In the pantheon of summertime pies, blueberry pie is right up there at the top. A good one should be packed to the brim with plump roly-poly berries, the flaky and buttery crust barely able to contain the jewel-like bounty. It should need only a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream to finish it off. Here is our recipe for a classic blueberry pie — no frills, no secret ingredients, just blueberries in all their summery glory.
For a fresh blueberry pie, I think it's worth it to buy blueberries from the farmers market. They are expensive (at least where I live), but the flavor is so much better than either frozen berries or berries that have been shipped across the country. The ones I used for this pie were the perfect balance of sweet and tart, and they baked beautifully in the oven — softening and releasing their juices while staying firm enough to give you something to bite into.
I also firmly believe in a juicy pie. I usually use just enough cornstarch to help the fruit hold together, but not so much that the filling turns into Jello. I love those last few spoonfuls of sweet berry juice, especially if they've mixed with a little melted ice cream.
With both the amount of sugar and the amount of cornstarch that you choose to use, go by your fruit. Taste a few berries — if they're very tart, use a little more sugar, and vice versa. If they're very juicy, you may want to add a few more teaspoons of cornstarch. There's definitely wiggle room for both ingredients, so don't spend too much time worrying about the exact amount. Less time fretting, more time eating pie!
Do you love blueberry pie? What's your favorite way to make it?
2 prepared 9-inch Pie Crusts
6 cups fresh blueberries, washed and dried
3/4 - 1 cup sugar
3 - 4 tablespoons cornstarch
Zest from 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 large egg yolk whisked with 1 tablespoon warm water, for the glaze
Roll out one of the pie crusts to a diameter of 12 to 13 inches and transfer it to a 9-inch pie. Snug it into the corners of the pan. Transfer the pie pan to the fridge and chill the crust for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 425°F while the crust is chilling.
Combine the blueberries, 3/4 cup of sugar, 3 tablespoons cornstarch, lemon zest and lemon juice in a small bowl. Use more sugar if your berries are very tart and more cornstarch if your berries seem very juicy or if you prefer a more firm pie filling. Stir until the sugar dissolves into a gooey coating and let the berries macerate on the counter 15 to 30 minutes.
Remove the pie crust from the fridge and pour the berries inside. Roll the second pie crust to a diameter of 11 to 12 inches and gently lay it over the top of your pie. Trim the edges to make them even, then tuck the edges under themselves and crimp. Cut a few vent holes in the top pie crust and brush all over with the egg yolk.
Transfer the pie to a baking sheet (to catch any drips) and bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Turn down the oven temperature to 350°F and continue baking for another 30 to 40 minutes, until the berry juices are bubbling and the top crust is golden brown. If the edges of the pie are browning faster than the middle, cover the edges with tin foil.
Remove the pie from the oven and let it cool for at least 4 hours before serving. If serving the next day, leave the pie on the counter and cover with a cake dome or very large bowl once it is cool.
(Images: Emma Christensen)