Basic Cooking: How to Make a Blueberry Pie
You don’t always need a ton of ingredients to make an absolutely mouthwatering dessert. Blueberry pie is one of my favorite summer treats. A few cups of fabulous, fresh fruit. A little sugar to bring out its flavor. A handful of flour to trap all that luscious juice and thicken it into a syrupy sauce.
I think my favorite way to serve blueberry pie is with a big scoop of ginger ice cream. (More on that to come soon.)
This article also provides a step-by-step tutorial for making a double-crust pie (i.e. a pie with a crust on top, as well as on the bottom).
Blueberries have to be one of my favorite summer fruits.
There are a few schools of thought on how to best thicken a fresh berry pie. Some folks use tapioca. Others use cornstarch. I usually prefer to use flour.
That said, this can definitely still be a fairly juicy pie, depending on your berries.
Cold butter: The key to a flaky crust
Be sure that your butter is cold when you make the dough. When the butter is cold, bits of butter flatten out in layers when mixed with flour to make the dough. (If your butter is warm, it will blend completely with the flour.)
Those layers of butter release steam when the crust is baked—which helps make your pastry nice and flaky.
To keep the dough even colder, use a marble board and rolling pin. Chill them if you like. I usually don’t bother with this, and my crusts come out just fine.
Other flavors to add to your blueberry pie
This is a basic recipe. You can add all sorts of different flavors in with the berries. For example, you could add a tablespoon or two of freshly grated ginger or lemon zest.
Homemade Blueberry Pie
For the crust
2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
2/3 cup cold butter (that’s 11 Tbls.)
1/4 cup cold water
For the filling
5 cups fresh blueberries (that’s about 3 pints)
1 cup sugar
6 Tbls. flour
Makes 1 9-inch pie
Lightly grease an 9-inch pie plate with butter or oil. Set it aside. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
Make the dough for the double-crust pie
Put the flour and salt in the bowl of your food processor. (You can also cut the pastry together by hand using a pastry blender or a couple of forks.)
Toss in the butter.
Pulse them together until the butter and flour are combined and the mixture is fairly uniform. You’re aiming for raggy bits of flour and butter, like this:
Drizzle in the water, pulsing the food processor at the same time. (If you’re making the dough by hand, drizzle with one hand and mix with the other.)
You want the dough to just come together into a smooth-ish ball.
Gather the dough up into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate it for maybe 20 minutes. (Again, to keep that butter cold so your pastry is flaky.)
Roll out the bottom crust
When the dough is chilled, unwrap it and put it on a lightly floured board.
Whack it in half with a bencher or large, sharp knife.
Put one half back in the fridge. Roll the other half into a ball.
Smoosh it into a flat disk with your hand.
Roll it out so that it’s flat. Keep the dough as even and uniform in thickness as you can.
Some of the edges will split like this. That’s just fine. (You’re eventually going to roll the edges together with the top crust.)
How do you know if your dough is large enough to fit your pan? Just take your pie plate and set it on top of the rolled dough. If you’re using a fairly standard pie plate (i.e. not a deep-dish pan) like my Pyrex pan, your dough should be slightly larger than the pan.
Put the bottom crust in the pie plate
Some folks fold their dough up in quarters like a handkerchief, then unfold it in the dish. I always seem to rip the dough when I do that. Here’s how I get my bottom crust in the pan.
Set your rolling pin on top of the dough, close to one end.
With a bencher, scoot the edge of the dough up.
Flop it over on top of the rolling pin.
Gently, roll the pin back, sliding the dough along with it.
Grab the ends of the rolling pin and slide the dough over your greased pie pan, so that it’s centered.
Don’t make yourself nuts getting the dough perfectly even. You’ll clean it up when you add the top crust.
Toss the blueberries in flour and sugar
Time to make the filling. Put your berries in a large mixing bowl. You could add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice here, if you like.
Toss in the sugar and flour.
With your hands, mix the flour, sugar, and berries together to combine them well.
Pour the mixture into the bottom crust.
With your hands, gently mix the berries around so that the flour/sugar mixture looks fairly evenly distributed. Take the time to do this. If all your flour winds up in one place, you can wind up with lumps in your pie filling.
Roll out the top crust for the pie
Grab your other ball of pie crust dough out of the fridge. Roll it flat just like you did with the bottom crust.
Check it for size the same way you did with the bottom crust.
Roll the top crust on to cover the berry filling.
Your top crust should hang over the edges of your pie pan, like this. (If for some reason it’s too small, just slide it off and roll it a little flatter.)
Trim the top crust a little so that it’s fairly even and round. You want it to hang over the edge of the pie pan by about an inch or so. (Save all the trimmings. Sprinkle them with cinnamon sugar and bake them along with the pie for an impromptu treat.)
Seal the edges of the pie crust
Put the top and bottom crusts together, and roll them under. (By doing this, you’re sealing the two crusts together—and keeping your filling totally contained so it won’t leak out when baked.)
You want the crust to look about like this:
Keep rolling the crust under like this until you’ve gone completely around the pie.
When you’re done, you shouldn’t be able to see any of the berry filling.
Poke a little hole in the center of the pie with a sharp knife. The filling will need to release some steam as it cooks.
Cut a few slits in the top, also. You can get really fancy with this (make squiggly cuts, etc.), or just make a few slashes. Again, this is to help release steam.
You can also get fancy with those leftover scraps of dough. I like to grab a small piece…
…and roll it into a tube…
And make a little design around the center hole. (Just rub a little water on the bottom of the dough to make it stick.) Again, this is purely aesthetic.
And there you have it! One double-crust blueberry pie, ready for the oven!
Bake the pie in a 425-degree oven
Slide your pie into your preheated 425-degree oven. Bake for 40-45 minutes.
Your pie is done when the crust is golden brown and filling has started to bubble up through the top slits.
Cool the pie in the pan before serving. (You can serve it right away, but the hotter the filling is, the more it will ooze.)