Blueberry Rhubarb Sour Cream Pie and Jenny & Cary’s Wedding on a Farm

by Irvin on August 6, 2012 · 15 comments

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The buffet table of pies is spread out before me, a veritable selection of peach, blueberry, blackberry and apple pies. The sort of selection that makes you want to take one of each, but really you can’t be that greedy as other people are behind you, waiting for their own slice. I opted for a blueberry, then changed my mind halfway to peach, only to have the woman behind the table ask me kindly if I wanted both. Relieved that I didn’t have to choose, I took a slice of each and went to savor the pies. In my head, I was pleased that my friend Jenny bucked tradition and opted for a dessert table of pies for her wedding, instead of the tiered cake. The day after her wedding, I took pie inspiration (pie-spiration?) from her wedding, and decided to buck tradition as well and make a rhubarb pie with blueberry instead of the traditional strawberry. Moving further away from your average fruit pie, I added cream cheese and sour cream to filling. It turns out a Blueberry Rhubarb Sour Cream Pie is quite the marriage of flavors.

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I met my friend Jenny back in art school, where I majored in Painting and she majored in Photography. Freshman year had us in 3D design class together where we had to think critically and conceptually on projects like “how to fill” a room with as minimal amounts of materials as possible. Jenny wore what amounted to half a bottom of perfume, filling the room with her not-so-subtle fragrance. I took a more direct route and herded the entire class out of the room then just stuck a piece of paper with the words “FULL” handwritten on it moments before with my always present sharpie that all art students carried with them. My professor was extremely amused by my solution (true confession, I thought this up mere minutes before it was my turn, while listening to others explain their solutions in class). This is what we learned in art school, and I’m sure there’s a serious lesson somewhere in there that I have absorbed from that class, but for the life of me I can’t really think of what it is.

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Sophomore year found Jenny and me solidifying our friendship in our second year 3D design class, where we worked together on a “Rube Goldberg” style sculpture, a machine dedicated to the then Registrar of the art school, Margo. Dubbed the Margo Machine, sadly the sculpture was a bit of a failure (or at least, it wasn’t a memorable success in my mind), but that didn’t stop us from having a grand ole time making it. Our friendship would continue for the next 15 years or so after we graduate, even surviving a month long stint when I couch surfed in her apartment upon moving to San Francisco.

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Sadly, since I’ve moved to California, Jenny has slowly migrated ever so slightly east of San Francisco, first to the East Bay, then to Sacramento. Thankfully though, I believe Sacramento is the farthest she will be venturing as she moved out there to be with her guy…who is now her husband. I was utterly thrilled to be invited to her wedding back in May and was equally thrilled with the invite that told me it was to be held on a farm. Dress code included summer sun dresses, festive country attire or colorful Hawaiian shirts, cuisine was to be BBQ and yes there would be a bluegrass band. This is how all weddings should be!

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The bride was stunning of course. Jenny always was a beauty, but something about seeing her in that setting, in her traditional white wedding dress, standing out against the big blue sky and green grassy hill just made me stare in awe. I adore Jenny and her husband Cary is one lucky fellow to have landed her.

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Once the vows were taken, the bluegrass band took over, playing as the guests exited the hill to go down to the reception and the family took photos. I lingered, caught up in the moment and sight of it all and took shot after shot of everything I could. We eventually were shooed down to the reception area where we were greeted with a cheese buffet. Jenny is a HUGE cheese fanatic. I was NOT complaining as I filled up my plate for AJ and me. AJ is probably even more a cheese fanatic than me, so we both dug in, happy to enjoy our pre-meal dairy extravaganza. Of course, with the wedding up on a hill, the guests leisurely walked down to the reception. The steep incline probably would be more difficult if you are in a wedding dress, but the farm had thought of this, using a vintage red convertible to chauffeur the bride and groom down to the reception area. Talk about an awesome way to present the bride and groom!

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AJ and I chatted with friends, new and old, including a fellow art school alumn friend of mine, Amy, who was Jenny’s best friend from school and who flew all the way out here from New York. I rarely see Amy, but through the magic of Facebook, I’ve been able to keep in touch with her. Amy is one of those driven artists who continued her passion for painting past art school (something I never did). She exhibits her work in galleries in New York and I have a huge amount of respect for her drive. Plus she’s totally awesome and hilarious, with her wry wit and slight New Orleans drawl that belies the edge in her life perspective. She’s a firecracker that Amy.

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Dinner did not disappoint. BBQ, baked beans, grilled veggies and cornbread was on the menu and Jenny and her new husband Cary started off the buffet by putting on aprons and serving up some ribs to the guests! I couldn’t help myself and had to Instagram a few photos of Jenny in her apron dishing up BBQ. I think my Instagram friends were immediately smitten with her. How could you not be?

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For dessert, Jenny and Cary decided to eschew the traditional wedding cake in favor of a selection of pies. PIES. Genius. We all know how much I love pie (though I do like a good slice of wedding cake too, don’t get me wrong) but to have a buffet of pies to select from for dessert? Yes please. This was one of those dream weddings. Beautiful setting, beautiful people and beautiful food. I kind of went crazy with the camera but that’s what you do at a wedding right? Eat, drink, sigh at the beauty of the bride and take a ton of photos. Well, that’s what I do anyway.

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Inspired by the pie buffet, I came home from the wedding and the next day decided I need to make a pie for AJ and I. Going to the store, it was easy to reach for the blueberries, which happen to be one of my favorite summer fruit. Jenny had served a blueberry pie at her wedding and it seemed like the way to go, until I saw the bright shiny red rhubarb staring at me, daring me to make something with it on the shelf. I gave in and bought some rhubarb as well, vowing to make a blueberry rhubarb pie. I remember my friend Stephanie mentioning that she loved the combination of blueberry and rhubarb and in fact, she has a great recipe for blueberry rhubarb pie over on her blog Desserts for Breakfast. But for this pie, I wanted to add a depth and richness to the filling. So a touch of honey, some cream cheese for depth and sour cream for richness and all of sudden I had a pie worthy of the wedding I just attended. Congratulations Jenny and Cary. You guys are awesome. I wish you many more slices of cheese and pie to enjoy.

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

shelly (cookies and cups) August 6, 2012 at 5:36 am

Gorgeous wedding and gorgeous pie.

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Belinda @zomppa August 6, 2012 at 5:48 am

I LOVE this wedding – and I am smitten too!!! How wonderful to have such a great friend who has been in your life for so long. This is as all weddings should be. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE LOVE LOVE her apron and she and her lucky man dishing out BBQ. It is beyond awesome.

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fabiola@notjustbaked August 6, 2012 at 11:02 am

AWE I just love this so very much! I would totally ditch the tiered cake for pies, or maybe cake and pies, yes that is it. No tiers though, just a cool cake. I am a fan of non traditional almost always, against the grain so to speak, so your pie recipe is right up my ally. And I lived in Sacramento for 26 years until last year, so seeing the rolling hills outside of the valley where I grew up is cool and nostalgic.

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Eileen August 6, 2012 at 12:30 pm

OMG, A pie buffet?? I would have been in heaven. Wish I had thought to do that for my own wedding! Blueberry-rhubarb pie with lots of dairy sounds excellent as well, of course. :)

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Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar August 6, 2012 at 12:55 pm

This pie sounds so freaking delicious! And what an awesome wedding!

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Mary Anne A. August 6, 2012 at 7:32 pm

Awesome story and pictures!

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Roxana | Roxana's Home Baking August 6, 2012 at 7:56 pm

Gorgeous wedding, breath-taking views and beautiful photos.
The bride looks so cute with the apron on enjoying the BBQ.
And the pie bar, I’m so in love!

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Daniela @ FoodRecipesHQ August 7, 2012 at 7:42 am

The venue is amazing, everything looks as light as a cloud and rustic at the same time. I’ll try the pie.

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Maggie @ A Bitchin' Kitchen August 7, 2012 at 9:45 am

Beautiful wedding and beautiful bride! I love the idea of a pie buffet instead of cake.

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Kiran @ KiranTarun.com August 8, 2012 at 11:41 am

BBQ and pie on the wedding menu?!? LOVE IT!!!! Every wedding should have such coziness :)

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Erin August 8, 2012 at 2:07 pm

What a beautiful wedding and delicious looking pie! Have you ever considered using canned blueberries in your recipe? I think it would be a great alternative if you just drained the syrup. Oregon Fruit Products offers a great selection of products you could try in your pie recipes.

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Brian @ A Thought For Food August 9, 2012 at 4:11 pm

Irvin,

What a lovely recap of the wedding. They look like a good couple. And can I just say that these photos are stunning. Just marvelous.

And then there’s the pie. No words can express how wonderful it looks. I’ll leave it at that.

-B

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Michelle August 11, 2012 at 2:54 am

That was such a blast. Both Jenny’s wedding and your pie. I haven’t seen such an amazing wedding as that and I also haven’t tried a very flavorful recipe as that. I bet you had fun on both.

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Paula Thomas August 11, 2012 at 11:02 am

Hi…Thanks for the photos of the decorations I made with my sister, Alice Ryan,
mother of the groom. We had fun making the paper flower medalians. It was so nice to see a such a terrific photo of them on the wall. Thanks for including the photos in your wonderful Blog.
Paula Thomas, Aunt of the Groom

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Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen August 14, 2012 at 10:19 am

What a beautiful story of friendship and a equally lovely wedding. I love the concept of a Cheese Buffet.. and a table of pies is quintessential “country”!

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