Monday, March 24, 2008

Flavors of Spring: Lemon and Blueberries

I celebrated this Easter weekend at my parent's house, but I was not exactly celebrating all that much. Actually, I was recovering from oral surgery. My wisdom teeth were removed, and I was bedridden for most of the long weekend while everyone else was celebrating. And in my family, holidays generally revolve around food. Easter, specifically and not at all uniquely, is the occasion when we bring out the spring recipes which call for fresh, delicious ingredients such as asparagus, green beans and kale. My own "spring recipes" tend to focus on the sweeter side of the season, using lemons and berries and the like. This year, of course, was not a particularly warm Easter, and although the holiday nearly coincided with the first day of spring, the cool temperature outside made me feel a bit better about holing up in my pajamas inside. In fact, I heard many complaints about the incapadability with the weather and the expected springtime fare that Easter normally brings.

The real injustice, however, was that my mouth was (and still is!) too sore to enjoy the Cadbury eggs and Russell Stover marshmallow bunnies that everyone else, seemingly, was enjoying in vast quantities (I got that impression from a friend's "Happy Easter, too bad your mouth is too swollen for chocolate" email).

I therefore am attempting to forget about all the food I could be eating, and focus on the recipes I'll want to try once I'm up and about again. Although I'm eager to get back into my normal routine, it would be nice to spend a few more days at home, if only to have access to my mother's kitchen and all of its bounty (a dishwasher!? I'd forgotten what a miraculous invention this is). The sorbet I've been subsisting on is actually a very apt reminder of the spring sweets that will shortly be in season, and thanks to the smoothies I've been inhaling, I'm quite in the mood for a spring berry dessert. Luckily for me, I found this lemon berry pie recipe in my mother's files, and I remember it quite well as a refreshing and light dish perfect for April and May. The thing I like most about this pie is that you can use frozen berries, so if your fruit stand doesn't yet have a tempting selection, you can still enjoy this absurdly simple-to-make springtime dessert.

Lemon Whipped Pie


1-1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
1 pkg. (8 oz.) reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk
3 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 cup thawed Cool Whip Whipped Topping
3 cups blueberries


Combine cracker crumbs and butter in 9-inch pie plate; press firmly
onto bottom and up side of pie plate.

Beat cream cheese, sugar, milk and juice in medium bowl with electric
mixer on medium speed until well blended. Gently stir in whipped
topping. Spread onto bottom of crust; top with blueberries.

Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving.

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