Fresh Blueberry Lemon Sour Cream Pie


Today, with a heavy heart, I pulled the last bits of summer’s blueberries from the highbush branches towering above my head. Four pounds of berries later, I said my goodbyes, giving a prayer of thanksgiving for the blessing of the place, both its abundant fruit and tremendous beauty. Taking one last look around at the hundreds of branches still loaded with fruit – far too many for one small family to harvest – I marveled that for the past month, we had been the only ones picking fruit from public lands. Others knew of its existence, often stopping along their nature walks or bike riding, checking our progress, their interest tinged with amusement in our family’s “old fashioned” activity. “It’s so much work,” most commented, while others queried what “one does with them beyond a pie…”.

2 Thess 3:10 For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either.

Not that long ago, I was several generations removed from having a hand in the planting, raising and gathering of our food. Picking berries is just one small way that we have changed the way we eat, and where we acquire our food. Watching my children gathering berries is far more satisfactory than discouraging them from picking up every brightly colored package of synthetic factory-food off grocery store shelves. Foraging some of our food gives them a connection to the “living history” books and museums we’ve visited, providing real-life meaning to demonstrations and descriptions of a not-too-distance past where survival throughout the long, cold New England winters was dependent on self-sufficiency skills.

Moreover, the farmer is in a very special sense made to see his dependence upon God from season to season…..This manifest, absolute, and daily dependence should help the good farmer to learn the lesson of faith right thoroughly. He must look up, for where else can he look? He must leave his business in the Lord’s hands, for who else can be his helper Spurgeon – Farm Sermons

Any blueberries eaten this coming winter, will remind each of us of our contributions, and undoubtedly feed storytelling of our adventures. “Remember when you leaped 10-feet in the air when the snake darted out of the bushes……”. And when the last of this year’s crop is consumed, we’ll be left with a real-life example which can be extrapolated to all sustaining food groups, without which diligent, hard work, life itself would end. But more important, the lessons learned from this year’s berry foraging have a higher calling and meaning –

Then he said to them, “Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10

It’s with a celebratory spirit , as all good harvests should end, that we made our favorite pie – Fresh Blueberry lemon Sour Cream – from the day’s harvest, knowing when the last bite is taken, the next won’t be had for another full year. Then again, that’s not such a bad lesson for children to learn, in this immediate gratification society of ours.

A note scribbled on the recipe, written nearly two decades ago when I first made the pie says, “….luscious lemon curd swirled throughout fresh sour cream wraps around each blueberry bite…”. Notes on other recipes cards say, “Good”, “ok”, “Try again with….” or maybe “Excellent”. This pie has never failed to taste luscious.

Other Recipe Notes:

  • We don’t like sugary foods, so depending on the sweetness of the berries, the sugar can be adjusted, although 1/2 c. is the minimum in order to obtain a rich, creamy lemon custard.
  • We only use wild organic blueberries, which tend to be smaller and more sour than cultivated blueberries.
  • The amount of berries may vary depending on their size. Up to 3 cups may be used for small berries.
  • Large cultivated berries only require 2, maybe 2 1/2 cups.
  • I’ve included filling variations for a 9-inch or 10-inch pie, although I admit to piling the 10-inch filling into a 9-inch shell.
  • Pie crusts are baked ahead of time. I’ve made walnut, almond, and coconut crusts, but my favorite is a basic pate brise’ (butter crust).
  • It’s assumed that all ingredients are organic, with dairy products from grassfed pastured cows, and if possible, home-made.

Lemon Sour Cream Fresh Blueberry Pie

9-inch pie:

  • 1/2 c. sugar (original called for 1 c sugar)
  • 3 T organic cornstarch
  • 1 c milk
  • 3 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1/4 c butter
  • 1 T lemon peel
  • 1/4 c fresh lemon juice
  • 1 c sour cream
  • 2 c fresh blueberries
  • whipping cream
  • lemon slices
  • 1 9 inch pie shell

  1. In a saucepan combine sugar and cornstarch. Whisk in milk, egg yolks, butter and lemon peel.
  2. Heat over medium stirring constantly until bubbly, smooth and thickened.
  3. Remove from heat and add lemon juice.
  4. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic to prevent a skin and refrigerate.
  5. When cool, stir in sour cream and blueberries.
  6. Transfer to prepared pastry shell.
  7. Cover with remaining blueberries and chill for 4 hours.
  8. Garnish with whipped cream and lemon slices.

10-inch pie:

  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 4 T organic cornstarch
  • 1 1/3 c milk
  • 4 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1/4 c butter
  • 1 heaping T lemon peel
  • 1/4 c plus 2 T fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/3 c sour cream
  • 3 c fresh blueberries if “wild”, 2 1/2 if cultivated
  • whipping cream
  • lemon slices
  • 1 10-inch pie shell

Directions – same as for 9-inch pie.