Who doesn’t love a Fresh Blueberry pie with a crumbly-buttery crust that dissolves in your mouth? Throughout the years, I’ve been perfecting the art of making fruit pies, and the blueberry pie is my family’s favorite treat. I hadn’t posted the recipe before as I can never get the camera out in time before the pie disappears! Both my daughter and my husband always ask for birthday pie, instead of cake… and even the littlest member has shown a predilection for this particular dessert. Here’s a photo to prove it… with blueberry lips.
The secret for a wonderful pie crust is to have the butter and water chilled, and try to handle it as little as possible to not develop the gluten in the dough. If you use a high quality creamy butter, it is a lot easier to handle, and it requires a lot less water (too much water turns into a hard crust). I always roll my dough between two sheets of Saran wrap… it makes it a lot easier for me to handle the dough, prevent it from braking, or sticking in the counter.
Without further to do, here’s the recipe for my pie, based on the recipe published in the Joy of Cooking.
- 2 1/2 c. all purpose flour
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 c. vegetable shortening
- 1/2 c. good quality chilled butter (I use Kerrygold)
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup chilled water
- 2 lb. fresh blueberries
- 3/4 sugar
- 4 tbs instant tapioca or corn starch
- 1 tbs strained lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp butter cut in small pieces
- Crystal sugar sprinkles
- Place the flour in a big bowl and combine with the salt and sugar.
- Put the vegetable shortening in the flour mix and work with your fingers, combining the fat and the flour until the shortening is the size of small peas.
- Cut the chilled butter in small pieces and add to the flour mixture. Using a pastry knife or two butter knives together, cut in the butter until it is evenly incorporated and the fat resembles small peas again.
- Drizzle 1/3 of the chilled water over the flour mixture, then use a spatula or a wooden spoon to moisten the flour until a thick dough is formed. It should just hold together... if it doesn't, drizzle more water and work it well in the dough making sure you don't use your hands.
- Once the dough has formed, press down with your palms and divide it in two equal halves. Work each half in a 10 inch disk and wrap with plastic. Place in the refrigerator for at least half an hour, while you prepare the filling.
- Turn the oven to 425ºF, with the rack in the lower third of the oven.
- In a large bowl, combine the washed blueberries, the sugar, the tapioca, the lemon juice and the salt. Let stand until the pie crust is ready to come out of the refrigerator.
- Roll one of the disks into a 13" circle, then transfer to a 9" pie pan.
- Pour the blueberry filling into the bottom crust, then dot with the small pieces of butter all over.
- Roll the second disk of dough and cover the pie with it. Seal the edges fluting the two crusts together. If the dough does not stick, you can moisten your fingers with cold water to make the seal.
- Cut vents in your pie. I like making little faces, but just a few slits all throughout is enough.
- Sprinkle with sugar crystals. It gives the crust an extra crunchy-sweet layer on top of the pie.
- Place in the oven for 30 minutes, then take out and slip a cookie sheet with aluminum foil under the pie. Reduce the temperature to 350ºF and cook for an extra 25 minutes, or until the filling starts bubbling.
- Place on a cooling rack and let it cool for at least 30 minutes. If you wait about an hour or two, the filling sets nicely. If you eat the pie warm, the filling tends to be runny, but equally delicious!