Give me any kind of fruit dessert and I am a happy woman. Apple Crumble, Rhubarb Crisp, Pear Pie– these are just a few of my favourites. But when it is March and the apples are mealy from months of storage and rhubarb is still a far-away dream, blueberry pie is the way to go.
The wonderful thing about blueberry pie is that it works just as well with frozen berries as it does with fresh. Every July, we buy flats of blueberries and flash freeze them on cookie sheets. We store them in freezer bags and pull them out for pancakes, muffins, and (naturally) pie. This summer, I highly recommend you do the same. A frozen in season blueberry tastes so much better than the fresh you can buy this time of year (for no less than $6 a pint!)
This recipe comes from my partner (D)’s mom. His mom is known for her amazing pies (that pear one I mentioned earlier is hers and it comes with a delightful crumb topping that is to die for). This recipe is as classic as it gets. A double crust gets filled with syrupy blueberries and lightly dusted with sugar to finish it off. The ice cream is not optional in our home.
Now I know that making homemade pie crust seems daunting, but it really is not so bad. There are three steps to making crust, and if you follow them you will have a delicious, flaky crust. The first step is to cut very cold butter into a flour/salt/sugar mixture until the butter is the size of peas. The next step is adding just enough ice water to bring the dough together and then refrigerating the dough until it is firm (about an hour). The final step is rolling out the dough thinly enough to get a flaky crust that cooks evenly. Anyone can make pie crust at home. Ditch those store-bought boxes and get your hands dirty!
Mom’s Blueberry Pie
makes one (9-inch) pie
For the crust:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 to 1/2 cup water (I used just over 1/2 cup)
milk, for brushing
1 tbsp. sugar, for sprinkling (I used vanilla cardamom sugar, but plain is fine)
For the filling:
5 cups frozen blueberries (fresh is fine also)
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. lemon juice
Make the crust: In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar, and salt. Cut in the butter until it is the size of peas. Slowly stir in ice water until the dough just comes together. Quickly form into a ball, kneading as little as possible, and divide it into two. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm, about an hour.
Make the filling:
Preheat oven to 400 ºF and place rack on lowest spot available. Grease a 9-inch pie plate.
Mix the blueberries, sugar, and flour and let sit for 15 minutes. Roll out one ball of dough until it is slightly larger than your pie plate. Lay rolled out dough into pie plate. Pour blueberry mixture into crust and drizzle filling with lemon juice.
Roll out your second ball of dough until it is roughly the diameter of your pie plate. Cut a few slices into the dough to let steam escape. Carefully place the dough on top of the filling and crimp edges of bottom and top crusts together. Brush top of pie with milk and sprinkle on sugar.
Place pie on a large cookie sheet (to catch any spills) and put it on the lowest rack in your oven. Bake at 400ºF for 20 minutes, then lower oven temperature to 350ºF for another 50-70 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling. Allow pie to cool completely and then refrigerate until ready to eat. The filling will thicken as the pie cools, so make sure to serve it either room temperature or cold.