I Found My Thrill

on Blueberry Hill…

Richie Cunningham used to sing that little snippet every time he met a pretty girl. For me it always brought to mind the image of a hill covered in wild blueberries. A Shangri-La for the tastebuds.

My favourite thing in the fruit world is the blueberry, even the giant ones from California, but the king of the blue foods is not the bloated California berry but his tiny sister from the wilds of Canada. When you get hit in the smacker with a real fresh wild blueberry, as we do every year at this time, we are quickly reminded of this itty bitty powerhouse of flavour that we so often take for granted.

A recent outing to the newly opened Bellevue Cafe in Kensington Market served as a reminder that blueberry pie truly is a magical thing. The golden flaky crust yielded to a juicy deep purple blueberry filling. No whipped cream or ice cream, or any kind of cream for that matter, required. Just perfectly cooked pie on a china plate in the later afternoon sunshine.

We sometimes forget about blueberry pie, in a Riverdale High world it is the Midge to cherry’s Betty and apple’s Veronica. In the spring and early summer when rhubarb, strawberries and cherries steal the show. In the fall it is all about apples and pumpkins taking centre stage. But right now in the heart of summer it is the blueberry’s moment to shine.

My mother used to make a deep dish blueberry pie that would collapse into a heavenly mess as soon as you cut into it. A ladle was required to get the filling onto the plate. Asthetics aside, it was the best example of a blueberry pie I’ve ever had. Until the Bellevue that is, they really hit a home run there. But there must be others out there who like this kind of berry best and make this pie their specialty.

Pie crust makes people crazy. Are you one of those people with a marble slab on the countertop, a photo of Loretta Lynn on the fridge and a waxy box of Crisco hidden in the crisper? The quest for the perfect crust reduces normal people into rolling pin hoarders and flour sifter collectors. They’ll drive across the border for Wondra or mail away for King Arthur Flour. They’ll use ice cubes and pastry cutters, endless mixing bowls and always have a funky jar of shrivelled dry kidney beans on hand for pie weights.

So, how crazy are you?

Do you think you make the best blueberry pie in town? Want to put that to the test?

Enter your best blueberry pie in the Blueberry Pie Bake-Off during the Brickworks’ Wild Blueberry Festival on August 15th. See here for details.

How many times did I use the word blueberry in this post? Be the first to tweet me the answer and win a cookbook!

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