Growing up we always had wild blueberries growing all around us. It was just so common to go out and pick these berries, bring them in and my mom would use them in various baked goods. One of my favorite things to eat was homemade blueberry pie. The taste is so much fresher and more vibrant tasting than a can of blueberry filling. The blueberries were such a delicious comfort food for me growing up we would also freeze them and have them all year long. This recipe is dedicated to all those who enjoy the comforts of blueberries and pie!
To begin with, making this pie in winter requires frozen blueberries. Three pounds to be exact, now that’s a pie! In the off months, I generally find frozen blueberries have a much better flavor than those that are sold fresh at that same time. Lastly, using the freshest ingredients (as is available) will make this pie burst with flavor through and through. Trust me!
The very first thing you’ll want to make is the pie shell. This will take a lot more pie shell than your typical pie, so bear in mind everything listed in the recipe(s) may seem more than you’re used to making. I used a spring-form cake pan, 9″ round (it was 4″ high). You WILL have leftover pie shell scraps.
4 C all-purpose white flour
1 1/3 C chilled butter, unsalted
2/3 C water, very cold*
3 t sugar
1 1/4 C t sea salt
3/4 t nutmeg, freshly grated preferred
Mix all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cut the chilled butter into roughly 1/2″ cubes and drop into the dry ingredients. Add the cold water and mix by hand until thoroughly combined. Cover and put in refrigerator until ready to use. It will roll out much easier when thoroughly chilled. This step can be done a day in advance if you’re short on time.
*For a flakier crust, you could substitute all or some of the water called for in the recipe with vodka. It will not impart any flavor. However, if you wanted to, you could substitute the vodka with a flavored vodka of your choosing (vanilla, citrus, etc) that would leave behind a complimentary flavor!
The filling is the largest part of the pie that makes up most of the flavor. Using the freshest ingredients you can find makes the filling even better!
4 whole eggs
3 egg yolks
3 lbs of blueberries, fresh or frozen
1 C buttermilk
3/4 C sugar
1/2 C cornstarch
1/2 C all-purpose flour
2 1/2 T lemon juice
1 T lemon zest, freshly grated
1 t vanilla extract
3/4 t sea salt
1 t cinnamon
1/4 t ground cloves
For the filling, take half of the blueberries (if frozen leave the remaining half out to thaw as you cook the rest) and add to a saucepan over medium heat. As you bring them to a boil, gently mash them a little with a potato masher or spoon. Once boiling, reduce heat to simmer until thickened, approximately 15-20 minutes. Stirring occasionally. Once thickened, remove from heat and cool to just warm.
Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Add whisked eggs and whisked egg yolks, mix until combined. Add the buttermilk, vanilla, lemon juice, stir to combine. Now, add in the lemon zest, the cooked and uncooked blueberries. Set aside until the shell is made.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour the inside of your spring-form cake pan. Take your dough out of the refrigerator and separate it into two uneven portions (one portion 1/3 of total dough and one portion 2/3 of total dough). Using a scale will help you divide this more evenly. Taking the larger ball of dough, start rolling out until it’s a 1/4″ thick circle. Lift this larger crust into the cake pan, keeping the bottom and sides as flat as you can while moving this into and molding it around the bottom edge of the pan. Do not cut off the excess dough just yet.
Now, roll out the smaller portion of dough until it’s about one centimeter thick. Yes, thinner than the bottom crust you just rolled out. Take your favorite knife or cut-outs to make vents/patterns in the top pie crust to allow steam to exit. Pour the filling into the pie and cover with the thinner crust. Pinch together the two crusts and cut off any excess when you’re done, ensuring the crust doesn’t hang down over the cake pan.
Optional, I whipped up an egg white and water glaze to brush over the pie and sprinkle with sugar before putting it in the oven. Bake for 1 1/2 hours but check periodically and rotate half way through. This pie can take much longer to cook due to it’s sheer size, if in doubt you want a golden crust!
When the pie is done, remove and let cool for a couple hours before removing it from the spring-form pan! When it’s at or near room temperature, cutting it gave way to a perfectly kept edge to the pie. It did not fall apart whatsoever. I hope you enjoy it!