If you were to ask me what my favorite book of all time is, I would have only one answer for you. Truly! Just one trilogy.
It’s the first book I ever skipped class to read in college. (Yes! Went to uni in Europe, skipped class once…over a book!). The first time I ever truly mourned the loss of a fictional character. The only fanfic I consistently spend money to support.
Because if the power grid fails, and the world reverts to candlelight, paper, quill and ink, this is the one series I truly could not live without.
Paullina Simon’s The Bronze Horseman…is starvation in the Leningrad blockade. Hitler on the horizon, Stalin at your doorstep, the blood shed of war everywhere. It’s a love story. No! It’s the love story. It’s blueberry pie at Lazarevo. Always Lazarevo! It’s Tatiana bleeding every last drop of her blood into Alexander’s veins so that he might live. It’s Alexander turning around at the end of the road…for one last look, one more memory.
And at the end, when the ink is smeared with glossy tears, I hold the 800 pages of Tatiana & Alexander’s story close to my heart and pray Alexander’s last prayer, “Goodbye, my moonsong and my breath, my white nights and golden days, my fresh water and my fire. Goodbye, and may you find a better life, find comfort again and your breathless smile, and when your beloved face lights up once more at the Western sunrise, be sure what I felt for you was not in vain. Goodbye and have faith, my Tatiana.”
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 tablespoons chilled butter, cubed
- 1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1-2 tablespoons ice cold water
- 1/2 tablespoon Egg Beaters mixed with 1-2 drops of water, for the egg wash
- 1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar, for dusting
- 1 punnet blueberries, stems removed
- 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- pinch of salt
- pinch of ground cinnamon
- vanilla ice cream, for serving
- Pulse the flour, salt and sugar together in the bowl of a mini food processor. Add the cubed butter and 1 tablespoon of cold water pulsing for 2-3 spins. Continue adding water 1/2 tablespoon at a time pulsing 2-3 times until the dough forms a ball and begins to pull away from the sides of the processor. Divide into two discs, wrapping each in saran wrap and chill for at least 15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375°.
- Gently flour a work surface and roll out half of the crust to fit a mini pie dish. Cover with aluminum foil, fill with pie weights and prebake at 375° for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, prep the pie filling by combining the blueberries, extracts, salt, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, lemon zest and lemon juice together in a small mixing bowl. Pour into the parbaked pie crust.
- Roll out the remaining half of the pie crust and gently tuck it on top of the pie cutting a hole for ventilation. Brush with egg wash, generously sprinkle with sugar and bake at 375° for 30-35 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly. Set aside to cool for 5-10 minutes and serve warm with ice cream!