Every dessert table at a BBQ deserves a pie (or 2 or 3).
I thought I’d make a blueberry pie for our family BBQ over the weekend because it is appropriately colored to match the red, white and blue theme for the Independence Day holiday. I don’t always go out of my way to be matchy-matchy with a holiday, but I knew that I wanted to make something easy and I knew that I wanted it be pie so the decision sort of presented itself. Plus, blueberries are in season so that was the icing on the cake, er, pie. Oh icing on pie sounds delicious. 😉
It’s actually really funny to hear myself say that baking a pie is easy because I used to think it was pretty much the impossible baking task. About ten years ago my husband encouraged me to try it, possibly because he knew that I could do it and possibly because he’d get a pie out of the deal. He says even a cruddy pie is still pie, and that is a total victory. Either way you look at it, I made my first pie (blueberry peach) and I under cooked it … a lot. (He still happily ate it by the way.) I survived my first epic pie failure and it only made me want to try it again. Now I bake several pies a year and they come out great, if I do say so myself. Just goes to show ya. 🙂
I used my mother-in-law’s pie crust recipe for the one millionth time (give or take). Seriously, this is the only pie crust recipe I’ve used and I have no reason to go looking for another because it’s delicious and so easy it’s basically fool-proof. Flaky and delicious and easy. Just perfect.
Usually I make this blueberry pie without a top crust. However, this time I felt inspired by the stars and stripes theme to add some stars on top. Unbeknownst to me, I apparently had the same inspiration last July too because I did the same thing for my triple berry pie. Here I thought I had an original idea, but nope. Whomp, whomp. Maybe it will become a tradition now. Accidental traditions can still be traditions, right?
I apologize in advance if you want to make the pie stars and think that they’re annoying since you have to bake them separately from the pie. The directions for my blueberry pie assumes that there is no top crust so if you add one (or cute shapes) then you would need to alter the cooking time and/or oven temperature, otherwise the top crust would likely burn. Truthfully I don’t want to mess with the original recipe because I know I’ve got a good thing going. If you end up experimenting with the time and temperature to adjust for adding a top crust let me know. I love learning from you all.
Unofficially (or officially, according to my husband), the only thing missing from this picture is vanilla ice cream. Since this slice was our breakfast, I had to draw the line somewhere. 😉
Homemade Blueberry Pie Recipe
(10 inch pie, serves 8)
Ingredients for the pie crust (and optional star crust topping):
- 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup shortening, chilled
- 4 to 5 tablespoons water, very cold
- (optional) For the decorative stars on top of the pie, make another 1/2 recipe:
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup shortening, chilled
- 2 to 3 tablespoon water, very cold
Ingredients for the blueberry pie:
- 4 to 5 cups fresh blueberries
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- pie crust (see above)
- 1 egg, beaten
- (optional) decorative stars for the top of the pie
Directions (for crust and filling):
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.
- Add the shortening and mix with a pastry blender or fork until the dough is crumbly.
- Add in 4 tablespoons of very cold water and mix together until the dough is moist and comes together. I use a fork for this step because I find it is easier to mix than with a pastry blender. Add more cold water a few drops at a time, if needed.
- Gather the dough into a ball and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes.
- While your dough is chilling out in the fridge, prepare the blueberry filling:
- Wash the blueberries and make sure that there are no pesky little stems or super weird looking berries.
- Dry off the blueberries, pour them into a large bowl, and then set it aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the white sugar, cornstarch, salt, and cinnamon.
- Pour the sugar mixture into the bowl of blueberries and gently mix it all together.
- At this point preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Lightly grease a 10 inch round pie pan and set it aside. I’m pretty sure greasing it is not necessary because of the shortening in the crust, but I like to do it anyway. It helps to guarantee that the slices come out easily later.
- Lightly flour your rolling surface.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator and from the plastic wrap and place it on your floured surface.
- Using a rolling pin, start rolling from the center and work your way out. Sprinkle a little flour over the top of the dough and on your rolling pin if the dough is too sticky.
- Roll out the dough to about 12 inches in diameter. You want to roll it larger than the size of the pie pan to allow for enough dough to go up the sides of the pie plate.
- Carefully lift the dough off of the surface. Gently lay the dough into the pan and gently press the dough into the edges of the pan taking care to avoid poking holes in it or tearing it.
- Cut off any excess dough that hangs over the edge of the pie plate.
- Pour the blueberry mixture into the crust.
- Lightly brush the beaten egg on the edge of the pie crust.
- Line the outer pie crust rim with a pie crust protector or tin foil. (I keep it on for the entire cooking time.)
- Place the pie on a baking sheet. The baking sheet will catch any blueberry goo that might spill over your pie. This step only sounds silly to people that haven’t had to clean baked on fruit goo from the bottom of their ovens. Trust me on this one.
- Place it on the lower shelf of the preheated oven and bake for 55 minutes or until the crust is a golden brown. The blueberry goo will be jiggly and bubbling like lava, but it will set once it’s cooled.
- Let the pie cool for a few hours before serving. I like to make it the day before so that it sets really well.
- (Optional) for the decorative stars for the top of the pie:
- Follow steps 1 through 4 from above to make the dough.
- Roll out the dough and cut out star shapes.
- Place them on a cookie sheet.
- Lightly brush the beaten egg on top of the stars. Use the leftover beaten egg from when you brushed the edge of the pie crust.
- Bake them in a 425 degree preheated oven (or toaster oven) until lightly golden brown. The size and thickness of my stars made them take about 15 minutes.
- Place the cooked stars on top of the cooked blueberry pie, preferably while the blueberry pie is still hot so that the stars can stick to the filling. Different sized stars or preferences of how much pie filling you would like to see will alter how many stars end up on your pie. I only placed 8 stars on top of the pie, mostly because that was all that fit comfortably. The leftover stars went into my belly. 😉
Adapted from: Allrecipes