Blueberry Pie, the perfect pie with a tender homemade crust filled with a fresh blueberry filling made from scratch. Looking for a fresh fruit dessert recipe? This fruit pie is it!
Despite the heat, there are many reasons to love Italy in August, and making pies with fresh fruit, like blueberry pie, is one of them.
Back in my Canadian life, I was always nominated the Pie and Tart baker for our family holiday get-togethers. When I first arrived in Italy I didn’t give much attention to pies, but after discovering fresh blackberries and blueberries growing in our vineyard, I’ve started up again.
And there’s no better time to make a blueberry pie than in August. Most Italians take the entire month off to celebrate one of Italy’s biggest holidays, Ferragosto. It’s a holiday that’s been around since ancient times and is also celebrated along with the Catholic Church’s celebration of the Virgin Mary’s Assumption to Heaven.
Even to this day most Italians close up shop and go on vacation for a big part of the month of August.
So, what does this have to do with pie? Well, one holiday we spent the day at our friends’ house in the country. Surrounded by vineyards and lovely blueberry bushes, which I noticed still had quite a few berries.
I could not let those berries go unobserved! Nonchalantly, I asked, “please pretty please may I have them?” I really needed to make some Blueberry Pies. I figured I could bribe her with a pie or two!
So even though I sometimes complain about the very hot summer weather, pies make up for it. As long as I get a nice breeze through the house it’s worth turning on the oven to make a delicious sweet homemade pie.
For this recipe, I knew the perfect pastry would be my trusted Crostata Italian pastry. The easy filling I kept simple with fresh fruit, sugar, and butter.
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder
- Room temperare large egg plus one egg yolk
- Room temperature butter cut into cubes
- Fresh blueberries
- Lemon juice
- Softened butter
How to Make the Pastry
In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, and baking powder. In a small bowl, lightly beat the whole egg and egg yolk. Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and add beaten egg and butter. Use a fork to combine them with the dry ingredients.
Once combined, turn the mixture onto a lightly floured surface and work it to form a soft dough. Wrap it in plastic and refrigerate the pastry for 30 minutes.
When it’s chilled, unwrap it and knead it a couple of times to soften it. Roll it out to 1/8″ thickness. Fit the dough into a 9 inch pie plate or six 4″ tart pans and prick the dough with a fork.
How to Make Blueberry Pie Filling
Mix the berries, sugar, flour, and lemon juice in a mixing bowl. Use a fork to gently squish the berries. You don’t need to break them down completely – just enough to release some of the juice.
Divide the mixture between the pie pan or tart pans. Top the filling with two small dots of butter per tart or 8 dots for a single pie, at this point the pie can either be topped with the extra dough, you can do strips or cutouts, or as I sometimes like to do is just leave the pie open without extra dough.
Make sure you leave space for the steam to escape between the pieces of dough on top. Don’t completely cover the filling. Sprinkle the crust with sugar and bake the pies for approximately 20 to 25 minutes at 375°F.
Allow the pies to cool before serving so the filling can set.
For this recipe, the filling thickens as it bakes. It is very important to leave space for steam to escape from the pies – that moisture is from the fruit and as the steam escapes, the filling will reduce and thicken. You should also let the pies cool completely. This will allow the filling to thicken and set. Some recipes call for cornstarch to thicken pie filling, but for this one, I make it without cornstarch.
Did you leave space or cut vents into the top crust before baking? Your filling will be runny if the steam can’t escape. Also, make sure the pies are cooled before serving.
You can keep it at room temperature for one to two days or store your pies in the refrigerator for up to three to four days. Keep them loosely covered.
You can substitute with blackberries, huckleberries, raspberries or even gooseberries. I have often made this recipe with blackberries which are delicious.
How to freeze a berry pie
The pie can be frozen baked or unbaked to freeze baked, let the pie cool completely, then place in a freezer safe bag or container, it will keep for up to 4-6 months in the freezer. Thaw the pie at room temperature. The thawed pie can be re-heated in a pre-heated 375F (190C) oven for approximately 15 minutes or until warmed through.
To freeze the unbaked pie (which is a better idea since a baked frozen pie can cause the crust to become soggy). Before freezing refrigerate the pie until the crust is firm, then wrap well in plastic wrap then again in foil, place in a freezer safe bag and freeze for up to 4-6 months.
When you are ready to bake the pie, place the frozen pie on a cookie sheet and bake from frozen, in a pre-heated 425F (220C) for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 375F (190C) and bake for another 30-45 minutes, if the crust is browning too much then cover the pie with foil and continue baking.
For summer there’s nothing better than a fresh fruit dessert especially the best blackberry pies. Enjoy!
More Fruit Desserts
Homemade Blueberry Pie
FOR THE PASTRY
- 1 ¾ cups all purpose flour
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 large egg (room temperature)
- 1 large egg yolk (room temperature)
- ½ cup + 2 tablespoons butter (room temperature- cut into cubes) (140 grams – total)
FOR THE FILLING
- 3 cups fresh blueberries (raspberries or blackberries)
- 6 tablespoons sugar (75 grams)
- 6 tablespoons flour (49 grams)
- juice from ½ lemon (1 ½ tablespoons)
- 2 tablespoons butter (soft)
FOR THE PASTRY
- Lightly oil & flour or spray a 9 inch (23 cm) or 6 4 inch (10 cm) tart pans.
- In a large bowl, gently whisk together the flour, sugar and baking powder, make a well in the middle and add the slightly beaten egg and yolk and butter and combine with a fork. At this point turn mixture onto a slightly floured surface and work the mixture to form a soft dough. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Remove from fridge and knead the dough a couple of times to soften it up again on a lightly floured surface. Roll out to 1/8" thickness. Place cut out dough into the prepared pie/tart pans and prick the dough with a fork.
- Pre-heat oven to 375° (190° celsius).
FOR THE FILLING
- In a medium/large bowl mix together the berries, sugar, flour and lemon juice, squish gently with a fork while mixing (but do not squish berries completely).
- Divide the mixture between the pie pan or tart pans. Top the filling with two small dots of butter per tart or 8 dots for a single pie, at this point the pie can either be topped with the extra dough, you can do strips or cutouts, (or as I sometimes like to do is just leave the pie open without extra dough). Do not completely cover the berries with the dough because steam must be able to escape while baking. Sprinkle the dough with sugar and bake for approximately 25-30 minutes (18-20 minutes for tarts). If the crust is browning too much, cover with foil and continue baking. Enjoy!
Republished from August 21, 2015.