Earlier this week I rode out to Morris Vineyard & Tennessee Mountainview Winery for my annual blueberry picking excursion. Once out of town, I have to say it’s probably one of the prettiest rides around. Some lovely shaded back roads wind up to the Vineyard, which has one of the prettiest views of the nearby mountains and Cherokee National Forest
I grabbed a bucket and hit the berry patch. I think it was still maybe a week off of peak ripeness time, although I managed to get around 8 lbs. of beautiful plump blueberry goodness. Only one other couple was out there with me, and they arrived just before I was finishing up.
Last year the boys and I went out twice to pick, bringing home around 17 lbs of berries. I love blueberries – easy to pick, easy to bag up and freeze. I took along the Xtracooler – nice little narrow ice chest that fits perfectly in the Xtracycle slings – and it was just the thing to get the berries home, cool and undamaged. I might head out for one more picking session, but we’ll see. We have plans for heading out of town this next week, and not sure I will be able to squeeze it in.
While I froze most of the haul, I kept out a few cups to make a super-delicious “No-Bake Blueberry Pie”. I adapted the recipe slightly from one that was published in the Chattanooga Times Free Press. It is very quick and easy, and I love that it maintains that fresh bluberry firmness and burst of flavor; it’s not as sweet/syrupy as a traditional pie. Highly recommended!
NO-BAKE BLUEBERRY PIE
9-inch crumb pie crust (cookie crumb crust as follows, or other purchased crust – shortbread or graham would work well)
6 cups fresh blueberries, divided*
1/4 C sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 Tbs cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup cold water
1 Tbs unsalted butter
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
sweetened whipped cream (optional)
*Note on blueberries: this pie will be exceptionally delicious when you pick your own local blueberries, and travel by bicycle to the blueberry patch! Trust me – it really makes a difference! 🙂
Combine 2 cups blueberries, sugar and 2 Tbs water in a saucepan and bring to a full boil. Stir in dissolved cornstarch/water mixture and return to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cinnamon, butter, lemon juice and remaining blueberries. Spoon into crust and let stand for 3 hours or until set. Top with whip cream.
COOKIE CRUMB CRUST
2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs (process in food processor)
1/2 cup melted unsalted butter
1/3 cup sugar
Combine crust ingredients and press into 9-inch pie plate (bottom & sides). Bake at 400’F for 10 minutes and cool on rack. Fill with No-Bake blueberry filling (above).