Our small town fair is at the end of this month, and I’m trying to narrow down what I’m going to enter. The past few months, I’ve been working to strengthen my “pimp hand” in the pie department – and am proud of how far I’ve come. For someone who used to pull her hair out rolling out a pie crust, now I find myself cool as a cucumber making pies – whether it’s a fruit or creme filling.
The boys and I went blueberry picking last week. I was surprised at what good pickers the boys have turned out to be. At 5, I knew Andrew would be a big help. But, I wasn’t holding out much hope for William. I figured I’d have to go through his bucket and pick out all the less-than-desirable berries. But upon further inspection, he’d only picked the ripest, bluest of berries! We made blueberry pancakes the next morning, and then a blueberry pie that night. It’s always such a treat to make things with the fruit that you’ve harvested yourself!
This pie was declared “the best pie” Jon’s ever eaten, and my cupcake guinea pig Jamie said that it tasted just like her mom’s blueberry pie – which trust me, is an honor. The addition of lemon zest and juice ads a brightness, and cuts some of the sweetness. I also like the cornstarch as a thickener. I’d tried a recipe that used ground tapioca starch in the past, but I felt like the cornstarch held up much better when cut. While a bit of juice oozed out, the pie was still perfectly stuffed with blueberry filling after cutting.
I’m pretty sure this will be an entry in our local fair this year. Without a doubt, it’s blue ribbon worthy!
2 rolled-out rounds of basic pie dough (homemade or store-bought)
4 cups blueberries
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, strained
3/4 cup sugar
4 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Fold 1 dough round in half and carefully transfer to a 9-inch pie dish. Unfold and ease the round into the pan, without stretching it, and pat it firmly into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Using kitchen scissors, trim the edge of the dough, leaving 3¿4 inch of overhang. Set the dough-lined pan aside, along with the other dough round, in a cool place until ready to use.
Place the blueberries in a large bowl, sprinkle with the lemon juice and toss to coat evenly. In a small bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest, salt and cinnamon. Sprinkle the sugar mixture over the berries and toss to distribute evenly. Immediately transfer to the dough-lined pan. Dot with the butter.
Fold the reserved dough round in half and carefully position it over half of the filled pie. Unfold and trim the edge neatly, leaving 1 inch of overhang, then fold the edge of the top round under the edge of the bottom round and crimp the edges to seal. Using a small, sharp knife, cut an asterisk 4 to 5 inches across in the center of the top to allow steam to escape during baking.
Refrigerate the pie until the dough is firm, 20 to 30 minutes. Meanwhile, position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 375°F.
Bake the pie until the crust is golden and the filling is thick and bubbling, 50 to 60 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely to set, 1 to 2 hours. Serve at room temperature or rewarm in a 350°F oven for 10 to 15 minutes just before serving.