My heart leaps when I see that little blue sign by the side of the road that says, “U-Pick Blueberries” with a bright orange arrow with “3.5 miles” stenciled across it. It is the annual symbol that blueberry season is here. The season for the most valuable crop in New Jersey, the official state fruit. My little home state ranks fifth in the nation for blueberry production, behind Washington State, Oregon, Georgia and Michigan (not in that order).
Fun fact: The commercial blueberry was first cultivated in Whitesbog, NJ by Elizabeth Coleman White, and agricultural scientist Frederick Coville. The low-bush wild blueberries were very prolific throughout the Pine Barrens, and White read about Coville’s work on the blueberry in an agriculture journal. In 1910, she and her father, cranberry barron and landowner, Joseph White, convinced Coville to join them in Whitesbog to continue his work with the added efforts of White. The result is the blueberry as we know it today. If you are in the area, you can take a tour of the historic Whitesbog Village, and maybe even pick a few blueberries.
This year, I think I finally perfected a no-bake blueberry pie filling that set up beautifully in about an hour in the fridge. It is a very straight-forward application that highlights the blueness of the berries, is low sugar, and gluten-free.
No-Bake Blueberry Pie Filling
- 1 prepared 9-inch pie crust (use whatever kind of prepared pie crust you like. The recipe on the link is a traditional flour crust and therefore NOT gluten-fee)
- 6 cups fresh blueberries, divided
- 1/2 C water
- 1 T organic cornstarch*
- 1/8 t sea salt
- 1/4 C sugar**
- Put 2 C of the blueberries and the sugar in a saucepan.
- Whisk together the water, cornstarch, and salt until the salt is dissolved. Pour over the sugar and berries.
- Cook over a high heat until bubbles appear. Reduce the heat and continue cooking, stirring constantly until the berries darken and the mixture gets thick (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat and let is cool for about 5 minutes.
- Carefully stir in the remaining 4 C of berries and continue mixing until all of the berries are well-coated. Let the mixture cool a little more (about 5 minutes).
- Pour into your prepared pie crust.
- Refrigerate for 2-3 hours to ensure the set.
For added pizzazz, top this with whipped cream, or serve next to a scoop of ice cream.
*I call for organic corn starch as a way to avoid GMO corn.
**You can use many types of sugar, but do not substitute with things like stevia or truvia. The sugar is part of what thickens the mixture.
This will keep in the refrigerator for about a week. I mix it in yogurt, top ice cream, and make a no-bake cheesecake with it as well. So make a double batch!