Tag Archives: blueberry pie

PEI Fall Flavors Event: Le Festin acadien avec homard

September heralds the beginning of the annual PEI Fall Flavours Culinary Festival and what better way to start it off than with a feast featuring lobster and Acadian fare!  Le Festin acadien avec homard  event was held on September 2, 2016, in conjunction with the annual Evangeline Area Agricultural Exhibition and Acadian Festival in Abram-Village in the western part of Prince Edward Island.

The PEI Fall Flavours Culinary Festival features signature events hosted by celebrity chefs and the main events feature one or more of the Island’s locally-produced foods.  If you follow the links at the bottom of this posting, you will find stories and photos from past events that featured Island beef, lamb, lobster, potatoes, etc. I especially like the events that feature both regional fare and entertainment and “Le Festin acadien avec homard” scored high on both counts.  For visitors to PEI (and many do come in September especially for the Fall Flavours Culinary Festival), it’s an opportunity to learn about local culture and sample locally-produced foods.

PEI’s Acadian population in Abram-Village sure knows how to throw a good party with great food and lively entertainment.  A quartet of talented local musicians comprised of Louise Arsenault (fiddle), Hélène Bergeron (keyboard/guitar/stepdancer), Caroline Bernard (singer/keyboard/guitar), and Rémi Arsenault (bass) provided toe-tapping Acadian music throughout the evening.

PEI Musicians Performing at Le Festin acadien avec homard event, Abram-Village, PEI, 2016
Musicians Performing at “Le Festin acadien avec homard” Fall Flavours event, Abram-Village, PEI, 2016

The event was hosted by celebrity chef, Anna Olson, who is no stranger to the PEI Fall Flavours Culinary Festival as she and her husband, Michael, return to the Island annually to participate in the culinary events.

Chef Anna Olson
Chef Anna Olson at “Le Festin acadien avec homard” Fall Flavours Event, Abram-Village, PEI, 2016

Anna hosts three cooking programs on Food Network Canada:  “Bake with Anna Olson“, “Fresh with Anna Olson“, and “Sugar“. Ever the good sport, Anna was put through her paces before MC Georges Arsenault declared she had passed the test to be made an honorary Acadian.  She learned some French and she was taught some stepdancing moves!

Chef Anna Olson
Chef Anna Olson

Here was the menu for the dinner:

Menu for 2016 Le Festin acadien avec homard
Menu for 2016 Le Festin acadien avec homard

Upon arrival in the dining hall, guests were greeted with a complimentary glass of Benjamin Bridge’s Nova 7 wine.

Benjamin-Bridge Wine
Benjamin Bridge Wine

Benjamin Bridge Winery from Gaspereau Valley, Nova Scotia, was this year’s Festival Wine Sponsor as it was in 2015 when I discovered their delightful Nova 7 wine. The Nova 7 is a beautiful light-bodied  effervescent wine with a gorgeous pinkish color, and appealing aromatics with lovely floral and fruit notes. It’s a great wine for sipping or for pairing with a wide range of foods from seafood to spicy foods to desserts. It made a fine accompaniment to the foods served at this dinner.

Benjamin Bridge Wine
Benjamin Bridge Nova 7 Wine

Fresh steamed mussels were served as hors d’oeuvres. According to the Mussel Industry Council of PEI, the Island produces about 45 million pounds of mussels each year. This translates into approximately 80% of the entire mussel production in  Canada. In fact, fresh PEI mussels are shipped to the USA and as far away as Hong Kong, Japan, and Kuwait. It’s very common at PEI gatherings to serve steamed mussels.

PEI Mussels
Steamed PEI Mussels

The dinner was held in a large community hall and served, family style, at long tables.

PEI Fall Flavors Culinary Festival event
“Le Festin acadien avec homard” PEI Fall Flavours Culinary Festival event 2016 in Abram-Vilage, PEI

Servers, in traditional Acadian attire, brought the prepared dishes to each table.

