Whiskey-Sour Blueberry pie with Wine Syrup and Cinnamon Crumble
With lockdowns easing around the world, many of us are edging towards life outside of quasi-solitude. The one thing that’s been a constant for me throughout this defining moment in time is the comfort I get from cooking, connecting, and sharing. When life gives you lemons, make limoncello. Or in my case, when life gives you cocktails, make insanely sinful boozy desserts.
So when Manja Stankovic – my fellow Serbian friend, cocktail wizard, & former beverage manager at Dubai’s BB Social Dining – sent me his take on a whiskey sour, my dirty little mind went straight into the gutter and fantasized about ways I could incorporate it into something irresistibly sweet. The drink – made with whiskey, aqua faba, lemon juice, and wine syrup is absolutely divine, and acts as the perfect partner to enhance the blueberry-ness of my summery blueberry pie.
The wine syrup, made with Cabernet Sauvignon, sugar, and cinnamon stick, is simmered until thick and luscious. Imagine a sticky spoonful of honey in the deepest shade of wine, dripping slowly off a pot…something tells me that even Winnie the Pooh would be impressed.
I’ve combined the cocktail and the blueberries together while simmering to thicken the berry juices before pouring it into a buttery pie shell and topping with cinnamon crumble. There’s a little extra wine syrup in there too, partially because I’m wine-syrup-obsessed, and partially because it adds tremendous richness and depth of flavor.
If you prefer to make an alcohol-free version of this pie, substitute water for the cocktail while keeping the lemon in the recipe. You can also add lemon zest to enrich the flavor of the berries.
*Read through the entire recipe from whiskey sour to cinnamon crumble. If you want to make the cocktail on it’s own to serve with the pie, combine all of its ingredients then shake with ice and strain. Any leftover Wine Syrup can be stored for several weeks and saved for another use.
Whiskey Sour Blueberry Pie with Wine Syrup and Cinnamon Crumble – Makes one 9 inch pie
For the Whiskey Sour:
- 25 ml sherry
- 25 ml whiskey
- 25 ml lemon juice
- 17 ml wine syrup
- 15 ml aqua faba (chickpea water)
Combine all ingredients and set aside.
For the wine syrup:
- 200 grams sugar
- 200 ml Cabernet Sauvignon
- 1 cinnamon stick
Bring all ingredients to a boil, let simmer until the sugar is dissolved (don’t overheat or your syrup will turn into candy). Discard cinnamon stick and set aside.
For the Crumble topping:
- 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the Blueberry Filling:
- 6 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
- ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 whiskey sour recipe (recipe below)
- ¼ cup wine syrup (recipe below)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- One 8 or 9-inch inch tart crust fitted into a pie plate (use my basic tart crust in my strawberry tart recipe)
Make the crumble topping by mixing together all dry ingredients. Add butter and stir to combine. Set aside while you make the blueberry filling.
In a large pot, mix together half the blueberries and the sugar. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the blueberries start to release their juice and the mixture begins to thicken.
Heat the whiskey sour until piping hot. Gradually whisk into the cornstarch.
Add the whiskey sour/cornstarch mixture to the hot blueberries. Continue to simmer until the blueberries are very thick (about two to three minutes. Remove from heat. Add the remaining blueberries and the wine syrup. Pour the mixture into your prepared pie shell. Sprinkle over the crumble topping, breaking it into chunks. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit) for 45 minutes to an hour or until the berries are bubbling and the crust and topping are golden brown.
Let sit for twenty minutes and serve. If you happen to have vanilla ice cream on hand, feel free to add a generous scoop to the warm pie slices. In the odd chance that you have any leftovers, this pie will last for two days, well covered, at room temperature.
*Special thanks to Manja Stankovic for the cocktail inspiration behind this blueberry pie.