Maine Dish: Gone to Blueberry Heaven



Summer is the perfect time to enjoy the native foods of Maine. Towns throughout the Pine Tree State are celebrating with fairs and festivals featuring the season’s bounty. Here in Hancock County, Blue Hill is saluting the number one antioxidant fruit with a Maine wild blueberry festival and blueberry pie contest on Aug. 6.

Every family has its supreme pie-maker, and in ours, my mother makes the best. As much as I enjoy tender, flaky pastry bursting with sun-ripened fruit, I have never mastered the art of a good two-crust pie. Consequently, my collection of recipes are for open-faced, single crust pies that can be made with a prepared, store-bought crust.

The recipe for Maine Wild Blueberry Crisp Pie originates from my PBS television series “What’s For Suppah?, Beans, Blueberries and Beyond.” We needed a delicious pie that I could actually make, and this one fit the bill: decadent, rich and buttery, intense blueberry flavor and a delicate hint of exotic spice.

When the raspberry and wild blueberry seasons overlap, I splurge and make a European- style pastry, Raspberry Wild Blueberry Pie. For a brief time each year, who cares about calories? One bite confirms, I’ve died and gone to blueberry pie heaven.

Cheryl Wixson lives and cooks in Stonington. She welcomes food-related questions and comments at [email protected].

Maine Wild Blueberry Crisp Pie

Makes 8 servings

  • 1 10-inch unbaked pie shell
  • 4 cups (1 quart) wild Maine blueberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup butter at room temperature
  • ¾ cup flour
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. cloves
  • ½ tsp. allspice
  • ½ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Line a 10-inch pie plate with an unbaked pie shell. Pour the blueberries into the pie shell.

In a mixing bowl, combine the sugar, flour and spices. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut the butter into the mixture, until it resembles a coarse meal. Pat the mixture on top of the blueberries and bake in a 375 degree F oven until the blueberries start to bubble and the top is golden brown, about 45-60 minutes.

Nutritional analysis per serving: 405 calories, 3 grams protein, 54 grams carbohydrates, 20 grams fat, (0 grams trans fat), 212 mg. Sodium, 2.4 grams fiber.

RASPBERRY WILD BLUEBERRY PIE

  • 1 nine-inch baked pie shell
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries
  • 3 cups Maine wild blueberries
  • 4 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¾ cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup water

Carefully pick over the blueberries and raspberries. Reserve the more perfect ones for the uncooked portion of the pie and choose one cup of the softest berries. Mash the one cup of soft berries together and set aside.

In a small saucepan on top of the stove, whisk the sugar and cornstarch together and then stir in the crushed berries and the water. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils for one minute. Remove from the heat and cool.

Meanwhile, beat cream cheese with the vanilla until smooth and then spread on the bottom of the baked pie shell. Fill shell with the remaining berries. Pour cooked berry mixture over the top. Chill for several hours, until set. If desired, top with whipped cream. Makes eight servings.

Nutritional analysis per serving: 181 calories, 2 grams protein, 31 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams fat, (0 grams trans fat), 58 mg. Sodium, 2.4 grams fiber.

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Cheryl Wixson
"Maine Dish" columnist Cheryl Wixson lives and cooks in Stonington. Her passion for organic Maine products led to the creation of her business, Cheryl Wixson's Kitchen. She welcomes food-related questions and comments at [email protected] or www.cherylwixsonskitchen.com.