Sentimental Blueberries

When I dig into a berry pie, especially when it is a fresh berry pie, I want to taste nothing but the natural goodness of the fresh berries mingled with the slight accompaniment of something that is a perfect marriage. With my Blueberry Glazed Pie, it isn’t overly sweet so the taste of the blueberries just smacks you in the face. It is simply fantastic. The addition of ginger-ale just adds to the enjoyment. Dollop some whipped cream, flavored with almond or vanilla extract, just don’t add anymore sugar to this recipe. The recipe below is quite firm so you get the best of the glaze along with blueberries in every mouthful.

Oak Pond Blueberry Glazed Pie

This pie is named after the second Yankee Chef, who owned and was the chef at Oak Pond Restaurant in Canaan, Maine. I well remember as a child the Senator Margaret Chase Smith coming in about every Sunday to enjoy a meal with her friends and family. although her favorite pie was Strawberry Gazed Pie, she never missed the opportunity for Dad to get the fresh blueberries when they were in season. She, as well as everyone, knew that when they were ready, Dad…..I mean Chef Jack, would have the Open Faced Blueberry Pie ready. Henry, our in-house piano player, was making our feet happy with his upbeat personality and playing, while our palates were happy digging in. He was an aged gentleman then, but is lovingly thought of. So this recipe is in happy remembrance of three very special people, Sen. Smith, Henry and the second Yankee Chef.

One single crust graham cracker pie crust
1 3/4 c. ginger ale plus 2 T.(golden ginger-ale if you can find it)
1/4 c. sugar
1 T. gelatin(1 envelopes) unflavored gelatin
1 qt. fresh blueberries
2 T. cornstarch

For the filling: In small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and 2 T. soda to make a smooth slurry; set aside. Combine the 1 c. blueberries, sugar, and 1 3/4 c. soda in a blender or food processor and blend until slightly chunky. Remove to a medium-sized pot. Bring mixture to a boil, mashing blueberries for 1 minutes. Slowly whisk in the cornstarch slurry and continue whisking until mixture has thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in gelatin, making sure you whisk it well to prevent clumping*, and the rest of the blueberries. Combine well and pour blueberry mixture in the pie shell, it should be very, very thick. Refrigerate until set about 2 hours.

*Many chefs will sprinkle the gelatin over a 1/2 c. warm water first to soften gelatin and then mix it in pie, but by doing so, that only means you need to add 1/2 T.(1/2 pk.) more gelatin.

Scones, or Scons, as pronounced by my Scottish friends, are nothing like its’ original inception. Somewhat likened to our Bannock Bread of the Puritan era, Scones have evolved into a leavened confection that is eaten for breakfast mainly here in America. In England, however, and throughout the British Isles, clotted cream is sadled up next to their scones for their Cream Tea. Cream tea being the combination and generally accepted ritual of spreading jam and clotted cream on their scones. Too complicated to go into it any further so lets just make ’em and eat ’em however you see fit.

Blueberry Scones
The thickness of greek yogurt is ideal for the denseness of scones. Enjoy these with a side of real maple sryup(warm or chilled) for dipping. My grandfather made these many, many years before they became popular. The only difference between his recipe and mine is the substitution of Greek yogurt for his sour cream. Either way, both are delicious.

3/4 c. Greek yogurt(blueberry flavored if you desire)
2 c. flour plus extra for dusting work surface
1/4 c. sugar plus 2 T. for sprinkling
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
4 T. butter or margarine, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 c. fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 425° F . In a large bowl whisk together flour, 1/4 c. sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add butter and using a pastry cutter or your fingers, cut butter into flour mixture until it resembles coarse cornmeal. Stir in blueberries, then gently incorporate yogurt, taking care not to over mix.
Turn dough onto a heavily floured work surface. Fold dough on top of itself to knead, 3 to 4 turns, then pat into 1 1/2-in thick rectangle. Fold rectangle into thirds and shape into a 1-in thick circle. Cut into 8 wedges. Arrange wedges on parchment paper-lined baking sheet or well spray with nonstick cooking spray, and sprinkle tops of scones with remaining 2 T sugar. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack before serving.