I’ll Have a Blue(berry) Christmas Pie, Without You…

Recently the food blogosphere has been swarming with wacky pies created for a monthly event called You Want Pies With That? Each month has a different theme, and the challenge is to create an original pie that somehow plays on that theme. I hardly ever make pies for myself, since I’m more of a cake girl, but it seems like a fun idea, and since it is Pie Season, I’ve decided to join. This month’s theme is Holiday Songs, so I took my inspiration from the Elvis classic “Blue Christmas” and made aBlue(berry) Christmas Pie.

I’ll have a blue Christmas without you
I’ll be so blue just thinking about you…
And when those blue snowflakes start falling
That’s when those blue memories start calling
You’ll be doin’ all right, with your Christmas of white
But I’ll have a blue, blue blue blue Christmas.

Obviously, with “Blue Christmas” as my inspiration, this pie had to be seriously blue. I decided to make a miniature pie (because there’s only…sob…one person to eat it!) with alternating layers of cream cheese ice cream and blueberry ice cream (feeling the cold freeze of loneliness!) and topped by a mound of fresh blue, blue, blue blueberries.
I began with a graham cracker crust, made with cinnamon graham crackers. (I think gingersnaps would also be awesome with this pie.) I then made two batches of ice cream–one from cream cheese with just a hint of lemon, and one from fresh blueberries. I mixed a bit of the two together to form a light blue (well, purplish) colored cream so that I had three ice cream bases total. A short while later (ha!), after all three were churned, I got to work layering my ice creams in the prebaked shell. I had a vision of perfectly even, uniform layers, but that didn’t quite work out. The effect was still striking, though, and oh-so-blue.

The melting ice cream makes it look like the pie is crying! Poor blue pie.

Since this pie took awhile to put together, I had high expectations, and it did not disappoint. The ice creams turned out beautifully creamy but not too heavy, the lightly spiced crust added a nice crunch while not being too thick, and the juicy blueberries on top added great flavor and cut the richness of the ice cream. Obviously this pie might not fit into some Christmas celebrations, but here in LA it’s still beastly hot, so it seemed perfectly seasonal.

This is also my entry to this month’s Sugar High Friday event. This month it’s being hosted by Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook, and the theme is All That Glitters. Looking at that mound of glistening berries atop the pie, I couldn’t think of a more appropriate entry. The recipe is right after the jump…

Blueberry Ice Cream Pie
Yield: 1 deep-dish 7″ tart, with a little ice cream left over

Print this Recipe!

18 graham crackers
1/3 cup sugar
1 stick butter, melted

Place the graham crackers in a food processor with the sugar and process until fine crumbs. Pour into a large bowl and pour the melted butter on top, mixing with your hands until the mixture has the consistency of wet sand and holds its shape when you grip it between your palms. Spray a tart pan with a removable bottom with cooking spray, and press the crust into the pan in a medium-thick layer. Place in a preheated 350 degree oven and bake for 8 minutes, allow to cool completely. Can be made ahead of time.

Blueberry Ice Cream
1.5 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
pinch salt
3/4 cup milk
1-1/8 cups heavy cream

In a saucepan bring blueberries, sugar, and salt to a boil over moderate heat, mashing berries and stirring with a fork. Simmer mixture, stirring frequently, 5 minutes and cool slightly. In a blender purée mixture with milk just until smooth and stir in cream. Pour purée through a sieve into a bowl, pressing on solids with back of a spoon. Chill mixture, covered, at least 2 hours, or until cold, and up to 1 day. Freeze mixture in an ice-cream maker. Transfer ice cream to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden. Ice cream may be made 1 week ahead.

Cream Cheese Ice Cream
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup heavy cream

Blend cream cheese, milk, lemon juice, sugar, and salt in a blender until smooth. Transfer to a bowl, then stir in cream. Freeze cream cheese mixture in ice cream maker. Transfer to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden, at least 2 hours. Let ice cream soften 5 minutes before serving.

