A Stranger Reconnected Me with My Nana’s Blueberry Pie Recipe
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Tracey Russo was shocked when a stranger reached out online and offered to send a long-lost pie recipe from her grandmother.
Those of us who have inherited our grandmothers’ recipe boxes know how lucky we are. The recipes that have been handed down generations are timeless. Along with tasting delicious, they also bring back fond memories with every bite.
Tracey Russo, a member of Bakeable from Taste of Home, was very close with her grandmother, Arlene Hall, and does have her recipe box, which is filled with favorites like ribbon fudge and yeast rolls. But what wasn’t included in there was Arlene’s old-fashioned blueberry pie recipe.
Thirteen years after her Nana Arlene passed away, Tracey unexpectedly received it.
How She Recovered the Lost Pie Recipe
Tracey Russo for Taste of Home
From the 1940s to the 2000s, Tracey’s grandparents ran a campground in New Hampshire. After recently joining the campground’s Facebook page, Tracey connected with a woman who had known her grandmother. Turns out, the woman had a copy of a blueberry pie recipe from Arlene that she held onto for more than 35 years! She offered to mail the handwritten recipe.
Tracey calls it a sweet gesture. “I have many, many fond memories of being at the lake and picking blueberries with my grandparents,” she says.
Nana’s Old-Fashioned Blueberry Pie Recipe
- 4 cups blueberries, divided
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 pie shell, baked
Tools You’ll Need
These are Tracey’s top-three essential pie-making tools.
- Silicone Mat: “I have a silicone pie mat that I absolutely love,” Tracey tells us.
- Pie Plate: “I am not married to a certain pie pan,” she says. “I use metal and glass with equally good results. I think the most important thing to remember is to cook the pie at a high enough temperature to cook the bottom crust, then turn down the temp.”
- Marble Rolling Pin: “I also have a marble rolling pin I’m quite fond of,” Tracey says.
The Handwritten Directions
In saucepan, mix sugar, one cup berries, cornstarch (use heaping spoonful with frozen berries), salt, water, cinnamon and lemon juice. Cook and stir until thick. Remove from heat. Add butter and remaining berries. Stir until mixed well and butter is melted. Pour in prepared shell.
How did this old-fashioned blueberry pie turn out?
Tracey Russo for Taste of Home
Tracey was very pleased with how her Nana’s blueberry pie came out. She considers herself an experienced pie maker, which is good considering the recipe didn’t include any baking instructions! So, she did what she always does for fruit pies: Bake at 425° F for 15 to 20 minutes, then turn down to 375°, cover the edges so they don’t brown too much, and bake for another 20 to 25 minutes. It did the trick. “The pie came out awesome,” she says. “It wasn’t overly sweet and the texture was great.”
Tracey never made this pie with her Nana but she remembers eating it. They’d pick blueberries in the morning from the many blueberry bushes along the paths at the campground and Nana would bake the pie that day (if it wasn’t too hot out!). Tracey remembers it always tasting best when they ate it at their house on the lake.
“She would be tickled pink to think that one of her recipes was published. Getting this recipe 13 years after she passed away is very special and not something I ever expected,” Tracey says. “It’s faded and stained and will be cherished. I miss my Nana very much but by getting this recipe it’s a great reminder she’s always with me.” How sweet!