It’s prime berry-picking season in Oregon and when I was offered a bag full of freshly picked blueberries, I couldn’t resist. It was the perfect opportunity to turn the berries into a pie.
The last time I attempted making a blueberry pie … well … let’s just say it didn’t really work out. The pie was so runny (when I cut into it immediately after taking it out of the oven) I decided to turn the entire thing into a blueberry crumble. Since then I’ve been needing to redeem myself.
After making a hugely successful Boysenberry Pie, I decided to go with a recipe that uses Instant Tapioca. I’ve read this works better at thickening than cornstarch or flour.
- double recipe pie crust
- 5 or 6 c. fresh blueberries, rinsed and stems removed
- 1/2 tsp. lemon zest
- 1 T. lemon juice
- 3 T. instant Tapioca granules
- 1/2 c. white granulated sugar
- pinch of cinnamon
- pinch of nutmeg
- heavy cream
- Turbinado sugar
- Prepare the crust. Roll out half of the dough to 1/8-inch-thick circle on a lightly floured work surface, about 13 inches in diameter. Fit the dough over a 9-inch pie pan, and trim the edges to a 1/2 inch over the edge all around the pan. Put into the refrigerator to chill for about 30 minutes.
- Gently mix the blueberries, sugar, flour, cinnamon, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a large bowl. Transfer them to the chilled bottom crust of the pie pan.
- Roll out remaining dough to the same size and thickness as the first. Place on top of the berry filling. Tuck the top dough over and under the edge of the bottom dough, and crimp the edges with your fingers. Or follow directions for a Lattice Top Pie Crust.
- Transfer the pie to the refrigerator to chill until the dough is firm, about 30 minutes.
- Heat oven to 425°F.
- Remove the unbaked pie from refrigerator. Brush the top with heavy cream and sprinkle with Turbinado sugar. If not using a Lattice Pie Crust Top, score the pie on the top with 4 cuts (so steam can escape while cooking). Place the pie on the middle rack of the oven with a parchment paper lined baking pan positioned on the lower rack to catch any filling that may bubble over.
- Bake for 30 minutes at 425°. Reduce heat to 350°F and bake for 30 additional minutes or until juices are bubbling and have thickened. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Let cool completely before serving.
Watching this pie bake made me really nervous. With about 10 minutes left, I had yet to see the juices bubble at all – which made me believe the pie was going to be incredibly dry. How could that be possible?! So I turned the oven back up to 425 and sure enough the juices began to immediately bubble.
The huge mistake I’ve made in the past and I’ve heard of other people making is not letting the pie cool completely. You MUST do this or you run the risk of having a runny interior of your pie.
My only real annoyance with this pie was that I don’t think all of the Tapioca dissolved – which is probably because I didn’t mix the ingredients well enough. There was some Tapioca chilling out on top of the blueberries near the crust and because the pie didn’t bubble up that high, the Tapioca remained when I pulled the pie out of the oven. I can’t say I tasted it, however, when I tried the pie.
With all the sugar and spice in the pie itself as well as in and on the pie crust, this is a relatively sweet pie. I cut the sweetness by adding a scoop of vanilla ice-cream (after popping it in the microwave for 45 seconds, of course).
I like this recipe because the pie was not runny at all. Not even a tiny little bit. I may, however, suggest cutting down slightly on the cinnamon. While the pie was baking, my sister commented, It smells like you’re making apple pie. Perhaps it was because my sister had said that or perhaps it was because there really was too much cinnamon… I thought the pie tasted slightly of apple!