The Yankee Chef
I am jumping the gun by a month with this delicious pie, but I wanted you to hold on to this recipe when Maine blueberries come into their own this year. You will be thankful, trust me! This is the one pie that reminds me of my Dad, the second Yankee Chef. He made this delicious dessert at all the restaurants he ran or worked at, beginning in 1961 at the old Bangor Exchange in Pickering Square, Bangor. When I was 14 years old, I remember it being my favorite pie at my father’s restaurant, Treadwell’s in Hermon, Maine, back in the mid-ʼ70s. Apparently it was everyone else’s favorite as well because next to his Open-Faced Strawberry Pie, this one was the biggest seller.
Over the years, many have asked if frozen blueberries can be substituted, and the simple answer is yes! No change in directions at all, just keep the blueberries frozen as you are preparing this Maine summertime treat.
4 cups fresh* blueberries, divided
1 cup water
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 1/4 cups sugar
4 heaping tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon allspice
9-inch prepared graham cracker pie crust
Place 1 cup blueberries, water, and lime juice in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high heat. While waiting, blend sugar, cornstarch, and allspice in a bowl: set aside. Once the blueberry mixture is boiling, begin mashing with a potato masher as fine as you are able to. Many will use an immersion blender to accomplish this.
Add the sugar mixture and whisk well while it is coming back up to boiling. Stir and boil for 30 seconds, until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in remaining blueberries until all berries are evenly coated with liquid.
Pour into crust. It will mound slightly but will not overflow because of the thickness. Immediately cover with film wrap, slightly pressing down to touch as much of the blueberry pie as possible, eliminating air pockets. Refrigerate at least 4 hours until chilled and set.
*Note: As mentioned, frozen berries can be substituted, such as Wyman’s Fresh-Frozen Wild Blueberries.