Ginger Blueberry Pie

The original version of this recipe caught my eye while I was leafing through some Food & Wine magazines one lazy weekend up at the cottage. The combination of sweet and spicy appealed to me immediately and I set to jotting it down. Two days later, I had enough recipes jotted down to last me a year! Good news for both of us I think… There are several steps to this recipe, but they’re well worth it. This is a very zen recipe, so how about we throw on some Enya?

Gimme a B! B! Gimme an L! L! Gimme a U! U! Gimme an E! E!... Ok I was going to spell blueberry in its entirety but that would be excessive, so you can just finish the summertime chant in your head... Yaaaaay blueberries!

Shell:

  • 2 cups ginger cookie crumbs
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup butter, depending on how oily your cookies are (see staples)
  • 50 g (or about half a large bar) dark chocolate, melted

Filling:

  • 5 cups blueberries (fresh is best but frozen is alright as long as they’re defrosted and drained)
    Note: this pie above was made with 3 cups blueberries and 2 cups sliced strawberries because halfway through the recipe I realized that I had fewer blueberries than I thought, and it came out great, but I think having just blueberries would really bring out the ginger and chocolate flavours without overwhelming
  • 1/2 cup organic sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • grated lemon rind from 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (or juice from 1 lemon… Convenient, no?)
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp crème de cassis (optional but wonderful black currant liqueur)
  • 1/2 cup shaved dark chocolate (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grind up cookies in a food processor and add “butter”; pulse until well combined (or just turn it on and wander off, but I can say from personal experience that that’s risky since food processors tend to wander on counter-tops…). Press crumbs into a 9-inch pie pan, ensuring that you’ve got it creeping up the sides as well. Toss into the freezer for about 15 minutes to set. Bake for about 12 minutes or until the sides are lightly browned and the bottom isn’t quite set (it’ll set as it cools). Brush the melted dark chocolate over the cooled crumbs and stick back in the freezer while you’re preparing the fruit filling.

Combine 2 cups of blueberries, sugar, water, lemon rind and lemon juice in a pot over medium heat and bring to a boil with the lid on. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until the blueberries are cooled and liquidy. Combine the cornstarch and water. Add the mixture and “butter” to the pot and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add the crème de cassis (optional) and set the fruit mixture aside until it’s lukewarm. Fold in the remaining berries, then pile the filling into the shell. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Garnish with dark chocolate shavings (optional) and sit back while your guests heap tons and tons of praise upon you *grin*.

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5 Comments Add yours

  1. lil'bloodmouth says:

    Sounds good, everyone loves a fruit tart. Did the original recipe call this a pie? I’ve always thought top crust = pie, no top crust = tart.
    KC

    1. lil' vegan says:

      lil’bloodmouth eh? nice touch *lil’vegan shakes fist mock-menacingly*

      I can’t remember what the original name was – something with blueberry, dark chocolate and ginger… maybe pie, maybe tart, but i would tend to agree with you that tart = no top. I’m all for ignoring the culinary rules though, so HAH, it stays! I had to fight the temptation to call it ginger bluberry pie-oh my…

      Hey – would this fall under your incidentally vegan category despite the “butter”? You could very well leave out the butter in the filling (I don’t see any need for it actually since it’s the cornstarch doing all the heavy lifting), and the butter in the crumbs could be substituted with a touch of canola oil. Probably not ideal, but possible.

      1. lil'bloodmouth says:

        I’ve got no problem with “vegan butter”, it’s just non-hydrogenated margarine, same as many buttery spreads out there. Calling it vegan butter is pure marketing, vegans are generally food conscious people with a health and wellness image, and (hydrogenated) margarine has a nasty reputation, so it becomes vegan butter. No different than marketing prunes as dried plums. I think you could replace the butter in the original recipe with vegan butter, regular margarine, or vegetable shortening, and somewhat different quantities of straight oil would likely work too. So yea, I’m happy to call this incidentally vegan-able.

        I usually make pie-dough with all butter or a mix of butter and lard, but many people swear by vegetable shortening, so pretty much any fruit pie can easily be incidentally vegan.

  2. G McDougall says:

    This is a top-notch recipe – delicious!

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