Furthermore the blending process seemed odd. The recipe said to puree 10 ounces of frozen (you could use whole, fresh blueberries as well) blueberries and spread this layer on the bottom of a prepared pie crust. (I always have frozen ones on hand because we use them on our breakfast cereal.) Then stir up the traditional chess pie mixture (which features cornmeal and vinegar) and pour it over the blueberries. How would this work? The blueberry puree wasn’t heavy enough to stay on bottom to make a separate, distinct layer. When I poured the liquid chess-pie mixture over the blueberries, the bottom layer rose to the top. Originally I envisioned cutting into the pie that contained the blueberries as a surprise layer on the bottom. Now, from the looks of things, the blueberries would cook up indistinguishable from the chess. I prepared for a bummer and was ready to send the Dallas Morning News an email of complaint.
Was I in for a surprise? Layers did occur in the baking; however, they reversed themselves. What I retrieved from the oven after baking finished was a pie that was solid purple on top but, on carving into it, had the nice golden chess layer on the bottom. What a hoot! Both layers solidified just fine. And the flavor of the fruit on top of the chess was indescribable. The addition of a tiny sliver of sugar-free ice cream or cool whip (the merest teaspoon is all that’s needed; don’t go overboard, as I cautioned Hubby) is a crowning touch.
The email of complaint drafted in my head turned into the draft of an email of congratulations. I was so thankful for the “add-a-fruit” to old favorites for the recipe column. For the blueberry vines Hubby planted in our weekend of gardening I had high hopes. Once they spring forth with succulent berries, I have my first recipe ready for them.
Blueberry Chess Pie
1 prepared pie crust
1 (10-ounce) package frozen blueberries, thawed
1/4 cup sugar (or sugar substitute such as Splenda)
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk (I used fat-free)
2 eggs, lightly beaten (or 1/2 cup egg substitute)
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 tablespoon cornmeal
1/4 teaspoon salt (or salt substitute)
blueberries and mint leaves (optional garnish)
sugar-free ice cream or whipped topping
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place blueberries in blender container and puree. Stir in sugar substitute. Set aside. Place blueberries in blender container and puree. Pour blueberry puree into prepared pie crust. Combine sweetened condensed milk, eggs, butter, vinegar, cornmeal, and salt. Pour over blueberry puree. Bake for 50 minutes or until knife inserted in the center emerges clean (I actually had to bake mine for 1 hour until it was fully set.) Cool completely. Garnish with berries and mint leaves if you desire. Serve with sugar-free ice cream or whipped topping if you desire. Serves 8.