July 25th, 2008 at 8:33 am
Posted By: gardenguru
Posted in: Fruits,Landscaping,Recipes

Ten blueberry plants usually provide my friends, neighbors and me with plentiful fruits. My babysitting charges are so eager to come pick this year, since last year the blueberries were all killed with the late freeze. They are making up for that with an abundance of berries this year.

For some reason the birds took a long time before they raided the blueberries. It is so much easier to pick them when the netting is not on. But if I’m gone for the day and the birds decide to enjoy them, they could clean all the ripe ones, and some not so ripe, off the bushes.

After I saw one bird peck at my blueberries, I decided it was time to cover the bushes. It took me days to put up the pvc pipe because it was so hot. Still no more birds raided any. Finally it is covered with deer netting, with one bush left for the birds. At that point they still had not eaten any more. This is very surprising since in years past some clever mocking birds even pecked through the netting for a taste. But the worst time was when a huge black snake was caught in the netting and died during the night. I tried with great difficulty to untangle him, without success. He smelled so badly a day or two after that I just tried to avoid the area. Then one morning he was totally gone, bones, smell and all.

This is what makes it all worthwhile!

The blueberries have already provided several people with some to enjoy. Four different people have been down to pick, and there’s still many left to harvest. The birds are ignoring their bush even though a robin was trapped in the netting one morning. My cat wanted him for breakfast, but he was released with no emotional or physical trauma.

Size doesn’t really matter, it’s the taste. Just can’t seem to avoid bragging. All of the blueberries aren’t this big, but the ones at the top of the bush seem to like to show off, as I do.

Both my sons request this pie for their birthdays. My mother was the only person I know who made this. So I learned from her. Now I’ll share it with you. It’s lots of trouble, but well worth it. You can use frozen berries, but fresh are much better.

Blueberry Cream Pie

This pie crust is a mixture of whole wheat pastry flour and unbleached white. It also combines butter with oil. I make it in the food processor, but almost any crust will do, except Graham cracker.

The cream filling is from an old Better Homes and Garden cookbook’s recipe for Vanilla Cream Pie. It’s not on their site, so if you don’t have the cookbook this one comes close: Cream Filling

I double the filling for a 10 inch pie. Cool the filling before adding to a cooled crust.

The blueberry layer varies according to how much blueberries I have. Bring two cups of berries to boil in one cup of water. Reduce heat, then simmer for two minutes. Strain this mixture. Mix two tablespoons cornstarch with two tablespoons sugar. Whisk in the strained blueberry juice, and cook until smooth and thickened. Take it off the heat, and add two tablespoons of butter and one of lemon juice. Then fold two more cups of fresh berries into the mixture. Cool this before spreading on top of vanilla filling.

After chilling overnight in the refrigerator top with whipping cream.

Enjoy, knowing that at least the blueberries are good for you.


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