Though I’ve mentioned it as such, this is not in fact my first experience of Canada. I count it as a first with the eyes of an adult living in an adult world and dealing with all that goes with such.
A bunch of years ago I was a naive and dewy-eyed student living a year in Ottawa as part of the Canadian SWAP program. And a Student Working Abroad hardly qualifies as much of an adult. Working menial jobs to pay the rent, party on the weekends and backpack your way around the countryside may be spirit growing, but one hardly learns the lessons of mortgages and career development. What I did learn, however, on a hot and steamy mid-July afternoon in the wilderness near Pembroke, is that nothing tastes quite as much of Summer and holiday as a piece of wild blueberry pie.
I’ve been waiting since that steamy afternoon, when I sat for 15 mins and slowly devoured the Summer on the plate in my lap, for a chance to revisit the moment. We experience few enough moments that stay with us vividly for the rest of our lives. Your first kiss, your first day of high school, that moment in Namibia where you just knew He was Him. Through the Winters of Bristol and London and the years I spent back in Johannesburg’s blueberry-barren suburbs I thought back from time to time to that afternoon with the pie, mouth watering slightly, wondering if we’d meet again. And so when I saw the big quarts of wild blueberries at the organic farmers’ market last week, I knew my time had come and there was only one destiny for those berries. Perfect for a weekend at the cottage.
It was every bit as good as I remembered. It was Summer.
Wild Blueberry Pie
1 quart (3 cups) wild blueberries, picked over and rinsed
½ cup sugar
¼ cup flour
couple Tbsp butter
milk and egg beaten for glaze
– Make pastry. Line pie with thinly rolled pastry (about 3mm thick). Remember to roll a second disc for the cover. Refrigerate shell, about 15 mins before use.
– Mix berries, flour and sugar
– fill pie shell, dot with butter, cover with pie top. Brush with milk and egg mix. Fold ends under. Refrigerate until chilled, about half an hour
– cut steam vents into pie shell and bake at 425˚F for 20 mins. Reduce temperature to 350˚F and bake for a further 30 – 40 mins, until the juices are bubbling and the pie is golden. If the pastry starts to brown too quickly, cover loosely with foil.