Grandma D’s Blueberry Cream Pie—Squared

Pie side view
Last week, with it being blueberry season and all, my sweet-foodie thoughts turned to pie, a pie my mom made a couple times in recent years. Golden flakey crust filled with a generous layer of whipped cream and topped with a thick blueberry layer. Capped with a dollop of more whipped cream upon serving; so fresh and rich, yet light, tasting of summer dessert day dreams.

To my surprise, it was an old recipe of Grandma Decoster’s, going back at least 50 years. I don’t remember ever having it at Grandma’s, but the fact that it was her recipe made me want to make it even more. But, dear Grandma, God rest your soul, I’m going to veganize it, no disrespect intended.

I envisioned a vegan shortbread crust, cinnamon coconut milk whipped cream, and a beautiful blueberry layer made with fresh, local berries from the farmers’ market. The blueberry filling part was easy, I only needed to swap out the butter with Earth Balance or even just leave the 2 tablespoons the recipe called for out. And I’ve made whipped coconut milk cream with cinnamon before.

But how to make the crust? After a google search of vegan shortbread recipes, I took bits and pieces from several, along with my own ideas, to come up with this version, which uses coconut oil as the fat and subs half of the flour with almond meal. The flour that is included is white whole wheat for a slight upgrade in healthiness. With cinnamon in the whipped “cream,” I thought, why not some cinnamon in the crust too? Alrighty then!

The result was, in my opinion, outstanding, and that sentiment was echoed by the five others who tried it. Even though they were my husband, parents and best friends, I’m pretty certain they were sincere–they can be brutally honest. The shortbread is unique and crave-worthy, the whipped cream smooth and cinnamon-y, and the blueberry layer bursting with flavor. Definitely a winning twist on Grandma’s classic recipe!

I opted for a square baking pan when the shortbread crust kept slowly sinking back down each time I pressed it up the sides of a pie pan. Pressed over just the bottom of an 8×8 pan worked perfectly. Hence the title, Grandma D’s Blueberry Cream Pie—Squared. Enjoy!
Pie

Grandma D's Blueberry Cream Pie--Squared

Shortbread crust:
1 cup almond meal (also called almond flour)

1 cup white whole wheat flour

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon

¾ teaspoon salt

¾ cup coconut oil, melted

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil an 8 x 8 inch square baking pan.

Place the almond meal, flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a medium mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Pour in the melted coconut oil and stir just till combined (do not over-mix).

Place shortbread dough in prepared baking pan and press over the bottom in an even layer. Bake for 35-40 minutes until edges are beginning to turn golden brown. Place on a rack to cool.

Cinnamon Coconut Milk Whipped Cream:
2 cans coconut milk (not light), refrigerated overnight, don’t shake before opening

½ cup confectioner’s sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon pure vanilla

Chill a bowl and beaters in the freezer for 30 minutes. Place coconut solids (solids only—when you get to where the solids end and the coconut water starts, stop—you don’t want any of the water) from both cans in bowl and beat until smooth and thick. Add powdered sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla and beat to incorporate. Taste and add more sugar or cinnamon, if needed, and mix again. Refrigerate at least two hours. This keeps in the fridge for several days, so can be made ahead of time.

Blueberry Pie Filling:
¾ cup organic granulated sugar

1 ½ tablespoon arrowroot or cornstarch

¼ teaspoon salt

¾ cup water

3 cups blueberries, rinsed and drained, divided

2 tablespoons vegan non-hydrogenated margarine or butter (optional)

1 ½ tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice

Combine sugar, arrowroot, and salt in a medium saucepan. Mix in the water and one cup of the blueberries. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, and cook until thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in butter or margarine, if using, and the lemon juice. Set aside and let cool. Once cool, fold in the additional two cups blueberries. Chill for at least an hour.

To assemble pie, spread about half of the cinnamon whipped cream over the shortbread crust in an even layer. Spoon blueberry mixture over the whipped cream, spreading to the edges of pan. Cover and chill at least 2 hours. Cut into squares and serve with an additional dollop of cinnamon whipped cream. Makes 9 servings, and keeps well in the refrigerator for a couple days.

 

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3 thoughts on “Grandma D’s Blueberry Cream Pie—Squared

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