Today I joined the Empty Nest club. Never, ever wanted to be a member.
I spent the last few weeks getting one son off for his senior year of college at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and my daughter moved in to her apartment in Columbus, Ohio where she will start post graduate studies at The Ohio State University. (That is a looooooooong drive from our home in Norwich, VT!). Today I said goodbye to my youngest son, who is also off to UW-Madison to begin his freshman year.
I’m doing better than I thought…but it has only been 5 hours. lol. The first thing I did when I got home was to come here, which is one of my very happy places.
Speaking of happy, this Blueberry Cream Pie is very cheerful. It’s so easy, too. Just make a graham cracker crust and pack it with a thick, lemon scented blueberry filling. The creamy topping has cheesecake vibes and looks so festive piped onto the cake with some reserved blueberry filling swirled in.
Blueberry Cream Pie
Graham Cracker Crust (recipe follows)
Blueberry Filling (recipe follows)
Topping (recipe follows)
1. Spread blueberry filling evenly over bottom of pie crust.
2. Fit large pastry bag with large closed star tip.
3. Use a small spatula or butter knife to “paint” 3 vertical stripes of the reserved blueberry mixture up sides of pastry bag. (You could also omit the pastry bag and just spoon the topping on the pie and swirl in the blueberry mixture with a knife).
4. Fill pastry bag with topping and pipe rosettes over surface of pie, covering filling as much as possible.
5. Refrigerate pie for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours.
Graham Cracker Crust
12 whole graham crackers (6.5 oz) broken into pieces
2 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat to 325℉.
2. Process cracker pieces in food processor until finely ground. Add sugar and salt and pulse to combine. Add melted butter and pulse until combined.
3. Transfer crumbs to 9-inch pie plate and press into bottom and up the sides.
4. Bake until crust begins to brown, about 16 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool.
1/2 cup sugar
4 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 pounds fresh blueberries
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1. Whisk sugar, cornstarch and salt in medium saucepan until well combined.
2. Process 2 cups of the blueberries in food processor until smooth. Stir into sugar mixture until combined. (The original recipe then calls for pressing the mixture through a sieve to get a smooth purée. I started to do that, but it was a lot of work and I don’t think it really matters since you are going to stir the remaining whole berries in).
3. Bring mixture to simmer over medium heat, whisking frequently. Continue to cook, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens.
4. Off heat, whisk in lemon juice. Reserve 2 tablespoons of blueberry mixture for piping. Stir remaining blueberries into remaining mixture in saucepan.
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream, chilled
1. Using stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whip cream cheese, sugar and vanilla on medium-high speed until very smooth, about 2 minutes, scraping down bowl as needed.
2. With mixer running, slowly pour in cream and whip until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes.
Recipes slightly adapted from Kate Cooks The Books
Norwegian singer/songwriter Tuva Hellum Marschhäuser, the genius behind the solo project Tuvaband, has the voice I needed today. ‘Mess’ is soothing to me and I am grateful for the beauty of her music.
“The nest is empty,
head is full,
can’t make a move.
I beg for frames to tuck me in
When the skies burst
I will find my own way, on my own”
Check out Tuvaband on her Website where you can learn of upcoming shows in Ottawa and London and link to buy the music.