Pie Assembly
You want all of your ice cream to be about the same consistency: soft enough to spread, but firm enough that it won’t liquefy and run into all the other layers. I found it easiest to work with ice cream that was freshly made and then stuck in the freezer for about 20-30 minutes. If it seemed too hard, I worked it with my hands for a few seconds to get it soft enough. Basically just spoon a small amount of cream cheese ice cream in the bottom of the prebaked shell and spread it in an even layer with a small offset spatula. If it seems firm enough, you can continue layering on top right away, or freeze it for 10-15 minutes and then repeat the layering until you have reached the top of the shell. I had about 1 cup of ice cream left over, your results may vary with the size of your shell. Freeze until completely solid, at least 3 hours.

Top the pie with 2 pints fresh blueberries. If you desire, you can glaze them with an apricot glaze or add fresh or candied lemon zest on top.

21 Responses to I’ll Have a Blue(berry) Christmas Pie, Without You…
  1. Jason says:

    I LOVE the look of this dessert.

  2. Cathy says:

    (GASP!!!)) It’s so . . . blue! So, so, so blue. I love your theme, and I am seriously impressed by the blueness. I bet that this is delicious! Nice theme!

  3. Eunice says:

    You make ice cream making sound like it’s a bubble bath! “I made 2 batches of ice cream…”

    LOL! I have a phobia of ice cream making ever since mine (by muscles not machine) did not exactly turn out.

    The pie is BEEYOOTIFUL! I may even want to enter myself!!

  4. Marthe says:

    Wow!!! I love blueberries and this pie looks great. Can I have a piece??

  5. Danielle says:

    WOW how gorgeous is that??? It’s almost to pretty to eat.

  6. Gretchen Noelle says:

    Gorgeous! Those layers are just incredible! Wonderful job!

  7. Teanna says:

    Holy crap that is freaking awesome!

  8. The Food Librarian says:

    This is amazing! So pretty. You made sooo many different components! Beautiful!

  9. Linda says:

    WOW…i love the vibrant colors of the layers…it is visually stunning!!!!

  10. Alexis says:

    Super Yummy! I love the look of all the layers it’s simple fabulous! I only wish something I make could look like that! :)

  11. MacDuff says:

    THIS IS AWESOME!!!!! I am so impressed that you pulled this off! I would never have the patience.

  12. Matt says:

    Those perfect hues of blue are amazing! An inspired choice, especially with the theme song challenge aspect of it. You could play the Elvis song when you serve it!

    Please stop by my blog and pick up an award that I left you. (You can pick from the ones that were passed on to me. You are worthy of all of them!

  13. Lisa says:

    I just found your blog and I love it. This pie is so fun to look at. Great pictures!

  14. Maricriss says:

    Oh my goodnesss this pie looks soo goood. Thank you for posting it and I’ll be checking out that pie a month website. Yummo

  15. Jaime says:

    wow, that looks so good!

  16. Carrie says:

    Wow, this pie looks so good I almost question that it’s real! You are an artist and a chef, great job! :-)

  17. Jen H says:

    This pie is soooo beautiful! And totally perfect for LA this time of year!

  18. bakingwiththeboys says:

    This is absolutely beautiful. Great job!

  19. Susan says:

    What a stylin’ effort! This is a gorgeous cake,whether Elvis knows it or not.

    Thanks so much for joining in SHF!

  20. Barbara says:

    That is an absolutely gorgeous pie! I admit, here in chilly Wisconsin I’m not tempted to make it now…but I’ll be thinking of it again come summertime!

  21. You Want Pies With That? says:

    Hey Elizabeth! I don’t know if you saw the post on the pies blog about your tie for winning with this pie, but we announced that you get to pick the theme for March when we announced Feb’s theme. Are you able to email me your theme idea in the next day or so so we can announce it? Thanks!

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