I have a theory that there are two types of people in the world: Cake People and Pie People. I am one of the Pie People.
I’ll eat cake, but when I do my heart almost always wishes I were eating pie instead. I’m certain my preference toward pie has to do with my partiality toward salt over sugar. The salt in pie crust makes the sweetness of the filling more bearable. Whereas when I eat cake, the shot of pure sweetness makes my teeth hurt. It’s not just me, as an informal polling of friends at a recent party revealed that those of us who crave salt heavily skew toward being Pie People.
One of the problems with being a Pie Person is that pies usually take more time to prepare than cakes. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have a lot of time to devote to pie making. I know how to make an amazing pie crust, but I rarely have the time to do it. And, my neighborhood is sadly void of decent pie-making bakeries.
So, when I was developing this recipe, I kept my fellow time-crunched Pie People in mind. The recipe adjusts based on the amount of time you have to devote to making the pie. This one is perfect for Independence Day celebrations where setting down a bright blue pie is commonplace:
Adjust-as-Necessary Blueberry Cream Pie
Time-saving options are in parenthesis
- A 9″ deep dish pie crust (or a 9″ deep dish Keebler graham cracker Ready Crust)
- 1 pint of blueberries, washed and the bad ones picked out (or one 21 oz. can of blueberry pie filling)
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup of sugar, based on your tartness flavor preference (or delete this ingredient if using blueberry pie filling)
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream (or 2 cups real whipped cream from a spray can — do NOT use Cool Whip)
- 1/2 cup sugar (or delete this ingredient if using whipped cream from a spray can)
Per the pie crust’s instructions, bake and set aside to cool. If using a frozen pie crust, I prefer to use the Marie Callendar brand, which is flaky and only takes 12 minutes to bake. (Alternative: If not using a traditional pie crust, simply unwrap the Keebler graham cracker Ready Crust.)
While the pie crust is baking, clean a pint of blueberries. Be sure to pick out the stems and bad berries as you’re transferring the clean berries to a bowl. With a fork, stab some of the blueberries, smoosh a few up against the side of the bowl, and leave a few whole. Pour up to 1/2 a cup of sugar over the berries, mix well, and set aside. (Alternative: If not using fresh berries, open a can of blueberry pie filling and pour it into a bowl. Set aside.)
In a mixing bowl, combine 8 oz cream cheese and 1 cup powdered sugar until the consistency of butter. Transfer the cream cheese mixture to a separate bowl and clean out your mixing bowl if you only have one mixing bowl for your stand mixer. (Sorry, but there isn’t a short cut for this step.)
Pour 1 cup of heavy whipping cream into a mixing bowl and turn to a medium speed. Slowly add 1/2 cup of sugar to the liquid and whip until you have whipped cream — be careful not to over whip. (Alternative: Measure two cups of whipped cream out of a spray can.)
Gently — oh, so very gently — fold and stir the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture until blended. Then, pour the cream mixture into the cooled pie crust.
Using a strainer, drain off some of the syrup from the blueberries before adding the berries to the top of the pie. You won’t want to strain off all the syrup, but you’ll need to take off some so you don’t make a mess of things. (Alternative: If using blueberry pie filling, you may also need to strain off some of the syrup from the berries. You probably won’t need the whole can of pie filling to cover the top of the pie.)
Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving. Also, refrigerate any leftovers if there happen to be any.
Now it’s time to confess — are you one of the Cake People, or are you one of the Pie People, too?