What a great weekend we’re having. We’ve had family visitors in town, great weather, and a birthday celebration complete with lots of cooking on the grill and hanging out on the deck outside. Before the festivities ramped up though, I decided to go ahead and bake a “thank you” pie for my friends Diana and Travis, who brought me the blueberries for my freezer. They have been the recipients of many of my pies over the past couple of years as I try to master the art of pie-making. I didn’t taste this one, but Diana said it was good and “had lots of blueberries.” Well, yes. That’s the point. Lots of blueberry goodness.

When we were in Maine last weekend I picked up a copy of Cooking Down East by Marjorie Standish. It’s a great cookbook with some old fashioned Maine recipes in it. The recipe doesn’t say to, but to be safe I covered the edges of the pie with aluminum foil until the last 15-20 minutes of baking. Also, I sprinkled crushed sugar cubes over the top before putting the pie in the oven.

Maine Blueberry Pie
recipe by Marjorie Standish

Pastry for a 2-crust pie (see below)
4 c. blueberries
1 c. sugar
2 tbs. flour
dash of salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp. butter

Line pie plate with pastry. Mix sugar and flour, spread about one fourth of it on lower crust. Fill with blueberries. Sprinkle remainder of sugar mix over them. Add salt, sprinkle with nutmeg and cinnamon. Dot with butter. Place top crust on pie, flute edges and cut slits. Bake at 425 degrees for 40 minutes.

I’ve used lots of different pie crust recipes and have decided that I enjoy making them by hand more than in a food processor. You can just tell what’s going on more that way. That said, if you are in a hurry or if it’s an especially hot day in your kitchen it’s probably better to go with the food processor.

Pastry crust

2 c. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 c. shortening
1/4 c. butter
ice water

Sift together flour and salt. Using a pastry cutter cut shortening and butter into flour until there are pieces the size of peas. Add ice water, a tablespoon at a time, mixing with a fork until the mixture holds together when pinched between your fingers. Form the dough into a ball without handling too much. Cover with saran wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or so. After it has chilled, cut in half with a pastry cutter and gently roll out the dough into two circles.

As I write I realize that I could write a whole post on pie crusts and pies. I think I’ll save the details for later when I have more time to think about it and do it right. I think this might be the official start of pie season!

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