Fresh Blueberry Pie with a Lavender Crust
I can’t go too long without baking a pie. It’s in my DNA! And this summer has provided the most amazing array of fruit to bake with. I’ve made several strawberry rhubarb, a cherry, two types of peach, a couple of bumble berry, and now I made a blueberry pie. This is one of Jim’s favourites of the berry pies. And I think it will be one of yours soon too!
I love that this is basically a no-bake pie. Fine, you do have to blind bake the crust first. But in the big scheme of things, that’s pretty simple.
The rest is done on the stovetop. I learned about this recipe about six years ago from a friend with whom I volunteer. She brought in the most amazing pie that just sang of fresh blueberries, but wasn’t overly goopy or runny. I just had to get the recipe from her. So she came in the next week with a little scrap of paper with the recipe handwritten on it. I was so happy!
And then just over a year ago, I was cooking out of Food52’s ‘Genius Recipes’. What do you think I found in the dessert section?? Rose Levy Beranbaum’s ‘Fresh Blueberry Pie’! I read through the ingredient list, and then the directions, and realized that I was baking HER pie! It’s a brilliant recipe.
The hardest part, after cooking part of the filling on the stove, and then adding the rest of the fresh berries and pouring them into the baked off crust, is waiting a good three hours, until it is set enough to cut into!!
I still use my Pie Crust recipe, since it just works for me so well. Genius Recipes includes her pastry recipe, and it is good, but quite involved, and I’m just not that worried about taking on another pastry recipe (you do remember my rant on homemade puff pastry, right??) I do add lavender to my recipe for this pie, since lavender and blueberries were just meant to be best friends!
Instead of leaving the top naked, and adding some whipped cream when serving, as Genius Recipes suggests, I make a double crust recipe, and turn part of the dough into ‘cookies’ to add on top of the blueberries. As the berry filling sets, the cookies become one with the filling, and make a lovely top crust. It’s a visual thing with me, but that’s all right, right?!
Once you’ve made this recipe once, you will surely add this to your pie repertoire. It’s so easy to whip up. And while blueberries are just busting up all over Ontario markets at the moment, blueberries can be found year round, so this pie truly knows no season.
Hope you like this pie as much as Jim does. And as much as I do too!
- One double crust of my Perfect No Fail Pie Crust (see archives) When preparing the recipe, add 1.5 tsp of crushed dried lavender to the flour and sugar mixture before adding the butter and shortening.
- 1 egg plus a little water beaten for an egg wash
- 1 tbsp turbinado sugar
- 1 tbsp egg white lightly beaten
- 4 cups (590 g) blueberries, rinsed and dried
- 1/2 liquid cup of water, plus another 2 tbsp water (divided)
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- pinch of salt
- Prepare the crust as per my Perfect, No Fail Pie Crust recipe, adding the crushed lavender into the flour before adding the butter and shortening.
- Divide the dough into two disks, one slightly larger than the other (1/3; 2/3 is how I cut it)
- Wrap each in cling film and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 425F.
- Remove the larger disk and roll out to fill your 9" pie plate.
- Crimp as you desire, and put into the freezer for 10 minutes. Remove the smaller disk from the fridge.
- Remove the chilled pie shell from the freezer and line it with parchment, and then fill with beans or rice) Place on a baking sheet. Bake in the lower third of the oven for 20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and carefully remove the beans and parchment paper. Prick the shell with a fork along the bottom and sides. Return to the oven and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. Check after 3 minutes to see if any bubble develop, if so prick these with the fork.
- Remove to cool.
- In the meantime, during the initial 20 minutes of baking, roll out the smaller disk on a well floured surface to the same thickness of your pie dough (Im guessing at around 3/8 of an inch or so- not too thin or thick) Using your favourite cookie cutter(s) cut out shapes. Cut out enough to fill the top of your pie surface. Place all of them onto a parchment lined baking sheet and put into the freezer for 5 minutes. Remove, and lightly brush the cookies with an egg wash. Sprinkle with the turbinado sugar.
- Once the pie shell is out of the oven, drop the heat to 375F. Bake the 'cookies' in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove.
- Brush the bottom and sides of the baked pie shell with beaten egg white to form a barrier for when you add the filling. The egg whites will keep the pie shell from getting soggy.
- Measure out 1 cup of your blueberries, choosing any that are soft or slightly bruised. Put them into a sauce pan along with 1/2 (120 ml) of water. Cover and bring to a boil.
- Meanwhile in a small bowl mix the cornstarch with the remaining 2 tbsp of water to create a smooth slurry.
- When the blueberries and water have come to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, stirring constantly for 3-4 minutes, until the berries have started to burst and the juices are starting to thicken. Stirring constantly, add the cornstarch slurry, the sugar, lemon juice and salt. Simmer for a minute or two until the filling becomes translucent.
- Immediately remove from the heat and add the remaining 3 cups of blueberries.
- Pour this filling carefully into the cooled pie shell. Smooth out the top. Place your baked 'cookies' all over the filling to create a 'crust'. Allow to sit at room temperature for at least 3 hours.
- When set, the berries will remain juicy, but will not flow out of the crust.
- Serve with whipped cream if desired. Or ice cream!!
- This pie will keep at room temperature for 2 days. Or refrigerated for up to 5 days. As if you'll need 5 days!!