Baby don't you cry, gonna make a pie
Gonna make a pie with a heart in the middle
After the great disappearing blueberry pie phenomenon of last Saturday night (when I made a pie with a lifespan of approximately 15 minutes), I knew I wanted another shot at fresh blueberry pie this summer. When I heard that my parents, grandparents, and a couple uncles were planning to come to visit the museum and have dinner at the cabin, I knew I’d found my excuse to pick another six cups of blueberries and make a pie. Yesterday at work I kept humming the little ditty from the quirky (but cute) Adrienne Shelley film Waitress: “Gonna make a pie, gonna make a pie.”
To be honest, I haven’t always had such a casual relationship with blueberry pie. When I lived in town, I always devoted an afternoon or two to heading up the “Trail” and picking blueberries. In college and during the winter I spent in the Cities, I usually had about a gallon of berries in the freezer. One of my best friends (and by far, my best roommate, ever) always gave me a hard time about my stubborn unwillingness to use any of the berries for a pie. Of course, I brought the hard times on myself by one time going on a rant of “I don’t know why people would use six whole cups of berries when the berries are tiny and take forever to pick.” During those days, I used my berries sparingly: in muffins and pancakes.
Now that I live in veritable blueberry paradise, berries are never in short supply and the task of gathering six cups of blueberries takes just over an hour and can, more often than not, be accomplished in the backyard. Kind of like how I spent 20 years of my life pretending I had straight hair, eventually you get over your inhibitions and start throwing all your berries into one pie crust and letting your hair crinkle, curl and kink as humidity see fit.
To say I still feel some guilt twinges about using so berries in a single bakery item wouldn’t be quite the truth, but I am still very conscious of the large amount used, so I try to make sure the final pie is worth the effort and sacrifice. In other words, it better be good. This means I turn to my secret ingredients:
Yep, lard and the freshest blueberries possible.
I’ve been using butter to make my pie crusts for years, but since I now frequently keep company with those with lactose intolerance, I decided to try out lard last week. Honestly, despite having a co-worker who swore by the virtues of lard, the substance kind of revolts me. But after the success of the lard pie crust a week ago, I may be becoming a lard convert. I’ve never made pie crust that was so easy to deal with.
I made this blueberry pie last night and having successfully fending off Andy from nibbling at it, now the pie rests on the counter, waiting for company and vanilla ice cream.