Hey guys, how is your spring going so far? How the heck are we into June already? Seriously.
Spring is my (only) favourite season so I reallllly don’t want it zipping along so fast thankyouverymuch. If it were up to me, I’d be more than okay with spring all year-long. Just sayin’…
So in attempt to extend spring, I made this Maple Blueberry Pie. Can’t hurt, right? We just wrapped up our Tulip Festival not too long ago so I thought it’d be fun to add a pretty tulip. You’re probably surprised to see that there is no Pac-Man or a Superhero on this pie, right? (I get that a lot).
(scroll to the recipe below if you don’t want to read my ramblings—WHAT?? That’s crazy talk).
Thank you ALL so much for coming to check out my new blog, all your positive feedback and your messages and comments (on here, and also on IG). I’m so thankful for so many sweet supportive friends, and also such a wonderful baking & instagram community. It’s super fantastic. I’m very happy to finally share more recipes with you guys, too (don’t worry, my geek theme is optional). Been a long time coming…
So far it’s been a fabulous Spring and, as always, it’s been absolutely gorgeous here in my hometown (Ottawa). Our world-famous Tulip Festival just ended (if you missed my post last spring, read about our tulips here) and I managed to get a few nice pics of the tulips again this year. If you’re coming to Ottawa for a visit, I strongly recommend planning your trip in May. This is thee best time to see the tulips in full bloom, and it’s usually too early for the hot, sticky weather as well (huge bonus!).
One thing is for sure, you’ll love our gorgeous & very colourful tulips. It sure is a sight to behold…
This also happens to be my ‘office’, too. Not too shabby at all, right? #selfemployment #perks
I’ve also done quite a bit of travelling this spring as well…2 road trips already, and it’s not even summer yet (crazy, right?).
In April my guy and I went to Vermont for Maple Fest (post coming soon), and then during the May long weekend we went to Niagara-on-the-lake for the holiday and to also celebrate my birthday. We had a fabulous trip!
Since we haven’t been on a proper road trip since last summer, I knew I couldn’t wait until the Fall to get outta dodge. Desperation really starts to kick in when it’s been almost a
month year since I last roadtrip’d (ha ha).
While I don’t travel nearly as much as I used to (hence the new blog theme), my guy’s work closed down for a couple of months (for renovations) this spring so we decided to sneak away for a bit. He figured it was a good time to use his summer vacation while it’s quieter (he still did occasional private parties in the basement). By travelling during this time, he now won’t have to burn any time off during the busy summer season. So we probably won’t be going anywhere ’til early Fall, when we’ll likely head to the East Coast visit his folks.
There is no better place to kick off the first unofficial weekend of Summer (Victoria Day weekend in May) than Niagara-on-the-Lake! This was my 3rd time visiting and it was more stunning than ever. I’m not at all surprised that NOTL is considered ‘The Most Beautiful Town in Canada’.
As soon as you get here, you won’t want to leave…
The town is chock full of tulips, lilacs and every other flower under the sun at this time of year.
I’m a complete lilac addict. It’s actually bordering on a problem because as soon as I come across them, I’ve got my face stuck in the flowers to give them a good sniff. I probably look crazy(er), but I just can’t stop. There has gotta be a LA (Lilacs Anonymous) group for this, right? Probably only runs for the month of May though….haha
And, of course, this is wine country so you could spend all your time going from one vineyard to the other, and sipping a glass of wine on a garden patio in between tours.
Even if you don’t like wine, the scenery alone is worth the visit here
We did a few wine tours, a couple of brewery tours and ate LOADS of amazing food as well.
There are also loads of scenic areas for bike rides and nice walks.
I’ll be doing a full recap post on our Niagara adventure soon! If you haven’t been there yet, hopefully I can encourage you to check it out. Just a warning though….this place can be completely addicting (almost as much as chocolate…or lilacs)
We also did the boat trip under Niagara Falls, so you’re guaranteed to see some fun pics in my next post. Let’s just say I would have been LESS soaked if I’ve gone over the falls in the barrel like I was hoping to do (silly rules/by-law restrictions).
BTW, if anyone from the Niagara Falls Tourism Board is reading this, you guys really need to hire Superman to give free rides over the Falls. If that doesn’t boost tourist to the area, I don’t know what else will (um, not that you need any help really….the place has been packed anytime I’ve been there).
The movie Superman (the 2nd one, actually) is one of my favourite flicks, so I may be biased. Anyone else think of Lois and Clark while visiting the Falls?…. or am I just crazy? (um, maybe don’t answer that question).
Here’s a sneak peek into our fun at the Falls. This is right before Billy threw me over the railing (I only wish I were kidding :D).
