Learn how to make the best blueberry pie from fresh blueberries with this recipe. This blueberry pie sets up perfectly and the filling is neither soupy nor dry! Find out how.
Blueberry pie is truly wonderful. It’s right up there with my favourite whiskey peach crumble pie. It's definitely a more involved recipe than something like blueberry jam, but you can do it. Start with a solid recipe for an all-butter crust. The dough is easy to prepare (you can even make it in the food processor!) and easy to roll out and work with, without it cracking or breaking.
What you will need to make the best blueberry pie
If you want to make blueberry pie from scratch (both the filling and the pie crust), you will need the following ingredients:
To make the all butter double crust pie dough
This recipe requires enough pie dough for two crusts (top and bottom). To make enough dough for this double crust pie, you will need:
- all-purpose flour is the base ingredient for the crust to give it structure and to help the crust hold its shape as the pie bakes
- granulated sugar is added to the crust (just a little) to sweeten it slightly but to also help with browning
- salt is really important to balance out the sweet flavour in the filling and also to balance out the sour notes. Don't skip it. I like to use Diamond Crystal fine kosher salt, but table salt will work, though the pie dough will be saltier and you may want to halve the salt.
- butter, preferably unsalted butter because you add salt to the dough, but if you have salted, it will work. Just adjust the salt in the recipe accordingly, otherwise, your pie crust may be too salty
- cold water is needed to develop some of the gluten in the flour and also to hydrate the dough.
To make the blueberry pie filling
Blueberry pie filling can be tricky. Here's are the ingredients you will need to make this recipe:
- fresh blueberries, preferably a mixture of regular blueberries and wild blueberries
- granulated sugar to sweeten the blueberries, which sometimes can be quite tart depending on if you are baking with local berries that vary in flavour more than factory-farmed berries
- lemon juice, to help balance out the sugar in the recipe
- a thickener, like arrowroot flour (also called arrowroot starch) preferably or tapioca flour (also called tapioca starch)
- vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract to add some depth of flavour to the blueberry filling
- milk or an egg wash if you prefer to give the top crust more shine
- turbinado sugar, which adds a crunchy texture and sweet flavour to the top crust
Avoiding a soupy blueberry pie
I think blueberry pie might be one of the most challenging pies to make because it can end up very soupy. There are a few reasons why this happens:
- you aren't using enough thickener: blueberries have a lot of water trapped inside. If you skimp on the thickener, you will end up with a watery filling that will not only make the bottom crust soggy, it will make the pie very difficult to serve, requiring a spoon.
- you added more berries than the recipe suggested: there's a ratio of fruit to thickener built into the recipe. If you add more berries, you have to add more thickener
- you aren't using the right thickener: remember that flour is the least powerful thickener. This goes for pastry cream, but also pie fillings. Flour-thickened fruit pies will not set as well as pie fillings thickened with cornstarch, or better yet tapioca or arrowroot flour.
- you didn't bake the pie for long enough: there are recipes that suggest you bake a double-crust blueberry pie for less than an hour. That's just not long enough. Literally every time I follow a recipe and bake a pie for an hour, I end up in tears because it's a disaster. The crust is verging on raw and the filling is a wet mess if you don't bake your pie for long enough. Trust me!
- you don't bake your pie at a high enough oven temperature: there are recipes that suggest you bake your pies at 350 ºF, but I do not recommend that. Bake your pies at a higher temperature, 400 ºF or even 425 ºF, especially at the beginning of the bake. This will help set the crust and brown it. Then you can drop the temperature down and continue to bake for a long time to bake the crust through and also so that the filling comes to a boil. This means the pie you bake will be messy, in the sense that the filling will bubble through and over the top crust. But that's the secret to baking a pie until the filling is set!
- you don't let your pies cool long enough: I have romantic dreams of serving a freshly baked warm pie with vanilla ice cream, but the reality is that if you serve this pie within a couple hours of baking it, it's likely the filling will not be set. Just like jam, you've gotta let the pie cool down for hours, preferably overnight, to ensure that the filling has thickened properly and set. Otherwise, you may have blueberry pie soup.
Special tools and equipment
Pie doesn't require that many tools if you make the dough by hand. Still this list of equipment will make baking pie a lot easier for you. Here's what you need:
- food processor—you can make the dough by hand using a bowl and your fingers, but I like the ease of making pie dough in a food processor
- pie plate—I prefer a metal pie plate because it's a better heat conductor, whereas glass is insulating
- rolling pin—I am most comfortable with a French rolling pin made out of wood. It has tapered ends and I find it easy to handle
- pastry brush—I prefer natural bristle pastry brushes, though silicone works too
- pizza cutter, also called a pizza wheel to cut out strips. You could also invest in an adjustable lattice pastry cutter, which is like five pizza wheels in one so that you can cut more strips at a time, faster and more evenly.
