Wild Blueberry Pie / Tart Recipe (by Nancy Harmon Jenkins)

Some years ago, a Swedish woman named Lotta spent time on the Penobscot Bay island of North Haven. This recipe is adapted from the one she left behind, which has become a tradition among some island families.

North Haven Wild Blueberry Pie / Tart Recipe:

  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Salt
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • ¾ cup flour
  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon rolled oats
  • ¼ cup finely chopped blanched almonds
  • 3 ½ cups fresh wild blueberries (see note)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
  • Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream (optional).

1. Using a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and 1/3 cup of the sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla, a pinch of salt and the cinnamon. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the flour, rolled oats and almonds. Shape into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Press the chilled dough into a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Wrap in plastic and freeze for 30 minutes.

2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Transfer the tart pan directly from the freezer to the oven and bake until the crust is golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, and using paper towels to protect your hands, gently press the hot crust, which will have risen a bit, back into the pan. Cool slightly on a wire rack before adding the berry filling.

3. Rinse the blueberries, shake them dry in a colander and transfer them to a large bowl. In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar, the lemon zest and a pinch of salt. Stir it and the lemon juice into the berries, bruising the berries slightly with a fork. Transfer the berry mixture to the crust and distribute the berries evenly. Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes.

4. Cool completely on a rack. Sprinkle with the confectioners’ sugar and, if you choose, serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Serves 6 to 8.

Photo credits: PhreddieH3 at English Wikipedia [Public domain]

This recipe was published the New York Times on AUG. 17, 2008

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