Blueberry Cheese Custard Pie
I made two of these pies.
One went to the restaurant kitchen in Herb's Social. Chef said "it's f*cking delicious." Servers and prep cooks, dishwashers and bartenders, all loved it.
The other went to Ravi's workplace. I got phone calls and Instagram messages and texts about it. My pie was a knockout.
I was so proud of myself.
I did a marketing promo for Nabisco a few weeks ago and they gave me 2 huge boxes of these breakfast biscuits. They're whole wheat, with plenty of fiber, but Ravi and I don't really eat breakfast so I didn't have much use for them in their current form. They're blueberry flavor, which is why I chose a blueberry pie!
I decided to crumble them and make them into a pie crust.
Simply put the biscuits in a gallon ziplock and beat them to hell with your rolling pin. If your husband is sitting 10 feet away on the couch watching Fast & Furious, I suggest rolling them. It's quieter.
There's already plenty of sugar and spice in the biscuits themselves, so they don't need any extra doctoring. Simply pour melted butter in a bowl with your crumbs and mix it up. It should feel a bit like wet sand.
Push your crumbs into a 9" pie pan. With this recipe, I found a deeper pan works the best.
This is a bit of a difficult task, since it feels a little loose, but do your best. Just don't leave any holes. I like having a clear pie dish so I can check for holes by lifting it to the light to see if it shines through.
Bake it at 325° F for 8-ish minutes.
While that's going on, get your cream custard going. It's just the sugar, eggs, mascarpone, and cream cheese. I used a spatula and whisk to do this- my stand mixer had to be left in Seattle since we had a weight limit on our belongings. Any beating method would work, to be honest. A little elbow grease never hurt anyone. Please follow the recipe for this part to be sure you're doing it in order.
Pour it into the pie. Bake until almost set, then pop it in the fridge while you make up the berries.
I added lemony goodness to the berries, since I find blueberries to be less bright than I want, especially when paired with cream cheese. The creaminess needs acid.
Berries, a little bit of water, sugar, and the lemon juice and zest are cooked down. Then a slurry of cornstarch is added. You can see in the photos that the liquid reduced a bit before it was put on the pie.
Let the berries cool some before you spoon it over the custard.
Lastly, let that pie hang out in the fridge for a few hours. The berries will set and it will be easier to cut that way.
Blueberry Cheese Custard Pie
For the crust:
2 cups of Nabisco BelVita blueberry biscuit crumbs (you could use a graham cracker crust, or any other sweet biscuit, but the blueberry BelVita ones are the best, flavor-wise)
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
For the cheese filling:
1/4 lb (125 g) cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 lb (125 g) mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the berry layer:
1/2 lb (250 g) fresh blueberries (about 2 cups)
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 1/2 tbs. cornstarch
Preheat your oven to 325°F (165°C).
To make a crust, crush your Nabisco crackers into as fine a crumb as you have the patience for. The finer, the better. Pour the crumbs into a mixing bowl and mix in the salt and butter until blended. Pat the mixture evenly into a 9" pie pan and up the sides. Bake for 8-ish minutes, or until slightly firm.
Beat together cream cheese, mascarpone, 1/4 cup of the sugar, and the vanilla until blended and smooth. I did this by hand with a spatula, since my mixer didn't make it to Texas with us. I recommend using a hand mixer or stand mixer, since I had to use my immersion blender to smooth it out. Both methods work just fine. Add the eggs one at at time, beating until well blended. Again, I did this by hand with a whisk. It thins out with the eggs so the whisk works well.
Pour the filling into the crust and spread evenly.
Bake until the custard is set, 25-30 minutes. You should have a nice little wobble at the end, but not soupy. If it's not set enough for your comfort, just keep it in 2 minutes longer. It should not be fully firm when you remove it from the oven.
Remove it from the oven and let it cool for about an hour. I refrigerated mine to speed it up a bit, but that's not necessary.
In a saucepan, combine the blueberries, 1/2 cup water, the rest of the sugar, the zest of a lemon, and a hefty squeeze of the juice from the lemon. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Once it looks like it's reduced a little bit, remove it from the heat and add a cornstarch slurry (cornstarch whisked in a little extra water). Return to the heat, bring to a boil, and stir constantly until thickened, which should take about a minute. Remove from the heat and let cool.
Spoon the berries over the cooled custard. Let the pie chill for at least an hour. I let mine chill in the fridge overnight and really enjoyed the consistency.