single pie crust in the freezer (no, I don't make my own pie crust - it's a tragic back story involving a family pie crust curse), and a need for a great recipe. This. Is. Awesome. :D

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    1. I hope you enjoy the pie, Lisa! It's one of my favourites!

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  23. Kristie, What is the name of the farm? I can't get the link to work and I would love to visit it.

    Thanks! Alison

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    1. The blueberry farm is called Country's Edge. They don't have a website, but their phone number is 604-847-0481 and the address is 200 Columbia Valley Road. They are open at 9:00 AM every day except for when it's raining. You are going to love these blueberries!

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  24. We went bilberrying today - bilberries are tiny wild blueberries that grow wild on the moors here. On our return to the house I tipped the berries on to a plate to sort through and remove any bits of vegetation etc., turned my back for a moment, and one of the whippets jumped up and snaffled a quarter of them. I've barely enough for a pie now, guess I'd better find me a blueberry farm!

    You've picked a phenomenal quantity! I dread to think how much time of your time the picking and processing has consumed!!

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    1. I've never tried a bilberry, Annie. I don't think I've even seen one! Fergus would have done the same thing had he been tall enough to reach the top of the counter. Dogs seem to love blueberries, and over here they are often included in dog kibble. It really didn't take very long to pick the berries. The bushes are so loaded that you can pretty much stand in one spot and pick 20 pounds in about 45 minutes.

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  25. Hi, Kristie. Thanks for the blueberry pie recipe. My sister and I made it yesterday and it was wonderful...best blueberry pie ever. I think it is my favorite all-time pie. I live in central California but I noticed that the berries we used came from British Columbia, Canada...excellent berries, very sweet. Thanks very much.

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    1. I'm so glad you liked the pie! The berries you bought would have been grown very near where we live. :-)

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  26. That pie looks absolutely divine. Can you believe I've never picked blueberries? Ever. How did that happen? I need to put this on my list and make it happen! ~Kim

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    1. You definitely need it put it on your list, Kim. They are much easier to pick than strawberries or raspberries. Do you have any blueberry farms nearby?

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  27. Hi Kristie. I am so happy you commented on my blog today because I could not remember where to look you up. But now I have you! Anyway, regarding blueberries: Southern LIving magazine did a multi-page spread on unusual savory ways to use blueberries in the July issue. Can you get that magazine up in the Great Frozen North?

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    1. I'm glad you were able to find my blog again! They might carry Southern Living at the grocery store. I'll have a look when I'm there later this week. I would love to see what recipes they have come up with. Thanks for the tip!

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  28. I am so jealous. I would love to find a blueberry farm (I must google whether the North of England has any at all!). I love blueberries but they tend to be expensive in the shops. When we had an allotment I grew my own (and someone stole all the blueberries 2 years in a row). When I finally have a garden of my own I will be planting many bushes.

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