National Blueberry Pie Day

a blueberry lattice pie for National Blueberry Pie Day

April 28th is National Blueberry Pie Day!

This day is dedicated to the delicious dessert that combines the tangy sweetness of blueberries with a flaky, buttery crust. It is a day to celebrate one of America’s favorite pies and to indulge in its mouth-watering flavors.

History of National Blueberry Pie Day

The origins of National Blueberry Pie Day are unclear, but we love this day anyway!

A Little Bit About Blueberries

Blueberries have been enjoyed in the United States for centuries. Native Americans used them in cooking and for medicinal purposes, and early European settlers in North America quickly adopted them as well. Blueberries were later commercialized, and today they are an important crop in many parts of the United States.

We do know that the very first blueberry pie recipe was actually published by Mrs. Bliss in the “Practical Cook Book” in 1850. Though some would argue that the first documented recipe was the Appledore Cook Book​​​​ from 1872 with a recipe for Berry Pie. Either way, there’s nothing quite like a warm slice of blueberry pie!

Did you know that there is a Blueberry Council? Yes!!!  The Council promotes blueberries as a healthy and delicious food, and National Blueberry Pie Day is just one way to raise awareness of this versatile fruit.

Here’s another cool little factiod: Did you know that the official dessert of Maine is the Blueberry Pie? Yup. In 2011, The Maine legislature declared that the blueberry pie was their state’s official dessert … made with wild Maine Blueberries, of course!

Health Benefits of Blueberries

Not only are blueberries delicious, but they are also packed with vitamins and minerals making them one of the healthiest fruits. Blueberries, a part of the superfood group, are low in calories but high in fiber, making them a great food for weight loss, keeping blood sugar low, and digestive health. They are also rich in antioxidants, which help protect the body from damage caused by free radicals.

Moreover, blueberries are known to have anti-inflammatory properties that can help prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure and cancer. Blueberries are also believed to improve brain function and may even help prevent cognitive decline in older adults.

By themselves, they make a healthy, delicious treat and a great snack! 

Why we love blueberries:

They played a big part of history. Early american settlers, particularly in New England, found these little wild blueberries and used them to help get them through some lean times. By the early 1900s, the little purple ball had become tamed and spread all over the US. 

We even have blueberry bushes way down South now. And with a harvest season from April to September, we can enjoy these delicious treats all summer long. It’s pretty easy to indulge in pounds of blueberries when they’re growing right out in your backyard!

National Blueberry Pie Day is an opportunity to celebrate one of America’s favorite pies and indulge in its delicious flavors. Whether you make a classic blueberry pie or try a unique variation, this day is a chance to enjoy this tasty dessert with family and friends.

Types of Blueberries:

There are several types of blueberries, each with their own unique flavor, texture, and appearance. Here are some common types of blueberries:

  1. Highbush Blueberries: These are the most commonly grown blueberries and are known for their large size and sweet flavor. Highbush blueberries are often sold fresh in supermarkets and used in baked goods and other recipes.
  2. Lowbush Blueberries: Also known as “wild” blueberries, these are smaller and more tart than highbush blueberries. They are often used in jams, jellies, and other preserves.
  3. Rabbiteye Blueberries: These blueberries are known for their high antioxidant content and are often used in juices and smoothies. They are typically grown in the southeastern United States.
  4. Southern Highbush Blueberries: These blueberries are a hybrid of highbush and rabbiteye varieties and are grown in warm climates. They have a mild, sweet flavor and are often used in baked goods and desserts.
  5. Half-High Blueberries: These are a cross between lowbush and highbush blueberries and are grown in colder climates. They are typically smaller than highbush blueberries but larger than lowbush blueberries and have a sweet, tangy flavor.
  6. Wild Blueberries: These are a specific type of lowbush blueberry that grow naturally in North America. They are smaller than cultivated blueberries and have a more intense, tangy flavor. Wild blueberries are often used in baking and other recipes that call for a strong blueberry flavor.

Blueberries are not only delicious but also healthy, and incorporating them into your diet can have numerous benefits. Blueberries are versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes, from smoothies to salads to baked goods. If you don’t want to bake your own, you can visit a local bakery and grab one for your fam. 

Making the Perfect Blueberry Pie

If you want to celebrate National Blueberry Pie Day, you can make your own blueberry pie at home. Here are the ingredients you’ll need for any basic recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 double pie crust
  • 6 cups fresh wild maine blueberries
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Here are some great blueberry pie recipes you might want to try! 

There’s something particularly special about that buttery, golden brown crust, isn’t there? Whether you add a lattice top or crimp edges of the top crusts around the pie, one of these recipes is sure to delight!

Variations on the Classic Blueberry Pie

While a classic blueberry pie is delicious, there are many variations you can try to make your pie unique. Here are a few ideas:

  • Add lemon zest or orange zest to the filling for an extra burst of citrus flavor.
  • Top the pie with a crumb topping made from flour, butter, and sugar instead of a second pie crust.
  • Mix blueberries with other berries, such as strawberries or raspberries, for a mixed berry pie.
  • Add a splash of vanilla extract or almond extract to the filling for extra flavor.
  • Top your pie with some delicious vanilla ice cream (or maybe even homemade blueberryice cream!)
  • Add some spices like cinnamon, nutmeg or star anise for some extra umph.

On National Blueberry Pie Day, we pie lovers should take some time to appreciate the history and versatility of these delicious berries, and indulge in a slice of pie or a blueberry-themed dish. This day is a reminder to enjoy the simple pleasures in life and to celebrate the foods that bring us joy.

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