Every year about this time I get really excited about the warm months ahead and love going to the farmers market, cooking with fresh ingredients and sharing it all with friends. Hosting parties is one of my favorite summer activities! There are a few things that I always do when hosting that make any party special.
If the event is casual, I always ask guests to bring a side dish so that we don’t have to do all the work. Cooking food for a lot of people is a lot of work, so asking for help makes planning simple. I love to bake so I’ll usually handle the main course and the dessert. This blueberry pie (scroll down for the recipe) is pretty easy to make but makes a huge impression! It’s so tasty and topped with a little ice cream is the perfect summer treat.
A beautiful table is absolutely necessary. No matter the occasion, I always dress up an outdoor party with a decorated table. Fresh flowers that compliment the color theme of the event make a big statement no matter the size of the arrangement. I love patterned tablecloths and like to let them do a lot of the talking. The blue and white one that I used here is perfect for Memorial Day!
It’s hot in the summer, so parties are usually held when the sun is going down which allows for plenty of time outside. My go-to attire for any summer event: a lightweight dress. I absolutely love these from Maggy London. They are nice and breezy but their pretty details definitely make them party-ready. For the Memorial Day celebration, the short, blue, long-sleeved dress certainly compliments the tablescape and the full-length black dress is great for later in the evening. I love spending time with friends when good food and good weather are involved and I think that summer parties are one of the best ways to do that.
- 2 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 8 ounces or one cup non-dairy butter (Earth Balance), very cold
- ½ cup water, very cold
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 cups blueberries
- 1 tbsp lemon juice, about half a lemon
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- 2 tbsp sugar
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp flour
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- ¼ cup melted non-dairy butter for brushing
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease a 9- inch pie dish and set aside. To prepare the crust, whisk together flour, sugar and salt. Cut the butter into small pieces, about the size of a penny and spread throughout the flour. Using a pastry cutter or a fork, work the butter into the flour. Once the butter is well incorporated, the mixture should look similar to clumpy sand. Gradually stir in the cold water and fold it into the dough with a spatula. You may need more or less water so just keep an eye on it, you want the dough to come into a smooth ball.
- Separate the dough ball into two equal pieces and form a disc. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for about an hour.
- In the meantime, prepare the filling by mixing together all filling ingredients. Allow it to rest on the counter while the dough cools.
- Once the dough is chilled, flour your surface and using a rolling pin, begin rolling one disc into a circle, slightly larger than 9 inches in diameter. Transfer the dough to the pie dish by gently rolling the dough around the pin. Put the rolling pin on the edge of the pan and roll the dough back out. If this seems too difficult, you can use your hands to transfer the dough to the dish.
- Fill the dough with the peach filling.
- Now, roll the second disc just as you did the first. Using a knife or pastry roller, cut the dough into 1 inch strips. Begin to place the strips across the pie and then weave the second layer of strips, over and under until you have reached the edge. Pinch the sides of the crust together so the top and bottom crust are secure. Brush the crust with the melted butter.
- Cook for about 20 minutes until the crust is set. Reduce the temperature to 375 degrees and cook for an addition 25-35 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. If the pie rim browns too quickly at any point, you can cover it with some foil or a pie rim. Allow to cool for 1 hour and serve with your favorite ice cream.
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