It all started when I bought two pints of blueberries very cheap ($3, which is rock bottom in NYC). Ate some and bleh, these must have been frozen and then thawed, because the consistency was lousy. I've never had that before. Solution: when life gives you mushy, lousy blueberries, make pie.
But I've recently been diagnosed prediabetic and I am gradually spending down/retiring/using up my baking ingredients. What to do? I was gonna buy one of those Jiffy mixes, which go for 99 cents in my area, but none of the local stores had one. However, one had a Nilla wafers prepared pie crust for 89 cents. Bought it.
Tossed the bloobs with the last of the sugar, arrowroot for thickener, a few shakes of salt, and a squeeze of lemon, baked around 350-375 for 45 minutes, let cool, refrigerated overnight. Verdict? Pretty good. It won't win any baking prizes, but for a rescue operation, OK.
My one criticism is that it's way sweet, and doesn't set off the sweetness of the filling. It's an OK substitute for a something sour/tart like a lemon or lime pie, but for a blueberry filling, for me it was too sweet, not enough contrast.
I was surprised at how sweet the blueberry filling is, because I don't think I used more than 1/4 cup of sugar to two pints of bloobs. This brings up another issue: the massive amounts of sugar in many dessert recipes. Is this truly necessary?
This is partly a health issue, and partly a general cooking efficiency issue. I'm on principle against putting too much of anything in a recipe. I wonder if the amount of sugar in most dessert recipes can't be reduced by quite a lot, esp. in things like fruit pie fillings, where you do not have to worry about creating a protein/gluten structure. And the the main ingredient (fruit) is already sweet.
Anyway, I conquered my fear of convenience foods. What next?