This is the a cross-posting series following the food and literary blogger Stacey at A Literary Supper. It will follow her thoughts on books she has read, and some of the delicious food she has been inspired to make because of those books. Whether the meals appear in the books, or are simply inspired by them, they are included. This article is called “Blueberry Pie – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory“.
“‘Blueberry pie and cream!’ shouted Violet. ‘Here it comes! Oh my, it’s perfect! It’s beautiful! It’s…it’s exactly as though I’m chewing and swallowing great big spoonfuls of the most marvellous blueberry pie in the world!”
– Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is the first book that ever scared me – mainly because I knew that if I had the opportunity to go to a chocolate factory in my younger years, I would most likely have no control over myself and end up weirdly deformed like the children within the book, sans Charlie, find themselves.
I do love Roald Dahls writing though, and recall reading this book countless times in order to fully submerse myself into the magical world of Wonka. There are so many fantastical treats that lie waiting within the pages, a lot that I’m hoping to attempt to make at some stage (once I master using agar agar for marshmallows that is) – so I started with the easiest. Also I was really craving some sort of pie so this worked quite complimentary.
As many probably remember Violet Beauregarde, the driven, ambitious young girl with a chewing gum record, finds herself blown up like a blueberry when consuming one fo Wonka’s not-quite-ready creations. A stick of gum that gives the chewer the experience of a three course meal. A starter of tomato soup, a main of roast beed with roast potatoes, and a dessert of blueberry pie with cream. While there have been some amazing attempts and successes at creating the stick of chewing gum with all those flavours within it, I wanted to make something a little more simple.
Violet Beauregarde’s Blueberry Pie
2 1/2 cups plain flour
2 teaspoons sugar
220g of very cold butter (I measured mine out and popped it in the freezer for about ten minutes before using)
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
4 – 8 tablespoons of ice water
1 tablespoon milk + 1 teaspoon maple syrup (for glazing)
1 teaspoon sugar (for sprinkling on top)
4 cups of blueberries (fresh or frozen is fine – just be aware frozen will definitely leak more juices at it bakes and possibly cause a little sogginess)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Squeeze of lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- To make your crust, combine the flour and salt together and cut through the butter (I used a food processor for this – but it can be done by hand, just avoid using your hands too much as it will very quickly warm the butter).
- Combine the apple cider vinegar and water together and mix with the flour until it resembles a crumble texture (again, I used a food processor for this step, if doing by hand use a butter knife to combine to avoid warming the mix too much).
- When dough is combined, wrap in cling wrap and pop in the fridge for at least half an hour before using – you can easily make this dough a few days in advance and even freeze it if necessary.
- While the dough is chilling is a good time to prepare the blueberry filling. Mix all the filling ingredients together until the blueberries are nicely coated. Prepare a pie dish in the meantime by greasing the bottom.
- Preheat your oven to 190C.
- Break your chilled dough into two equal parts. Lightly coat a surface with a sprinkling of flour and roll out one part of the dough until it it approximately half a cm thick – lay this into the prepared pie dish and leave the edges hanging over.
- Fill with the blueberry mix. Now – you can either roll out your remaining dough and pop it on top as is or you can do whatever kind of top you prefer. Trim the edges down once done and crimp around the edge of the pan to prevent any juice spilling out. When your have the top on mix together the milk and maple syrup and brush that over the surface of the pie before sprinkling the teaspoon of sugar on top.
- Pop the pie in the oven – I recommend putting a tray underneath to catch any wayward drippings that you don’t want to clean out later. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes or until the top of the pie is golden brown.