Blueberry Custard Pie with Ginger Nut Crumb Crust

I think I’ve prob­a­bly men­tioned at some point or oth­er that while I like to cook (a lot!), the one kind of food that I rarely make is dessert. It’s a com­bi­na­tion of sev­er­al rea­sons; I don’t have a par­tic­u­lar sweet tooth, and in fact, usu­al­ly crave salty, crunchy things (My weak­ness is crunchy, salty, melt­ed cheesy things, like nachos, piz­za or raclette). In a fine restau­rant, you’ll often see me order­ing the cheese plate for dessert. I also don’t have a lot of faith in my abil­i­ty to get the exact mea­sure­ments that cake bak­ing requires (I tend to work on esti­mates, a dash of this, a splash of that, a hand­ful of the oth­er…). Final­ly, my moth­er admit­ted that she could nev­er bake a pie. For all of us in our fam­i­ly, pie-mak­ing was a black art, a skill that my moth­er had nev­er been able to gain, being a Euro­pean immi­grant from a place where they made strudel, tortes and palatschinken, but rarely tarts and nev­er pies. Since I learned most of my ear­ly cook­ing from her, I also lacked the abil­i­ty to make a pie.
So tonight, at the end of the sum­mer, I decid­ed that instead of the usu­al way that I’ve been deal­ing with the abun­dance blue­ber­ries this sum­mer, due to the area’s bumper crop, I would throw togeth­er a lit­tle orig­i­nal dessert cre­ation, which I’m going to call: Blue­ber­ry Cus­tard Pie with Gin­ger Nut Crumb Crust. It’s dead easy, and if you also have some of those blue­ber­ries (or straw­ber­ries, bananas or oth­er fruit that goes well with cus­tard), this might be a good way to use them.

Blueberry Custard Pie with Ginger Nut Crumb Crust

For the crust:
1 package/roll of McVi­tie’s Gin­ger Nuts (their ver­sion of Gin­ger Snaps)
3 table­spoons unsalt­ed but­ter, chilled and cut into small pieces

For the filling:
3 table­spoons Bird’s Cus­tard Powder
3 table­spoons sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
2 cup­s fresh blueberries

Instruc­tions:
Pre­heat the oven to 350° . Crush the cook­ies in a food proces­sor (or put them in a bag and hit them with ham­mer, if you haven’t got one).  After most of the big­ger pieces have got­ten bro­ken down (about 10–12 puls­es), add the but­ter, and process for anoth­er 15 sec­onds or so. But­ter a pie plate and dump the crumbs onto it. Press it down on all sides so that it’s even. Bake in the oven for about 15–20 min­utes, but be care­ful not to burn the crumbs.Let cool.

Make the cus­tard: Put sug­ar and cus­tard mix in a pan, and slow­ly wisk in milk and water. Bring to a full boil while stir­ring near­ly con­tin­u­ous­ly (cus­tard will thick­en as you cook it. This is essen­tial­ly the recipe from the side of the can.). Let cool, cov­ered, to just over room temperature.

Pour the cus­tard over the crust, and top with the fruit. Serve after chilled. Resist the urge to eat it right away or the cus­tard won’t let you cut nice neat slices. Which may or may not mat­ter to you.
The Finished (and partially devoured) Pie

The Fin­ished (and par­tial­ly devoured) Pie

This is about as home­ly and ready-made as I ever get (Cus­tard from a mix!? Cook­ie crumb crust!?) and has a 1950s-Eng­lish-house­hold feel to it (not sur­pris­ing, giv­en that 2 of the ingre­di­ents in it are British). How­ev­er, I have to admit that it does taste awful­ly good, since the molasses and but­ter in the crust taste a bit like tof­fee, and the cus­tard and blue­ber­ries go well togeth­er. While I don’t plan on mak­ing it for com­pa­ny, it is prob­a­bly going to show up on the din­ner table next sum­mer, espe­cial­ly if we are get­ting as good a blue­ber­ry crop as this year’s.

The Pie, along with some of the ingredients

The Pie, along with some of the ingredients

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