On vacation last week, we got a hot tip that there were pick-your-own blueberries nearby. I was expecting a few neglected bushes in someone's yard well picked over by birds or maybe a row of anemic branches covered in netting. But, I tell you, these were the most beautiful blueberry bushes I have ever seen. More than 30 years old and two dozen strong, the bushy branches were dripping with fruit and raindrops, full of the wild flavor I remember from canoeing in New Hampshire as a kid, picking berries along the pond's edge.
We picked five pounds of blueberries, and then we came back a few days later and picked five more! At $1.50/lb., you'd be a fool not to. Back at the lake house, I made blueberry pie, blueberry cobbler, and, now that I'm back home, blueberry cake. It seemed excessive at the time, but I could use another 10 lbs. right about now. Call me greedy.
If you're inclined to make impromptu pie in an unfamiliar kitchen with whatever ingredients are on hand, here's what I did: Mixed 2 cups flour with a tablespoon of sugar and a teaspoon of salt. Cut in 12 Tbsp. unsalted butter. Diluted buttermilk with ice cubes and a little cold water, and added a little over 1/2 cup, until the dough was just moist enough to hold together but not wet. I divided the mixture into two slightly uneven parts, kneaded them a few times, and formed them into two disks. Then I wrapped them in plastic wrap and refrigerated them for a couple of hours while I went for a swim.
Later, I preheated the oven to 425°F. I scooped out a heaping-pie-dish-worth of blueberries and dumped them into a large bowl with 1/2 cup sugar, a tablespoon of cornstarch, a few shakes of cinnamon, and a few squeezes of lemon juice strained through my fingers to catch the seeds. I stirred that gently, and then rolled out the larger disk of dough to fit the pie plate. I dumped in the blueberry mixture, rolled out the smaller dough disk, and draped it over the blueberries. After tucking the edges underneath, crimping them, and cutting steam vents, I brushed the top with buttermilk. Into the top third of the oven it went for 20 minutes, then I reduced the heat to 375°F for about 20 minutes more. Maybe less. I always forget that pies with top crusts cook quicker than those with drafty lattice crusts.
We ate our slices warm with vanilla ice cream and at least one child licked his bowl clean, the ultimate compliment. Not my kids, though. My kids won't eat pie! Can you believe that??
Anyway, there aren't any pictures of the pie. I was on vacation, goddamnit!