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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Blueberry Pie

As part of my summer fruit baking theme, and as part of a delicious 4th of July weekend, I decided to make several fruit pies, the first being blueberry. I love a good blueberry pie. In fact, it might be my favorite fruit pie of all time. It is mostly because of the flavor, but also partly because I am sentimentally attached to blueberries – my Yia-Yia had blueberry bushes in her backyard, and I was forever picking blueberries in the summer when I would visit her. Unfortunately, I dropped the ball with picture-taking with this recipe, and the cherry pie. In fact, for most of my 4th of July recipes: I was working so fast, I didn’t even pause to take good shots. But, the few pictures I have should give you a good idea.

A blueberry is what is known as a “false” or epigynous berry (along with bananas, watermelons, cranberries, and a few others); meaning that the berry comes from an inferior ovary (attached to the receptacle below other flowering parts). This results in berries forming below the flowers of these plants.

Blueberries contain a number of micronutrients and other phytochemicals, including: Mn, vitamins B6, C and K, dietary fiber,  anthocyanins, proanthocyanidins, resveratrol,flavonols, and tannins, which, among other things, are believed to be anti-carcinogenic. There is even evidence that the phytochemicals found in blueberries and other berries can slow the cognitive decline in age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s, as well as be neuroprotective during ischemic brain damage (stroke). I should really tag this recipe as “health food.” What better excuse could there be for eating pie??

The particular recipe I am partial to is a two crust pie. Although I’ve seen blueberry pies with crumb tops, I’ve never made one before. Maybe that will be a project for later in the summer.  My recipe calls for fresh blueberries. If you intend to use frozen blueberries, thaw and drain them first, otherwise there will be waaaaay too much liquid in the filling.


  • Enough dough for a 2 crust pie (your favorite recipe or refrigerated)
  • 2 pints blueberries
  • 1/2-3/4 C sugar (depends on the sweetness of the berries)
  • 4 tbls cornstarch, divided in half
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 C water
  • 1 tbls fresh lemon juice 
  • 1 tbls AP flour
  • Butter (for dotting filling)
  • Milk (for brushing pastry)
  • Sugar (for sprinkling)


  1. Preheat oven to 425F
  2. Combine sugar, 2 tbls cornstarch, cinnamon and water in a saucepan. Heat rapidly on high until thickened (this will happen quickly). Set aside to cool completely. Once cooled, add berries, lemon juice, 2 additional tbls cornstarch.
  3. Prepare your crust, and line a pie plate with the bottom crust. Spread 1 tbls of flour onto the bottom of the bottom crust. This will help prevent the bottom crust from getting too soggy.
  4. Add the filling to the bottom crust, dot with butter, and place the top crust over. Be sure to seal the crust well around the edges, this works best if you wet the edges of the crust and pinch them together. You can either slice the top crust and weave a lattice, or you can just cut holes in the top to vent. Because this was the “blue” in a “red, white & blue” 4th of July theme, I used a star-shaped cookie cutter to cut my vents. 
  5. Brush milk onto the top crust, and sprinkle with sugar. You might want to protect the crust edges with a silicone crust guard or aluminum foil.
  6. Place the pie on a cookie sheet (do yourself a favor and line the sheet with parchment paper), and bake for 20 minutes; then lower the oven temp to 350F and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes, until the crust is a nice golden color and the filling is bubbling. You need to get the filling nice and hot so that the cornstarch can do its job.

Dork that I am, I also printed a “Blueberry Pie” sign to distinguish it from the cherry (“red”) pie that I also made for the 4th.

This pie is excellent. You would think that the cinnamon would be overpowering, but it is just a hint, and adds a lot of depth to the flavor, as does the lemon. I personally think summer fruit pies are seasonal cooking/baking at its best, and as far as pies go, you can’t do much better than this one.

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