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Blueberry Pie

One summer when I was in college I started making blueberry pie. I don’t remember why I decided to make it, but I did and it became an instant hit. At the risk of sounding immodest, it really is spectacularly good. So good, in fact, that while my sister has often requested it for her birthday instead of cake, she has also on occasion begged me not to make it. Even her iron will against food is no match for the lure of this pie.

For many years now I’ve confidently thought to myself that there isn’t a pie better than my blueberry pie. Then I saw the recipe for sour cherry pie with an oatmeal almond crumble pie topping and I realized that there is a pie better than my blueberry pie: it’s my blueberry pie with that oatmeal almond crumble topping. It’s like a magnificent cobbler pie hybrid.

The only tricky part to this pie is that I’ve never been able to figure out how to make it not be a bit runny. I’ve seen fruit pies in restaurants and in magazines where the inside is essentially solid and doesn’t budge when it’s cut. This pie, doesn’t do that, unless you refrigerate it for a day before you serve it. In fact I waited to photograph a slice of it for the blog until we were eating it on the second day and it’s still ugly. But even though it’s not pretty, it’s delicious.

My “secret ingredient” in the pie is that I use a couple of baking spices that people don’t tend to associate with blueberries. I include cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. These are classics in apple pie, but aren’t so often present in blueberry pie. It adds just a touch of spice that hints in the background and makes people say, “Yum! What is that?”

I make this pie each year for the 4th of July in part because it’s blue and in part because it’s a great time to get fantastic blueberries at the farmer’s market and in part because by making it a tradition I have it to look forward to. So enjoy your 4th of July holiday and enjoy some pie with it!

 

Blueberry Pie

Makes one deep dish pie, if using a regular pie plate you’ll have too much filling so cut everything down by 1/4.

Ingredients
Pie: 

  • 1 pie crust
  • 4 pints blueberries, washed and picked through to remove stems etc.
  • 3/4 cup evaporated cane juice
  • 1/3 cup AP flour
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg

Topping:
(Adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

  • 2/3 cup whole oats
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup evaporated cane juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted almond slivers
  • The juice of 1 lemon
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
Instructions
Pie:
  • Blind bake your pie crust by rolling it out into a pie plate and lining it with tin foil. Fill with rice, dried beans, or pie weights and bake in a pre-heated 425 degree oven for 10 minutes.
  • The reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
  • In a small bowl place the sugar, flour, spices, lemon zest, and salt and whisk to combine.
  • Add the blueberries to the bowl and stir to evenly coat with the sugar/flour mixture.
  • Place the blueberries into the blind baked pie crust and press them down to reduce the amount of air trapped between the berries.

Topping:

  • Put all the ingredients except the butter and lemon juice into a food processor and grind to the texture of flour.
  • While pulsing add butter chunks one at a time and pulse until it looks like crumbles of dough.
  • While pulsing add in the lemon juice to combine.
  • Using your fingers place the crumbles on top of the blueberries and press them into place gently.
  • Bake in the 350 degree oven for 1 hour.
  • Remove and allow to cool at least 2-3 hours before serving.

Preparation time: 15 minute(s)

Cooking time: 1 hour(s)

Number of servings (yield): 8