Pernese Food: Bubbly Pies

Growing up, my mother would bring me along to the library and to the used bookstore; so, I was never without a book. She influenced much of my reading preferences from mystery to science fiction to fantasy. The extent of her influence, funnily enough, was easy to see in one of my English classes in high school. We were able to choose our own books for an assignment and the high school library had a book called Dragonsong by Anne McCaffrey. Full of telepathic dragons and music mixed with a coming-of-age story centered on Menolly, I was hooked. When I told my mom how excited I was about the book, she took me to one of the many bookcases in our basement and pulled out several other books in the same series so I could read more!

One of the main things in the novels is the description of food, which I rather like – things that might be familiar to us earthens but with a twist specific to the stories and their people. This is especially true of the Pern novels, which focus on descendants of settlers from Earth who crash-landed on a planet with a dangerous red sun. For some reason, I was fascinated by the drinks and sweets and meals that were discussed in the book. It wasn’t until now that I finally made something in honor of the books.

I researched to find some recipes that fit in with the Pernese world; thankfully, this was an easy task. I found several recipes through an Anne McCaffrey fansite.  After looking through, I decided on bubbly pies in part because my fiancé loves blueberries.

Since I have food allergies,  I use Bob’s Red Mill gluten free flour and Earth Balance dairy-free butter.  They’re both a one-to-one ratio replacement. These are all the ingredients – I love simple recipes.


Making the crust with the flour, sugar, salt, and butter. Water came later.

I absolutely detest kneading bread but it needed to be done.

My fiancé, Chris, assembled the filling of blueberries, sugar cinnamon, lemon juice, and butter:

And the dough, the filling, and the flan bowls:

Since I hate the texture of dough, Chris helped put the dough inside the little flan bowls. They’re supposed to be an eighth of an inch, but it was pretty difficult to get them that think and not have it stick to our hands. A little flour didn’t help,  but water on his hands did.

Here’s the dough and filling:


I think the flan bowls we used are a little larger than they needed to be because it took an additional 10 minutes beyond the recipe’s bake time to be done to golden perfection.

As you can see in this photo, they look slightly underdone.  When they were done, Chris and I both were so excited to try them that we dug right in.  These are great if you’ve left time between dinner and dessert because they are quite large.  Be careful of burning your mouth!

These are perfect for someone with a massive sweet tooth, just like Menolly’s young friend, Piemur.