Want the Secret of Blueberry Pie?

I wasn't thinking food when I drove to Sussex County to visit Liberty Farm's sunflower maze. Little did I know, across the street from the maze was the home of the New Jersey State Fair blue-ribbon-winning blueberry pie.

We didn’t intend to visit Roseline’s Farm and Bakery, but we were very happy to stumble upon it, as they offer the parking lot for the sunflower maze. It’s a welcoming spot for breakfast and lunch in the middle of farm country; the family-owned bakery is like a mirage in the desert (except it’s no mirage).

So after our walk amongst the sunflowers, we headed to Roseline’s for a homemade lunch, including quiche Lorraine (where have you been for the last 30 years?), and a tomato mozzarella sandwich with mint (didn’t see that coming, but boy am I glad it came).

After lunch, my fiance skipped back into the restaurant to check out the pies.

My family prefers pies to cakes and frowns on all manner of custard desserts. They turn down homemade banana puddings and flans, and don’t even waste your time on a clafouti. We’ve never yet made a trip to the country without coming back with a pie.

My fiance was glowing when he emerged from the bakery and announced that this was not just any blueberry pie, this was the New Jersey State Fair award winner!

So much for my day off; I shuffled inside to learn the secret.

I was greeted by a very enthusiastic Tiffany Lin, daughter of Tico and Roseline Lin, who run the family business.

The pie ingredients are simple; I bet you can guess most of them: fresh blueberries, flour, sugar, brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, salt and egg yolk.

"The recipe is simple, but it’s the quality of the ingredients that makes a difference," says Tiffany. "We only use fresh blueberries."

And the difference is pronounced; when I put a spoonful of pie in my mouth, the berries are firmer than pies I’ve had int the past; they haven’t cooked down into a berry jell, as you might experience with frozen berries, or other fruit fillings. The fresh berries provide a noticeable textural counterpoint.

But there’s a downside, a very logical consequence of the upside: "We won’t make blueberry pie after August; we stop making it when we stop getting fresh berries," says Tiffany.

So take the trip to Augusta, romp around the sunflower field and have a pie when you’re done. But don’t delay.

Roseline’s Farm & Bakery
553 Route 565
Augusta, NJ

Sunflower Maze at Liberty Farm
Just past Roseline’s Farm & Bakery

For more info: www.savelibertyfarm.com
Raj Sinha: 973.219.6356

Allison Fishman is a cooking teacher, TV host and author of You Can Trust A Skinny Cook. For delicious humor & recipes, visit allisonfishman.com or follow @allisonfishman on Twitter.

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