It's blueberry season! It's blueberry season! The markets are loaded with small and big cartons of Lac St-Jean blueberries. I am considering making blueberry and champagne jam with these precious summer gems, inspired by a jar of jam I picked up at the PEI Preserve Company last summer (eventually, I will find the time!).
In the meantime, blueberry pie was a must on my baking to-do list of blueberry-containing treats. I have only had blueberry pie a handful of times, and it truly is wonderful: A pie filled to the brim with luscious blueberries swimming in a sweet, blueberry infused sauce. The colors are fabulous too because the sauce appears as a deep purplish-indigo in the pie, and yet, on a white plate, you are left with dribbles of a lighter shade of purple. In this summer's quest for the perfect pie, I decided to test out a different crust recipe. For the last couple of posts (for my summer fruit pie and my whiskey peach crumble pie, I used my recipe for an all-butter crust. The recipe was a cinch to prepare and work with and you can even make it in the food processor!
I baked the crust at 425°F for 30 minutes with pie weights (ie the base of a removable-bottom tart pan) and then removed the weights and baked it for a few extra minutes, until the crust was evenly golden.
While the pie was baking, I assembled the filling using a "blueberries squared" method I found on chowhound. You basically melt butter (I love that the filling has butter in it!), add half the blueberries with the sugar and lemon juice. When the berries start to burst, you can add the flour and salt. Then you cook it over the stove until it has thickened. You cool it, and then add the other half of the berries (blueberries squared! Get it?). I also added some vanilla extract. Pour into pre-baked crust, let set, and enjoy! Letting it set is key. I got impatient and cut a piece a little too early, and the blueberry filling slowly flooded out. I panicked at the thought that this pie was a failure!
But then, as I was eating my flooded slice, I realized just how flaky and tender this crust was! Look at the flakiness! This crust is awesome!
And when I had another slice (or 2) the next day, the pie was set. I could serve a slice neatly, without blueberry filling gushing out.
See the tiny drops of blueberry sauce trickling in the first photo: Perfect! The pie is not so set that it is weirdly gelatinous, but not so runny that it is un-serve-able. Just right! My only complaint is that the filling is a little tart (gets you right at the back of the throat). Perhaps it needed more sugar.... Still, I absolutely adore the crust (even though it cracked a little) and I really like the recipe for the filling, and with a few more tweaks, I think we could be on to something amazing!
Blueberry pie filling
- 58 grams (¼ cup) unsalted butter ½ stick
- 1.5 L (6 cups) fresh blueberries
- 30 mL (2 tbsp) fresh lemon juice
- 45 mL (3 tbsp) all-purpose flour and more as needed
- 1.25 mL (¼ tsp) Diamond Crystal fine kosher salt
- 100 grams (½ cup) granulated sugar
- 150 grams (¾ cup) light brown sugar
- 5 mL (1 tsp) pure vanilla extract
- Melt butter over medium heat in a saucepan.
- Add 3 cups of blueberries, the lemon juice, and sugars, and cook until the blueberries release their juices. Then add the flour, and salt. Stir over medium heat (be careful because the mixture is very thick at first and you do not want to burn the flour! Remove from heat periodically if you are worried this could happen) and let it bubble a little.
- Remove from heat and set aside to cool to room temperature.
- When the mixture is cooled, add the other 3 cups of blueberries and the vanilla. Stir well to make sure that the berries are evenly coated.
- Pour into the baked 10-inch pie crust and let it set (if possible, let it set for a few hours in a cool place) before enjoying.
Update April 2014: Doesn't seem to work with frozen blueberries 🙁