Last week, my brother and family visited. He has two adorable little boys. It was so fun having little ones around. They see the world in fresh new ways. Everything is fun. 

I took my 2-year-old nephew on a walk. We looked at everything. We watched ants crawl across the driveway, chased dragonflies around the yard, and threw a ball for our dog to fetch, and we looked for frogs. 

When walking back to the house after our hour of fun, I remembered my blueberries were ready to pick and asked if he liked blueberries.  I will never forget the look on his face when he saw the blueberries. His whole body was involved in his happy exclamation. 

“Boo bear-wees!” he screamed, jumping up and down clapping his hands.

Blueberries are one of the best summer treats in the northern Midwest. They are tasty little berries, not sour, and have just the right amount of flavor. They are the perfect fruit to eat with nothing else.

I usually don’t have enough for a pie after everyone has eaten them fresh, but this has been a good year for berries. Using fresh blueberries for a semi-baked pie takes a blueberry pie to a new level of yumminess and convenience. 

When I told my nephews I was making a blueberry pie for them, they squealed with delight. This pie explodes with blueberry flavor and is quick and easy to prepare—which makes me clap my hands and jump up and down.

Semi-Baked Blueberry Pie

5 cups fresh blueberries, divided

1/3 cup sugar

2 1/2 tsp. cornstarch

2 tsp lemon zest

2 Tbsp. butter 

Baked piecrust

1 cup whipping cream 

3 Tbsp. powdered sugar

1/2 tsp. almond extract

Bake a prepared piecrust to the manufacturer’s instructions in a 9-inch pie plate.  Cool.

In a large saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, butter, and lemon zest. Add 3 cups of blueberries and with a fork, crush some of the berries. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the blueberries start to soften and the juice thickens. Remove from heat and cool. Add the remaining blueberries to the cooled, cooked berries and set aside. 

Pour the cooled blueberry mixture into the cooled crust. 

In a large bowl, whip the cream until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and continue whipping until firm peaks form. Stir in almond extract. 

Slice the pie and plate. Top with a large dollop of whipped cream.

Lisa Erickson is a food columnist who loves adventure and food. You can find more recipes at www.wild-chow.com or email her at wildchowrecipes@gmail.com.

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