This was the summer of blueberry pie around here.
We’re big on peaches and blackberries, plums and strawberries too. The kids can both spot their favorite fruits at the farmers’ markets, or in our backyard on the vine, and point, excited, to say, “Let’s make a pie out of these!” But for whatever reason, this summer, we all wanted blueberry pie. Maybe it’s because Desmond is running fast, giggling as he goes, looking back at us laughing and hoping we will chase him. We can barely keep up with this kid. We don’t have time to chop fruit into even small pieces to make a great pie. Dump in blueberries whole, combine them with flour and sugar, a pinch of salt — get into that oven now.
For some reason, this was also the summer I grew enamored of blueberry pie with fresh herbs. There’s something wonderful about blueberries and tarragon. And blueberries with fresh thyme. A little bit of fresh herbs — maybe a tablespoon of fresh chopped herbs — with a warm spice like ginger or cinnamon? It makes for a surprising pie. The kind of pie people eat happily, then look at it for awhile. What is it about this pie that makes it taste so darned good? That would be the tarragon. I love a little surprise in a familiar pie.
Let’s be honest, however. The kids always thought the tarragon made the pie weird. So if you’re making blueberry pie for a party, make one plain for the kids (and picky adults) and one with tarragon, muscovado sugar, and ground ginger for the adventurous eaters.
Your friends will thank you.
About the only time Desmond stays still these days is when he is helping me to bake, or helping Dan to cook. Desmond pulls up a chair and asks for his plastic chef knife. Or he puts his hands in the pie dough. Years ago now, I had Lucy stand at my side while I made pie dough, telling her to feel it with her fingers so she could know the right texture. Last week, Desmond spontaneously reached out his hands and pressed down, gently. “Ah, this feels so good, Mama. I like pie dough.”
I sure do like teaching him a few tricks.
And I’d love to share some gluten-free baking tricks with you too. We’ve crated a schedule of gluten-free baking classes for the fall, from now until December. Check out this page to see the baking class, the bread-baking class, and the dates. Sign up for one today. These have been going fast. We’ll eat well together and make a variety of baked goods. Of course, we’ll make pie.
Life is better with pie. Especially blueberry pie with fresh tarragon and ginger.
gluten-free blueberry pie
It’s no longer blueberry season here, of course. However, frozen blueberries work just fine in this pie, which means it can taste like summer all through the winter.
The pie dough recipe I used here is the same as the one for this rhubarb pie I made back in May. Once you learn how to make a good gluten-free pie dough, you can make any pie you want. For an extra-sturdy and rich pie crust, replace the shortening in that recipe with the same amount of grams of cream cheese. It’s a very easy dough to roll out and tastes wonderful.
There is always a way to play with pie.
Prepare the pie dough. Roll out one disc of the pie dough between two sheets of parchment paper. Peel off the top layer of parchment and flop the pie dough into a 9″pan. Peel off the parchment. Mold the pie dough onto the pan and crimp the edges. Put the pie pan in the freezer.
Make the filling. In a large bowl, combine the blueberries, sugar, flour, tarragon, ginger, and salt. Let the berries sit for 15 minutes.
Prepare to bake. Heat the oven to 425°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Finish the pie. Pull the pie pan out of the oven. Tumble the blueberry filling into the pie pan. Roll out the remaining disc of the pie dough between two sheets of parchment paper. Peel off the top layer of parchment and flop the pie dough onto the top of the pie. Peel off the parchment. Mold the pie dough onto the edges of the pie and crimp. Cut three slits onto the top of the pie to allow the steam to vent. Brush the beaten egg over the top crust.
Bake the pie. Bake the pie at 425° for 15 minutes, then turn down the heat to 375°. Bake until the juices from the blueberries start bubbling and oozing out and the crust is browned, 45 to 60 minutes.
Remove the pie from the oven. Allow it to cool for at least 1 hour before serving. I know. It’s hard. But the filling will set and the pie will be better.
Makes 1 pie.
Feel like playing? You can use white sugar, brown sugar, or coconut sugar in place of the muscovado, if you wish. I like fresh thyme as well as the tarragon. And you can use another fruit here too, if you wish. This template recipe works with any fruit pie.