What could be more enjoyable than a slice of, delicious, blueberry pie? Blueberries, or star berries as the Native Americans call them, are one of nature’s superfoods. Rich in antioxidants and vitamins, and extremely healthy, blueberries are one of nature’s many good gifts that humans can use to create a myriad of delicious recipes!
Super healthy and super delicious, this superfood is perfect when made into a classic pie. And that’s exactly what National Blueberry Pie Day is here to celebrate!
History of National Blueberry Pie Day
The humble blueberry is one of few blue foods that can be found in nature and it is native to the Americas. Today, more than 690 million pounds of blueberries are grown each year in the United States.
Blueberries are not only delicious, but they are healthy as well, since the chemicals and antioxidants found in blueberries may contribute to fighting diseases and even preventing certain cancers.
When these delectable little berries are mixed together and stuffed into a pie, well, that’s certainly a reason to take notice! From what certain researchers have found, this making of Blueberry Pie likely happened somewhere in the mid-19th century.
The recipe for a Blueberry Pie seems to have first appeared in a cookbook in 1872, using wild blueberries that were growing in Maine, USA. However, the first printed reference to ‘blueberry pie’ may have been almost 50 years earlier, in the New England Farmer Journal in 1829.
The Civil War may actually have had a hand in promoting blueberries (and, thus, blueberry pie) to larger regions. After soldiers got their first taste of wild blueberries in Maine, they developed a taste for them and took them home with them to other states.
Now, Blueberry Pie day is celebrated by chefs, restaurants, bakeries, culinary experts and pie lovers all throughout the United States–and some places in the rest of the world too!
How to Celebrate National Blueberry Pie Day
Celebrating National Blueberry Pie Day certainly comes with a whole lot of deliciousness and enjoyment! Even for people who don’t prefer blueberries, substituting for another berry in a pie is a perfect solution.
Consider these fun ways to celebrate National Blueberry Pie Day:
Make a Blueberry Pie
Americans have been enjoying blueberry pies for years and there is no shortage of scrumptious recipes on the internet. Why not have a personal blueberry pie celebration by making a pie or other tasty blueberry-themed dishes? Get in the kitchen and bake up something yummy!
For those who don’t feel quite as adventurous, those who don’t want to channel their inner Martha Stewart, or those who don’t have a whole lot of time, there’s no shame in using a premade pie crust bought at the store to build that lovely pie. Fresh blueberries are yummy, but for an even easier hack, use blueberry pie filling in a can, which can be found in the baking section of the grocery store. It’s just as yummy and so much simpler.
Try a New Twist on an Old Favorite
In addition to using traditional blueberry pie recipes, why not experiment with some new ones? Try out these ideas:
- Add ricotta cheese to the filling, to produce a creamy twist to the standard pie
- Shake things up by adding black pepper, combined with warm spices, will give that blueberry pie a real kick.
- Toss a bit of Amaretto liqueur into the recipe to offer an almond flavor that is sure to please.
- In lieu of weaving pieces of crust across the top of the blueberry pie, try a crumble-like topping that is made from oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and flour.
- For a super easy pie crust substitute, try making a graham cracker crust that mixes with graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and a bit of sugar.
Make and Give Individual Pies to Friends and Family
Instead of baking a whole pie that needs to be eaten in one place, try making individual hand pies (sometimes called pasties) that can be easily baked and filled. Simply roll out the refrigerated pie dough, add blueberry filling, fold over, crimp the edges and bake! It’s a delicious treat that is much faster and easier than a pie made in a traditional pie pan. Plus, it’s simple to bring a bunch of them to the office and pass them out to coworkers to get them to celebrate National Blueberry Pie Day!
Buy a Blueberry Pie
For those who simply don’t have time to spend in the kitchen, head on over to a local bakery and pick up a blueberry pie. (Ordering ahead might be a good idea!) If a local bakery doesn’t have blueberry pies, some delicious options can certainly be ordered through online sources and shipped.
Some bakeries have been known to host National Blueberry Pie Day events and giveaways that help to promote the celebration. Wholly Wholesome, an American baked goods company that sells pies and pie doughs (through grocery stores and online), has been known to host a National Blueberry Pie Day Giveaway in the past! Check out their website for more information and locations–and also to see their gluten-free options.
Host a Pie-Eating Contest
In the traditional vein of any pie day, and National Blueberry Pie Day is no exception, one fun activity is to host a pie-eating contest! Gather some brave friends, family, neighbors or coworkers for a fun event. If raising money for a cause, don’t forget to solicit donations by reaching out to a local bakery!
Allow a few contestants to participate, proving their abilities (and the size of their stomachs!) by showing how much pie they can eat. Typically, the parameters may be something along the lines of “the winner is the one who eats the most pie in 60 seconds”. Or each person gets one pie and the winner is the one who eats it the fastest.
In any case, it’s likely to be a bit of a mess so be sure to provide protective gear for the people, the table, and the floor!
Learn Some Fun Facts About Blueberries (and Pie!)
Consider these interesting pieces of information to share with friends and family on National Blueberry Pie Day:
- Blueberries are native to North America, where the bulk of them continue to be grown today.
- Growing blueberries requires very specific conditions, including moist soil that has certain acidity and pH levels.
- Blueberry season lasts from April through October, with peak season in June. Harvesting begins in the south in the late spring and works its way north throughout the season.