You are going to love my recipe for the BEST Blueberry Pie! It has all of the right components to qualify as "perfect" including a homemade all butter flaky pastry crust and a juicy blueberry filling that's not too runny nor too thick!
Do you ever do that thing where you buy tonnes and tonnes of berries in the Summer and freeze them with the intention of baking something bright and delicious in the Winter when you long for Summer feelings, but then forget to use them entirely and they are still there the following Summer!? I do.
Don’t let that happen this year.
Probably my favourite way to bake with blueberries is in pies! Blueberries are one of those fruits that benefit exceptionally well from some added sugar and a slow simmer.
The flavour intensifies and it becomes irresistible. If you really think about it, fresh blueberries don’t taste all that much. Most of their flavour is in the skins and extracting that flavour is exactly what happens when we let it bake for an hour under flaky pie crust.
Live up to those intentions and bake the best blueberry pie this season. Don’t wait until they’re covered in ice crystals and totally broken (big thumbs down).
What happens when something as delicate as blueberries thaws and refreezes with the cycle of your freezer is that the water re-crystallizes slowly into much larger ice crystals that puncture the cell walls of the berries and damage their integrity so that when you go to use them and they begin to thaw, buckets of violet liquid (that’s all your precious blueberry juice!) leaks out almost immediately. This leads to lost flavour and a soggy crust.
Now here’s an important question that I think needs some attention:
WHAT BAKING DISH SHOULD I USE FOR THE BEST BLUEBERRY PIE?
This doesn’t normally seem important, but it will affect your baking time. I always recommend baking pies in glass or aluminum pie dishes or pans.
You may have lovely decorative ceramic pie plates that will present beautifully to the table, and by all means use them! Just note that it may take 10-20 minutes longer for your pie to bake and you will definitely want to use very high heat at the beginning to seal in that crust (especially the bottom crust). If you have a bottom heating element in your oven, place the pie on the lower-third rack. Ceramic is a great insulator so it will keep your pie warm for longer, but this also means it takes longer to heat through.
GLASS VS. METAL BAKING PAN:
METAL: Aluminum pie pans will conduct heat fast and certainly lend a crisp crust, but the obvious downfall is that they are not all that pretty. You might spend the whole day trying to convince people that your pie is not store-bought.
GLASS: Glass bakeware will require an additional 10 minutes or so of baking time, but I prefer tempered glass for two main reasons:
1) It conducts heat faster than ceramic, and
Either way, I hope you bake pies upon pies this holiday season.
HOW TO MAKE FLAKY PIE CRUST FOR THE BEST BLUEBERRY PIE:
You can read my full blog post for all the details. To summarize you want to follow these simple rules:
Use cold fat.
Keep your hands cold
Make the bowl cold
Keep the liquid ice cold
But, have your oven hot. Start at 425 degrees F.
It is also very important to not add TOO much liquid which will encourage gluten formation and make a pasty doughy crust.
DO I NEED TO REFRIGERATE PIE DOUGH?
It is absolutely crucial to rest the dough in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
This serves a few purposes:
- 1) It makes the dough easier to handle and roll out smoothly.
- 2) It allows the flour to hydrate evenly and pick up the little amount of liquid that is in the mixture.. So, even though initially the mixture will look a bit dry, it will come together during this resting time.
If you plan to go the traditional route, I recommend these:
Gooey Little Pecan Tarts
And if you want to brush up on your pastry skills, here’s all you need to know:
How to make the very Best Flaky Pie Crust.
If you love pies, check out my other popular pie recipes:
The BEST Blueberry Pie
- 2 cups 284g all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoon 25g granulated sugar
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup 170g very cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
- ⅕ cup 80ml ice cold water
- 1 ½ lbs 680g frozen blueberries about 6 cups
- ½ cup 100g granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon 9g all purpose flour
- 3 tablespoon 24g corn starch
- 1 tablespoon 15ml lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- ⅛ teaspoon cardamom
- pinch of ground nutmeg
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon coarse sugar for sprinkling
- For the pastry, combine flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Add 2 tablespoon (28g) of butter and rub it into the flour mixture using your fingertips until it is evenly dispersed and the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs (you can also blend on medium-low speed in a stand mixer for 2 minutes). Add remaining cold butter and rub it in, pressing and smearing it between your thumbs and fingertips to flatten pieces of butter for an instant laminated effect (you can also use the mixer here, but finish with your hands to squeeze and flatten any large pieces of butter). Continue to rub in the fat until it resembles coarse crumbs with some larger oat flake-sized pieces remaining. There should be no dusty flour in the bowl.
- Gradually sprinkle in cold water, one tablespoon at a time, while gently tossing with a fork until the dough is moistened and it clings together in clumps. The dough will hold together when squeezed or pressed when it is ready and it will hold the impressions of your fingers, but it should not form a ball. You can add another tablespoon of water as needed if it is too dry. Do this part by hand and don’t use the mixer once you add the water since it tends to over-mix in parts. Turn the shaggy mixture out onto a clean surface and bring it together with cupped hands, pressing in loose bits until it is cohesive. Divide it in two, flatten each portion into a disk, wrap well and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
- For the filling, combine blueberries with sugar, flour, corn starch, lemon juice, lemon zest, cardamom and nutmeg in a large bowl. Toss everything together with a wide spatula until the berries are nicely coated.
- Dust a work surface lightly with flour and roll one portion of dough out into a circle with ⅛-inch thickness. Rotate the dough and add more flour as necessary to prevent sticking. Transfer dough to an 8x2-inch round baking dish and fit it into the base and up the sides, letting excess hang over the edges. Refrigerate it while rolling the top crust. Roll the other half into a 12 to 13-inch circle and slice it into 1½-inch strips to make a wide lattice.
- Spoon blueberry mixture into chilled pie crust base, tucking them in gently to fill all the spaces (this will prevent your pie from shrinking too much as it cools). Weave the strips over the filling, letting the ends hang over the edge and press them down to seal against the edge pastry from the bottom crust. Trim excess dough and roll it up to create a thick edge crust. Place the pie in the freezer for 10 minutes while you preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Beat egg with salt until blended in a small bowl and lightly brush the top and edges of the chilled pie with egg wash. Sprinkle liberally with sugar. Place pie on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F and bake for 45-55 minutes longer until pastry is nicely browned and juices have been bubbling for at least 5 minutes. Transfer pie to a wire rack and let cool for at least 2 hours before slicing to let the juices cool and thicken.