Classic Blueberry Pie

June 22, 2010

Margaux says

The first pie I ever made was blueberry.  It was for my dad’s birthday, when I was about 10 or 11 years old.  My dad was never a cake guy (except Texas cake, which we’ll definitely do a post about later…its a family staple), so I made him a pie.  Pie making is big on that side of my family, and my granny is known all over town for her amazing pies, especially the crust.  So I’d of course already had a lesson or two before my big day of making my first pie. The pie was probably ho-hum…I used canned blueberries (it was October, in a small Midwestern town, in the 80’s, so there were probably no fresh blueberries to be found), and my crust was pretty mediocre, but I was very proud of myself, and my love for baking began.

I really wanted to make a strawberry pie this week because we’re in the height of strawberry season, but the strawberries at my regular grocery store AND at Stanley’s (a fruit and vegetable market here in Chicago) were terrible looking! I was totally disappointed, but Stanley’s had giant flats of blueberries on sale for $2.49 so I got those instead. Since my original blueberry pie in the 80’s, I think I’ve made only one other one in my life…I prefer blueberries in small quantities, like in pancakes or muffins. But for $2.49, I thought, why not?

This recipe is also from Joy of Cooking…I use a lot of their pie recipes.  They are very simple and very good!

Blueberry Pie

Prepare pie crust.  Roll half the dough into a 13″ round, fit into a 9″ pie pan, and trim the overhanging dough to 3/4″ all around.  Refrigerate.  Roll the other half of the dough into a 12″ round for the top crust and refrigerate it.  Position a rack in the lower third of the oven.  Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Combine and let stand for 15 minutes:

5 cups fresh blueberries, picked over
3/4 to 1 cup sugar
3 1/2 to 4 tbsp quick-cooking tapioca or cornstarch (use cornstarch for a lattice pie)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1/8 tsp salt

Pour the mixture into the bottom crust and dot with:

1 to 2 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Brush the overhanging edge of the bottom crust with cold water. Cover with the top crust of lattice, then seal the edge, trim, and crimp or flute. If using a closed top crust, cut stem vents. Bake the pie for 30 minutes. Slip a baking sheet beneath it, reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F, and bake until thick juices bubble through the vents, 25 to 35 minutes. Let cool completely on a rack. The pie is best the day it is baked, but it can be stored at room temperature for up to one day.

I wanted to do a lattice top for this because baked blueberries are such a beautiful color.  Unfortunately, right when it was time to start the assembly, Desi decided he was ready for a nap.  So I did the short-cut version, which is laying all the strips one way, then laying the other strips right on top instead of weaving them in.  My strips are crooked, too…blame Desi for a not-perfect pie.  It tasted good, though!

Pie is best served with vanilla ice cream!  Yum!