This is my dad. Well, it’s him in the 1970′s, anyway.
My dad likes food.
My grandpa Butch liked food too, but he was my maternal grandpa, so there was no blood relation between them. However, between the two of them, I think that’s where I inherited my love of eating, my ability to eat more food in one sitting than a truck driver twice my height & weight, and also… my ability to inhale food as if it was the last meal on earth. Honestly, I eat faster than anyone on the planet. Everyone yells at me, tells me not to rush, to enjoy it. AND I’M NOT RUSHING. I DO ENJOY EVERY DAMN BITE. I JUST EAT FAST. Get over it. I once had someone ask me if my parents were in the military, because they knew someone who grew up in a strict military house where meals were timed. No. My parents were not insane drill sergeants, and neither of them were in the military. I just friggin’ fast, okay? Sheesh.
Other things I get from my dad: my height (I’m 5’9″ or 5’10″, somewhere in there), my stubbornness, and I’m sure my mother could tell you many more.
My dad also likes blueberry pie (I did not inherit this).
For Christmas, a guy Jay works with went and picked up a bunch of pies from this place out on Long Island called Briermere Farms. They’re known for their pies, and they’re pretty incredible I have to say. Even though the only one I’ve had so far is the chocolate cream, I’ve seen how they look & visually they look… well… they look like pies you want to dive into headfirst, basically. And the fact that they’re all natural, homemade & don’t contain nasty preservatives or fake stuff? Even better. From the website:
All of our pies, bread, muffins, cookies, cakes, jam, and jelly are made right here on our farm from scratch. There are no pre-prepared ingredients or fillings bought for use. Most of the fresh fruit used in our bakery is grown right here on our farm.
But anyway, this guy drove all the way out there with a list of pies that other guys ordered, and picked them all up, just because the pies are that good. I’m talking like 30-something pies. They’re that big of a deal. So Jay ordered us a chocolate cream pie for dessert, as well as blueberry cream pie just for my dad, since he’s such a big blueberry pie fan.
And it definitely lived up to the hype. Even Jay liked it- and he hates berries more than I do. So I thought, gee, when Father’s Day comes around next spring, I should try & duplicate that pie.
And so Father’s Day is here. And who better to look to when recreating a fantastic, cream-filled pie than Paula Deen? I mean, really.
So I found Paula’s version of the blueberry cream tart, and I decided it seemed pretty damn good. Now I’m not sure if it tastes anything like the one from Briermere Farms, but my dad sure likes it. I adapted it slightly from Paula’s original recipe. And looking at this pie, I take back what I said about not being a pie person. I make a pretty awesome looking pie!
And I guess we won’t have to order this particular pie from Briermere Farms anymore.
BLUEBERRY CREAM PIE (adapted from Paula Deen’s Blueberry Tart recipe)
- 1 9-inch deep-dish pie crust
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup confectioners sugar
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 pint (8 oz. or roughly one cup) fresh blueberries (I used Driscoll’s*)
- One 21-ounce can blueberry pie filling (or equivalent amount of homemade blueberry pie filling)
- Preheat your oven to 350° F.
- Make your pie crust, and press it into your pie dish, poking holes in the bottom and sides with a fork. Bake for 10-12 minutes (or as directed on the package if using frozen) until golden, then remove and let cool completely.
- Beat the cream cheese with the confectioners sugar. Beat the heavy cream with the granulated sugar until it forms soft peaks, then fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture. Add the vanilla. Fold in the fresh blueberries gently.
- Spoon the cream mixture into the cooled pie shell and top with blueberry pie filling. Refrigerate until well chilled.
- Serve to your dad & tell him to enjoy!
*I used Driscoll’s berries because I really liked what I read about them over at Food in Jars.
I’m sure you could probably use a cookie crust, like graham cracker, and there wouldn’t be any baking at all! You can totally make your own blueberry pie filling, and on the same note you can use a frozen pie crust if you prefer.
Yes, there are people who will tell you not to, yes there are people who’ll rip you a new one for not making your own everything… but do what’s best for you. If it’s your first pie, then take baby steps. Pie crust can be rough for a beginner (it took me a long time to get a handle on it and I still suck at fancy crusts!). Of course, this is an easy pie to start with if you’re new to pie-making: there’s relatively little to do, not a lot of baking involved, and not too much prep.
And not for nothing, I think this idea would work really well with cherries, too, and probably even raspberries.
And if you’re like me and you buy more fresh blueberries than you need, you can make a simple little jam, too.
I decided to create something a bit more unique than your average blueberry jam, however. An added Father’s Day bonus for dad, if you will. My friend Chrisie made blueberry basil preserves last year & ever since then I’ve been dying to do that myself. It sounded so different, like it wouldn’t work. But yet the smell of the blueberries cooking with the basil totally made sense. It’s a genius idea, really, even more so than my raspberry-jalapeño-cilantro jam.
So what I did was I took Love and Olive Oil’s recipe for blueberry basil preserves and used Food in Jar’s recipe for small-batch blueberry ginger jam and kind of made a Frankenstein monster of blueberry recipe jamminess.
SMALL-BATCH BLUEBERRY BASIL PRESERVES
Makes about 12 ounces; either one half- pint (8 oz.) + one 4 oz jar or three 4 oz. jars
- 1 dry pint fresh blueberries, washed & dried (again, I used Driscoll’s)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 4-5 large basil leaves, washed & torn
- Smash your blueberries a bit and place them in a bowl with the sugar. In a mortar & pestle, bruise the torn basil leaves slightly and add to the blueberries & sugar. Toss together & let sit for one hour.
- Meanwhile, sterilize two 8 oz. jars or one pint jar, and put the lids in hot water to soften the seal.
- When ready, put the fruit mixture into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook for 15-25 minutes or until it passes the plate test/reaches 220° F. This might take longer or maybe even less time; it will depend on the weather, how much liquid is in the berries, the ripeness, your stove, the type of pan you use, etc.
- Pour into warm prepared jar(s). Wipe rims, place lids & bands, and process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes.
If you’re umfamiliar with term “the plate test“, you have no idea what I mean when I say “sterilize your jars“, then click those links, and if you’re totally new to the canning thing but you desperately wanna start… then go read my post Canning for Dummies.
Blueberries are like little bombs of pectin, so I’m not sure why people always want to add more pectin to blueberry jams. They don’t need it! Let them cook down on their own. Oh, and wear a dark-colored apron when you make this. Blueberries like to attack sometimes.
I can’t speak on the taste, but it sure looked pretty. And that pool of clear blueberry “liquid” is actually gelled, & wrinkles when pushed, so the preserves aren’t as loose-set as they appear. I tried to show in the photos that there are indeed basil leaves in there, but those suckers were hard to find. You’ll have to trust me.
Happy Father’s Day to all the awesome dad’s out there. Enjoy your day!
Sources & credits: Longaberger black 11″ pie plate, Sur La Table marble rolling pin, vintage silverware, Ball® 8-ounce jars can be purchased at freshpreserving.com.