PEI Fall Flavors Culinary Festival
“Le Festin acadien avec homard” PEI Fall Flavours Culinary Festival Event, Abram-Village, PEI, 2016

Guests then passed the dishes, from one to another, around the table, serving themselves.

Lobster Dinner
Serving lobster at “Le Festin acadien avec homard” in Abram-Village, PEI

The four-course dinner began with a bowl of Chicken Fricot, also known as chicken soup. This is a very popular Acadian dish.

Chicken Soup
Chicken Fricot, a popular Acadian soup

The Fricot contains very few ingredients and I believe it is the summer savory that gives this brothy soup its wonderful tasty flavor.  Made only with chicken, onion, potatoes, water, summer savory, salt, and pepper, it’s hard to believe just how tasty this soup really is! It was especially good with the French biscuits that were in baskets on the tables! French biscuits (Galettes blanches) are a cross between a yeast roll and a traditional tea biscuit.

Biscuits
French Biscuits

The second course consisted of two long-time Acadian favorites: Râpure and Acadian Meat Pie.

Acadian Meat Pie and Râpure
Acadian Meat Pie (left) and Râpure (right)

Both are made with simple easy-to-come-by ingredients.  The Râpure is made with pork and/or chicken, onions, potatoes (both mashed and raw grated), eggs, summer savory, coriander, salt and pepper.  The ingredients are mixed together, placed in a greased baking dish and baked in the oven.

Traditionally,  Acadian meat pie was made with pork. Today, however, it is common to have a mixture of meats in the pie – pork, beef, chicken, and/or hare, for example. Again, the ingredients for the pie filling are very basic – the meat, onion, summer savory, cloves, salt and pepper, and some flour for thickening.  The filling is encased in pie pastry and baked in the oven. Molasses is often served with the meat pie. Meat pies are common fare for Acadians on Christmas Eve although, on PEI, the pies are commonly now eaten throughout the year as well.

The third course was Island lobster in the shell served with homemade potato salad.

Shellfish
PEI Lobster

It’s very traditional on PEI to serve potato salad with lobster and this salad was a true old-fashioned homemade PEI potato salad full of flavor.

Salad
Potato Salad

And, for dessert, fresh blueberry pie made with in-season local berries.

Pie
Blueberry Pie

This was a fantastic evening of fabulous food and lively music. I thoroughly enjoyed this event and it was an opportunity for me to try some Acadian foods I had not had before.

Follow these links for other stories I have written on previous Fall Flavours Culinary Festival events:

PEI Shellfish Festival (2012)
Farm Day in the City (2012)
Savour Victoria (2012)
Toes, Taps, and Taters (2013)
Lobster Party on the Beach (2013)
Applelicious (2013)
The Great Island Grilled Cheese Challenge (2013)
Feast of the Fathers (2014)
Lamb Luau at Crowbush Cove (2014)
Feast and Frolic Dinner (PEI Int’l Shellfish Festival) (2014)
Beef and Blues (2014)
A Taste of New Glasgow (2015)
Beef ‘n Blues (2015)
Chef on Board (2015)
Cooking with Chefs Anna & Michael Olson in Brudenell, PEI (2015)

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Lobster
PEI Lobster served at “Le Festin acadien avec homard” PEI Fall Flavors Culinary Festival

Blueberry Cream Cheese Pie Recipe

Blueberry Pie
Blueberry Cream Cheese Pie

There are many ways to make blueberry pie but I have found that this is one of the tastiest. It’s also a great alternative to anyone who is not overly fond of double-crusted pies as this one is all about the filling!

Now, I love blueberries but sometimes I find they need a little help with a flavour boost.  That’s why I have created this recipe for a blueberry filling that adds a gentle amount of cinnamon and nutmeg along with some orange juice and orange rind.  To add a bit of depth and complexity to the flavor, I add a couple of tablespoons of Grand Marnier liqueur after the filling has cooked and been removed from the heat.  As with any food, it is important to know what flavor combinations work and will complement each other.  Cinnamon and nutmeg are two spices that go well with blueberries and, of course, blueberry and orange have long been a successful flavor combo. The other thing that is important is not to add in too many different flavors (or too much of any one additional flavor) as that can confuse the palate, detract from the authentic blueberry flavor, and not have the desired result.  Sometimes less really is more!

