Though we aren’t big dessert people, we have been cooking some charity dinners lately where a proper dessert course is needed. For our latest I created a fresh blueberry pie that actually had very little sugar, but was still sweet and satisfying. We added some freshly whipped cream, a few strawberries and a touch of reduced balsamic vinegar (as I love to add a touch of savory to something sweet) to create a satisfying, and completely delicious dessert. I didn’t make the crust….as I often note, I am not the best baker as it requires a little too much accurate measuring, opting to buy a great already prepared crust. If you love to bake, go for making the crust; either way bake it completely and allow it to cool before adding the filling, making sure to poke a few holes in the bottom with a fork, and laying a piece of foil in the bottom of the crust and adding something like raw beans to make sure the crust doesn’t bubble up while cooking. Port was added to the pie filling, so serving with a Ruby Port or a LBV Port would be good; I would stay away from a Tawny though as you want something fruity instead of the caramel and toast that a Tawny gives. A Semi Dry bubbly would also be delicious.
Fresh Blueberry Pie with Strawberries and Cream
2 pints of fresh blueberries, you can also use a good quality frozen if you can’t find fresh as you are going to cook the berries down a bit.
2 tablespoons all fruit or 90% fruit blueberry preserves (like Polaner)
Zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoon chopped fresh mint, chopped
2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons port
1 -2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
6 oz fat free blueberry flavored Greek yogurt
1/2 pint whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon sugar
Fresh strawberries for garnish
Reduced balsamic vinegar glaze for garnish
1 packaged pie crust, baked per instructions
Freshly cracked black pepper
Add the blueberries, 1 tablespoon water, jam, zest and port to a small sauce pot over medium low heat. Begin to slowly cook the berries and melt the gelatin in the jam down, stirring often so they don’t burn. If the berries aren’t breaking down well add the additional water. Continue stirring until the berries start to break down and the jam fully melts. mashing them a bit to help them along.
Meanwhile, add 1 tablespoon mint and 1 teaspoon basil to a bowl with the mascarpone cheese and the yogurt and whisk together. Set aside. When the jam is melted and the berries have cooked together stir in the fresh herbs, cook for about a minute more, then set aside to cool completely.
When the crust and the berries are both completely cool add the yogurt mixture to the bottom of the pie crust, then cover them with the berry mixture and place in the refrigerator. The refrigerator will help the gelatin in the jam set again helping the pie set. Using an electric mixer or whisk whip the cream until soft peaks form, adding the vanilla and sugar in after the cream has started to come together (after about 3 minutes of whipping.) To serve, slice the strawberries and crack just a touch of black pepper over them. For each slice of pie add a healthy scoop of whipped cream, top with a few strawberries and a light drizzle of the reduced balsamic.