- large rimmed sheet pan, like a half sheet pan lined with parchment to catch the drips as the pie bakes in the oven. Trust me when I say you don't want to skip this, unless you like cleaning the floor and racks of your oven
Creating a fat lattice top crust
Usually, I bake finer top lattice crusts, where the strips of the lattice are about an inch thick, or even less. For this blueberry pie, I opted for a fat lattice, where the lattice strips are 2 inches wide. This means less weaving. You only need 7 strips of dough to weave a fat lattice top crust!
For pies like this one with crimped edges and cut-out shapes on top or latticework, I highly recommend that you make the pie dough in the food processor because you want the butter to be cut into much smaller pieces than for a traditional flaky crust. The finer pieces of butter still make a light crust, but also a crust that holds its shape as it bakes. The butter doesn't ooze out of the dough as the pie bakes and the strips and crimps are almost exactly as they were before the pie hit the oven.
Ensuring the crust is baked properly
Pies usually take an hour and a half to bake, or even up to 2 hours. I baked this blueberry pie at 425°F for 30 minutes and then I dropped the temperature down to 400 ºF and continued baking until the crust was evenly golden all over and the filling was boiling even in the middle. You can see the splashes that stained the lattice.
Bake pies on the lower racks of the oven, either the bottom rack or the bottom middle rack (just before last). This ensures that the heat radiating from the bottom of the oven hits the bottom of the pie quickly, to help concentrate the heat on the bottom crust.
What to serve with pie
Serve this perfect blueberry pie à la mode with scoops of the best homemade ice cream! You're going to love it with:
See the tiny drops of blueberry sauce trickling in the photo: Perfect! The pie is not so set that it is weirdly gelatinous, but not so runny that it is un-serveable. Just right! The blueberries are juicy but the filling is gelled properly. It's not dry but it's not soup either.
The best blueberry pie with lattice crust
Blueberry pie filling thickened with arrowroot starch
- 900 grams (2 lb) fresh blueberries I used 250 grams wild blueberries and 650 grams regular blueberries
- 250 grams (1¼ cups) granulated sugar
- 60 g (½ cup) arrowroot starch also called arrowroot floour
- 30 mL (2 tablespoon) lemon juice
- 1.25 mL (¼ teaspoon) Diamond Crystal fine kosher salt
- 15 mL (1 tablespoon) pure vanilla extract
Easy all-butter pie dough made in food processor
- 312 grams (2½ cups) bleached all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon (1 tablespoon) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon (1 teaspoon) Diamond Crystal fine kosher salt
- 173 grams (¾ cup) unsalted butter cut into cubes, very cold, plus extra to butter the pie plate
- 100 mL (7 tablespoon) water
- 15 mL (1 tablespoon) whole milk (3.25 % fat)
- 15 mL (1 tablespoon) Turbinado sugar
Blueberry pie filling
- In a large bowl with a wooden spoon, mix the blueberries with the sugar, arrowroot starch, lemon juice, and salt. Stir the mixture really well, mashing some of the fruit with the spoon to release some of their juices.
- Let the filling rest for 20 minutes, stirring every few minutes to help release more of the fruit juice. You can start the crust while this is resting.
- Transfer half the filling to a mediuam saucepan. Bring the mixture up to a boil on medium heat and cook until glossy and thick, letting the berries burst.
- Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the mixture back to the bowl with the rest of the fruit. Add the vanilla. Stir well, then chill in the fridge until you are ready to use it.
Easy all-butter pie dough in the food processor
- In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the cold butter and pulse to form a coarse crumble.
- Add the water and pulse it in, then let the food processor run just until the dough comes together. I use my Cuisinart Food Processor from Amazon for this recipe.
- Divide the dough in two and transfer both pieces to your work surface. Shape one piece into a disk. Shape the other into a rectangle. Wrap both in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.
- After 45 minutes of chilling. Retrieve the rectangle of dough. Roll it to a 10x15 rectangle on a floured surface. Transfer to a big cookie sheet and chill again.
- Roll the disk to a 14" circle. Transfer to buttered metal pie plate and fit it in place. Pour the chilled filling into the pie and smooth it so it's even. Place in the fridge.
- Retrieve the big 10x15 rectangle of dough. Cut it into at least 7 two-inch strips. Take the pie out of the fridge and place 4 strips side by side vertically.
- Now weave in the other 3 strips horizontally to form a lattice (check out the video). Trim, tuck, and crimp the edges.
- Chill the pie in the fridge for 15–30 minutes until the dough is cold and hard.
- When the pie has chilled enough and when the oven is preheated to 425 ºF, take the pie out of the fridge and set it on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Brush the surface of the lattice with milk and sprinkle with turbinado. Meanwhile place a large cookie sheet on the bottom rack of the oven.
- Bake the pie on the before-last or bottom rack for 30 minutes at 425 °F to set the crust. Lower the oven temperature to 400 °F and continue baking until the edges and top of the pie crust are golden brown. The filling should be bubbling through the lattice and very hot. This takes at least 45–60 minutes more of baking.
- Let the pie cool to room temperature, preferably overnight so that the pie sets properly before serving.