The blueberries I used in this recipe are locally-grown here on PEI. I am very fortunate in that I am not far from the Tryon Blueberries U-pick field of high bush berries.  When they are in season in August and early September, we always have these fresh.  The berries freeze well and this pie can certainly be made with the frozen berries so it can be enjoyed at any time throughout the year.

Summer Berries
PEI Blueberries

This is one of the those pies that is best eaten the day it is made so plan to make the pie early in the morning, let it chill for the afternoon, and enjoy it with a dollop of whipped cream as a special dessert treat for dinner.

Blueberry and Grand Marnier Pie
Blueberry Cream Cheese Pie

[printable recipe follows at end of posting]

Blueberry Cream Cheese Pie

Ingredients:

9” baked pie shell, cooled

6 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 tbsp sugar
1½ tbsp milk
½ tsp vanilla

¾ cup granulated sugar
3½ tbsp cornstarch
Dash salt
¼ tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp finely grated orange rind
12 oz. high bush blueberries (apx. 2½ cups)
2 tsp orange juice
2 tbsp Grand Marnier liqueur
½ tbsp butter

1 cup whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tbsp sugar

Method:

In small bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, milk, and vanilla. Spread over bottom of baked and cooled pie shell. Refrigerate for at least one hour.

In small bowl, combine the sugar, cornstarch, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and grated orange rind together.  In medium-sized saucepan, combine the blueberries, orange juice, and cornstarch-sugar-spice mixture.  Cook and stir over medium-low heat until mixture is thickened.  Remove from heat and stir in Grand Marnier liqueur and butter.  Let mixture cool to room temperature then spread over chilled cream cheese base.  Refrigerate for at least one hour to allow pie to set.

Beat whipping cream and vanilla until soft peaks form then slowly beat in the sugar. Add a dollop of the whipped cream to each individual pie serving or, alternatively, completely cover chilled pie with the whipped cream. Refrigerate until use.  Pie is best eaten the day it is made.  (Note: Cool Whip can be substituted for the whipped cream, if desired.)

Yield:  One 9” pie.

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Blueberry and Grand Marnier Pie
Blueberry Cream Cheese Pie

Blueberry Cream Cheese Pie Recipe

Yield: One 9" pie

A luscious and decadent blueberry cream cheese pie that combines high bush blueberries with cinnamon, nutmeg and orange liqueur flavorings

Ingredients

  • 9” baked pie shell, cooled
  • 6 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1½ tbsp milk
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 3½ tbsp cornstarch
  • Dash salt
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp finely grated orange rind
  • 12 oz. high bush blueberries (apx. 2½ cups)
  • 2 tsp orange juice
  • 2 tbsp Grand Marnier liqueur
  • ½ tbsp butter
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 tbsp sugar

Instructions

  1. In small bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, milk, and vanilla. Spread over bottom of baked and cooled pie shell. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
  2. In small bowl, combine the sugar, cornstarch, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and grated orange rind together. In medium-sized saucepan, combine the blueberries, orange juice, and cornstarch-sugar-spice mixture. Cook and stir over medium-low heat until mixture is thickened. Remove from heat and stir in Grand Marnier liqueur and butter. Let mixture cool to room temperature then spread over chilled cream cheese base. Refrigerate for at least one hour to allow pie to set.
  3. Beat whipping cream and vanilla until soft peaks form then slowly beat in the sugar. Add a dollop of the whipped cream to each individual pie serving or, alternatively, completely cover chilled pie with the whipped cream. Refrigerate until use. Pie is best eaten the day it is made. (Note: Cool Whip can be substituted for the whipped cream, if desired.)
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For more great blueberry recipes from My Island Bistro Kitchen, click on these links:

Blueberry and Grand Marnier Jam

Blueberry Bread Pudding with Grand Marnier Sauce

Blueberry Barbeque Sauce

Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry Grunt

Blueberry Buckle

Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes