Red, White & Blueberry

Nothing says America — and especially the Fourth of July — like blueberry pie. Blueberries are one of the few foods found in nature with a true blue color and for that reason, the blueberry (along with raspberries and whipped cream) finds its way on to the cover of magazines and tables alike in July.

Blueberries have a short shelf life once you bring them home from the store, so be sure to treat them right. I like to line a plate with a damp napkin or cloth and spread the berries out flat before refrigerating. This prevents molding and allows the berries to remain dry in the ambient cool air of the refrigerator.

Blueberries have one of the highest antioxidant capacities of any fruit or vegetable. Antioxidants are reducing agents, meaning they slow down and even stop free radicals from attacking your cells and DNA. Along with this powerful preventative, blueberries are also high in Vitamins C and K, as well as manganese and dietary fiber. Some studies have even shown them to be a useful tool in improving memory!

The best way to enjoy blueberries is a nice slice of rich and sugary blueberry pie. There is something very comforting and soulful about pie and it really drives home the all-American, Norman Rockwell on Martha’s Vineyard, sweet summertime tradition. For this recipe, I have compartmentalized the classic blueberry pie for a personal convenience. Enjoy this portable blueberry pie for the Fourth of July.

Blueberry Hot Pocket With Honey-Lavender Crème
Makes approximately 16 individual pies

½ cup cold water
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vinegar
3 cups flour (plus a little more for kneading)
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons shortening

In a mixing bowl, beat the water, eggs and vinegar together. Set aside. In a separate mixing bowl, blend the 3 cups of flour and salt. Cut the shortening into the flour mix with a pastry blender or two butter knives. Make a well in the center of the flour mix and pour the liquid ingredients from the first bowl into the center. Mix the wet and dry ingredients with a fork until it becomes stiff. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead it just until all the flour is incorporated and the dough is smooth. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, but never more than 24 hours.

¾ cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 pinch salt
4 cups fresh blueberries
1 teaspoon lemon juice

In a small saucepan on medium heat, combine all ingredients and stir until the mixture starts to bubble and thicken. Once the mixture is thick, cool completely.

Honey Lavender Crème
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon lavender syrup
¼ cup powdered sugar

Mix all ingredients well and refrigerate.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Roll dough to ⅛-inch thickness with a rolling pin. Using a large circle cookie cutter, segment the sheet into as many circles as possible. Fill each circle with a tablespoon of filling. Fold each circle in half and crimp the edges with the tines of a fork.

Place each half circle onto a well-oiled sheet pan and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown and the middle is 150 degrees. Allow to cool briefly before serving.

Serve with a generous dab of the honey-lavender crème.