AS SWEET AS PIE…

The last weeks of summer usher in seasonal fruit pie time.

Blueberry tartWith the scent of fresh pies wafting from kitchens, we’ve been inspired to think of wine, beer, ciders and spirits with their own aromas reminiscent of summer fruits. Wines typically gain their fruity aromas from the grapes themselves or the fermentation process, although some are simply made from fruits. Some oak-aged wines offer baking spice aromas acquired from time spent in oak barrels. Cider naturally express apple and pear flavours, but many are flavoured to take on the aromas of the other summer fruits. Spirits may have some subtle fruit notes, but we’ve amplified our selections and used them to craft seasonally inspired cocktail recipes.

Apple Cocktail

Place 2 tablespoons diced apple, 1/2 fluid ounce simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Muddle to release apple juice. Top with 1 1/4 fluid ounces Grey Goose Vodka, 1/4 fluid ounce orange liqueur and 3/4 fluid ounce lemon juice. Fill with ice. Shake  and double strain into chilled cocktail glass.

Peach Gin Fizz

Place 1 fluid ounce Steinhart Gin, 1 fluid ounce peach nectar and 1/2 fluid ounce fresh lemon juice in a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice. Shake and strain into Champagne flute. Top with sparkling wine.

Blueberry Gin Mojito

Place 3 tablespoons fresh blueberries and 6 mint leaves in a highball glass. Muddle to release blueberry juices. Fill with crushed ice. Add 1 1/2 fluid ounces Hendrick’s Gin, 1/4 fluid ounce lemon juice and 1/4 fluid ounce simple syrup. Stir. Top with club soda. Garnish with more mint.

Ginger Pear Cocktail

Place 1/4 cup chopped pear, 1/2 fluid ounce simple syrup and the juice of half a lime in cocktail shaker. Muddle to release pear juice. Add 1 1/2 fluid ounces Ironworks and fill with ice. Shake and then strain into an ice-filled highball glass. Top with 4 fluid ounces ginger beer.

Quick and Easy Lemon Blueberry Tarts

Serves 8
Prep time: Less than 30 minutesTartlets with blueberries
Total time:
Less than 1 hour

  • 8 frozen tart shells
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups blueberries

Directions: Bake frozen tart shells according to manufacturer’s instructions. Make a lemon curd by placing lemon juice, lemon zest and sugar in a pot. Heat until the sugar dissolves. Place the beaten eggs in a bowl. Very slowly, pour the hot liquid into the beaten eggs, whisking constantly. Return the liquid to the pot by pouring through a fine sieve. Cook over low heat until the curd just begins to boil. Remove pot from heat and let cool. Pour curd into tart shells and top each with a few tablespoons of fresh blueberries.

Simple Pie Fillings

Blueberry Cinnamon Pie Filling

Place 1 cup blueberries, juice and zest of 2 oranges, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon and a large pinch of salt in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat. Cook until the mixture becomes thick.  Add 1 tablespoon unsalted butter and 3 more cups of blueberries. Let the mixture cool, and then use to fill a prebaked pie crust. Serve cold or warm.

Blackberry Nutmeg Pie Filling

Place 1 cup blackberries, juice and zest of 1 lemon, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg and a large pinch of salt in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat. Cook until the mixture becomes thick. Add 1 tablespoon unsalted butter and 3 more cups blackberries. Let the mixture cool, and then use to fill a prebaked pie crust. Serve cold or warm.

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