Spring may belong to the strawberry, but when it’s summertime in North Carolina we have the blues. Fresh, ripe, NC-grown blueberries play a dual role of being a healthy snack and a part of delicious desserts.
North Carolina ranks sixth nationally in blueberry production. In fact, the berry is so popular it has it’s own festival in Burgaw. The 15th annual N.C. Blueberry Festival is Friday and Saturday, June 15 and and 16. The event is expected to bring upwards of 50,000 people to Pender County. The two-day event features a 5K run/walk, whole hog barbecue cook off, car show, Tour de Blueberry bike event, recipe contest, kids activities, musical entertainment and more.
The main attraction, of course, is the blueberries, and plenty will be available.
Here is a delicious blueberry pie recipe. The recipe calls for almost 10 cups of blueberries!
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Sprinkle a work surface with powdered sugar. Roll pie crust into an 11-inch circle on the prepared surface. Fit pie crust sugar side down into a 9-inch pie plate; fold edges under and crimp. Prick bottom and sides with a fork. Bake 10 minutes or until golden. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Beat cream cheese and sour cream at medium speed with a mixer until smooth. Add ½ cup sugar, lemon zest and juice; beat until smooth and fluffy. Spoon mixture into the cooled pie crust, cover and refrigerate until ready to assemble.
Process 1 ½ cups of blueberries in a blender or food processor until smooth, and press through a wire-mesh strainer into a 3 qt. saucepan, using back of a spoon to squeeze out juice; discard pulp. Stir in 1 cup sugar into juice in pan. Whisk together cornstarch and ¼ cup water; gradually whisk cornstarch mixture into blueberry mixture. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Remove from heat, and whisk in butter. Cool 15 minutes.
Toss together blueberry mixture and 8 cups of blueberries gently in a large bowl until coated. Cover and chill 3 hours or until cold.
Once the blueberry mixture has been chilled, spoon it on top of the pie crust that has already been filled with the cream cheese mixture and top with a few dollops of Cream Fraiche (instructions follow).
Crème Fraiche: Whisk heavy cream and sour cream together in a small nonreactive bowl until smooth. Cover with double thickness of cheesecloth, set in a cool draft-free spot and let stand for 12 hours or overnight. Remove cheesecloth and whisk mixture until smooth. Store in a jar with a tight lid in refrigerator for up to one week. Remember that this needs to be made the day before you make your pie.
Lisa Prince of Local Dish suggests garnishing this dessert with a fresh sprig of mint and some lemon zest. You can also use a pre-packaged pie crust and bake it according to package instruction. You may also want to garnish this dessert with powdered sugar. If you have no time to make the Cream Fraiche, use whipped topping or mix together 1 cup heavy cream with ¼ teaspoon vanilla until soft peaks form.
Finally, for a delicious red white and blue July 4th dessert add in some strawberries!