Update: This is still a great pie! I’ve made it multiple times since 2010 and we love it. Here’s a photo of a full sized slice. If blueberries are expensive or you don’t have a lot of people to feed, you can half the recipe and make it in a small 7 inch pie dish.
I’ll take whatever compliments I can get, but yesterday I got the ultimate. Or at least the pie did. Todd said this one, adapted from Pies & Tarts (Maida Heatter Classic Library) was the best he’d ever eaten. It was a nice surprise because I was a little worried this pie wouldn’t work out.
Unlike most blueberry pies which are filled and baked, the filling here is made in a saucepan, poured into a pre-baked pie shell, and chilled until firm. Because the filling is made with cornstarch, I was skeptical as to just how well it would set, but it set perfectly (which I suppose has something to do with the pectin in the mashed berries) with no runniness or seeping blueberry juice. The only problem with the pie was that I made it too small.
A few weeks ago I bought a 7 inch pie dish and have been cutting pie recipes in half and making small pies. That’s working out relatively well, but I don’t particularly like how the small pies slice. They’re nubby and squat, which brings me back to my wish that someone would create an actual semi-circular pie dish for half-pies. Sure, making a half pie is just as much work as a whole, but when you’re using expensive fruit in the filling and know the whole pie won’t be eaten, making a half-pie is practical.
Okay, that’s enough of my complaining about pie dishes for now. I should be happy that I’ve found the ultimate blueberry pie thanks to Maida and all the folks who’ve published or recommended the recipe on forums. You can find the actual recipe in the book or on-line using Google, but I’ve gone ahead and paraphrased it below. I think you can make this same pie with cherries.
Note: Here’s a link to the blind baked all butter pie crust I use.
The Best Blueberry Pie Yet!
- 1 baked 9 inch pie shell
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 3/4 cup boiling hot water – microwave is handy for this
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 pounds fresh blueberries washed and carefully inspected for stems etc.
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
- In a medium saucepan, preferably a metal one without a nonstick coating, mix together the cold water and the cornstarch to dissolve the cornstarch.
- Add the boiling water, sugar and salt. turn heat to medium. Add about 1/2 cup of the blueberries. Mix and stir with a whisk and a scraper, pressing blueberries against the side of the pan and smashing them (and any lumps of cornstarch), until the mixture thickens and goes from cloudy to translucent purple. Once this happens, continue cooking and stirring over a lower heat for about 2 minutes more.
- Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice and butter. Let the mixture cool for a few minutes, then scrape the warm blueberry gel into a bowl with the fresh blueberries. Stir to coat the blueberries with the gel mixture, then transfer to the baked pie crust. Chill for about 4 hours.
Just wanted to reiterate that this is DEFINITELY the Best Blueberry Pie Yet. I’ve been making it for years and passing it off as Farmhouse Blueberry Pie, and man, it always gets raves.
Nubby and squat–just like me! 😉 I’ll have to try the pie with my 50 cups of now frozen blueberries! (Well, I wouldn’t use them all with this pie.) hehe
Looks marvelous A! Maybe you should invent a half-pie pan! You could hit it big, you never know! 🙂
Wow, simple and it looks very tasty. This is something I would like to make with my 10 year old. Thanks for the recipe we have blueberries in the store now and they are not to pricey at all.
Oh, this is really similiar to my favorite Open-face Fresh Blueberry Pie from Rose Berenbaum Levy’s The Pie & Pastry Bible…I have used a frozen whole wheat pie shell from WF on occasion. It is such a light tasting and pretty pie for a hot summer day! here is the link on Epicurious:
Yvonne, it’s probably an old one that Maida refined from something else. I saw a similar version in a Junior League book.
This is my mom’s “top secret” blueberry pie recipe. It’s delicious! I always wondered where she’d gotten that recipe and now I know. I bow down to Maida yet again. If you have not tried Maida’s polka dot cheese cake I would highly recommend it. Maida (and Mom) never fail to produce a great dessert.
OK! i want to try this way! never used cake flour in the crust.
but i have to admit that crust looks really good.
Try making the blueberry filling without the cornstarch and serving it over pancakes or waffles.
What a luscious looking pie! Wish had fresh blueberries to try it.
Jenn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog)
Wow, I’ve never seen a blueberry pie without a top, lol. That looks so petite. Yum!
Looks wonderful! The East coast heat wave has put a damper on my baking and I’m starting to run out of no-oven dessert ideas. Do you think that this filling could be used in something other than a pie…say a parfait with vanilla pastry cream or pudding? Or perhaps used to fill a no-bake graham cracker crust?
I use tapioca flour so unless it happens to clump up because I didn’t stir it totally around the fruit, it forms fruit goo like cornstarch is supposed to.
When you use tapioca in a blueberry pie the little “berries” sop up the fruit juice and they are like additonal bluberries. I don’t grind up tapioca for berry pies; just sprinkle them over the berries in the shell before baking the pie.
tia @ buttercreambarbie
i must try this now! with such great reviews, I’ll splurge on the berries and give it a shot. 🙂
It’s not an actual pie pan, but I found 1/2 circle pans here: http://www.sugarcraft.com/catalog/pans/ROUND-pans.htm#half Maybe this would work?
You’re so right about wanting a half-pie dish. I’d make a lot more pies if I could do a half. Congrats on the new kitchen too–it’s gorgeous!
Cheryl, I usually have decent luck with cornstarch, but sometimes it breaks down. I tried tapioca in a pie the other day. It worked well, but I didn’t grind it in my grinder so I got all the little lumps. The cornstarch was great in this pie
Corn starch has twice the thicking “power” as does flour, I would always expect it to produce a thicken product if using the correct proportion. Corn starch also produces a clearer product than flour. I actually prefer corn starch over flour in gravies also. Plus flour has to be cooked enough to get rid of the flour taste. The other alternative is tapioca which also thickens better than flour and is often called for in fruit pies.
Overcooking a thicken product is usually what will cause it to run, in essence you have burst the starch molecules and it is runny.