So…. let’s get down to the most important thing about this post (well, besides Superman)… how about a PIE?
Oh look at that, I’ve combined pie AND superman. Whoops. How did that happen? It’s a bird…it’s a plane…no, it’s a….. BLUEBERRY PIE?
*The Superman logo is optional, but it will definitely win you points with your geek friends (like me! haha).
This is one of my new favourite pies. It’s a baked pie but with added fresh berries on top after it’s cooled. Throwing on some fresh berries is a little easier if you’re not using a top crust, of course. I usually make fancy pastry shapes or words and place them on top afterward. If you decide to do a top lattice, just throw a few berries around the lattice strips.
I’ve also used a combo of other berries to make this pie. You can just use whatever you like or have on hand. Blueberry and cherries are a fabulous mix and a bit different from the usual combos–that’s what I used in the Superman pie (above). Like most pies, the berries are fairly versatile.
So… let’s get on with our pie baking fun, shall we?
(I’m working on my recipe format, please bear with me! thanks 🙂
Maple Blueberry Pie (baked & fresh)
A delicious baked blueberry (or a combo of berries) pie with fresh berries thrown on top for a more 'fresh' taste during off-season. So yummy and versatile, too.
Pie Crust for a single 9" pie (*Double if you want a top crust, lattice or shapes)
- 1 1/2 cups GF Flour (your own mix, Bob's GF flour, cup4cup etc)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- *pinch of cinnamon (optional but adds a really nice flavour)
- 1/2 cup cold/frozen butter , grated
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
- 1 egg
- 2-4 tablespoons very cold water or milk (any)
- *Egg Wash to brush crust before baking *optional:
- 1 egg yolk + 1 teaspoon water or milk/cream
For the Filling
- 6 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (do not thaw if using frozen) or use a mix of different berries
- 1 small apple , grated (my favourite is Granny Smith or Golden Delicious)
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup brown or coconut sugar (you can use all-- 3/4 cup--coconut sugar if preferred)
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons tapioca starch/flour (or use cornstarch, if preferred)
- pinch of sea salt
- 1/2 tablespoons vanilla bean extract , or regular vanilla extract is fine
- 3 tablespoons butter , cut into pieces
For the Crust (if using storebought or your own, go to the next step)
In large bowl combine the flour, sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Add cold, grated butter and mix lightly until combined. Add in lemon juice or apple cider vinegar and egg and mix together. Gradually add in cold water or milk, about a tablespoon at a time until the mixture looks dough-y and sticks together (I often do it gradually because it's easy to go overboard and then the dough its too wet). Add in a bit more flour if that happen.
Roll into a flat disc and put in freezer for a bit to let the dough relax and for the butter to get 'cold' again (helps with flakiness) while you prepare the filling.
For the Filling:
set aside about 1 cup of berries to put on top of pie after it's cooked
Place 2 12 cups blueberries (or half/half if you are doing a combined blueberry/cherry pie) in saucepan over medium heat and cook until the berries half broken down and they become saucy. I use a fork or potato masher to help break them down. The mixture should reduce by approximately a third to a half, usually in about 10 minutes or so. Allow to cool slightly. *While this is not a mandatory step, I always do this because it takes some of the 'water' out of the filling and adds a condensed sauce to the pie filling. Skip this step if you just want to cut time and use all 5 cups in the next step.
Grate apple and squeeze some of the moisture out with a cloth or paper towel.
In a large bowl add the remaining berries 2 1/2 cups (or 5 1/2 cups if skipping the step above), grated apple, lemon juice, sugars, maple syrup, cinnamon, salt, tapioca starch, salt and vanilla. Add your cooked berry filling, if using (from step 1). Set aside.
Roll out pie dough and put into a 9" pie plate. Scoop filling into shell. Scatter the 3 tablespoons of (cold) pieces of butter on top of filling. Place lattice or a full crust on top, if using. I generally bake my shapes/pastry letters separately. Place in freezer for about 15 minutes.
While your pie is chilling, preheat oven to 400F. Remove pie from freezer and brush egg wash along crust sides and top or lattices, if using.
Bake at 400F for 15-20 minutes then reduce heat to 350F and cook for another 30 minutes or so, or until filling is bubbling and crust is a nice golden brown. I use a pie shield (or tin foil around top crust sides) for the last 1/2 of baking if the crust is getting brown too quickly.
Allow pie to cool for at least an hour or two, at room temperature. If desired, add some fresh berries to the top of your pie when it has cooled. This adds a nice freshness to your pie. Enjoy!
As always, thanks for stopping by lovelies! I’ll be sharing my Niagara adventure and a butterscotch pie on my next post. Stay tuned 😀