It was Friday night, the beginning of the last summer weekend on the lake. We were finishing dinner on the deck when we were suddenly overcome by a scourge of mosquitos just as dusk fell. We decided to head inside. Everyone grabbed something from the table to clear it as we skedaddled into the house.
I had baked my favorite blueberry pie for dessert about an hour earlier. Most bakers know not to cut into a fruit pie until the filling has had a chance to cool and set, but we had momentum in the room; the kind that comes from vigorous teens after a mad dash. It didn’t seem like the time to wait for a pie to set.
As everyone cleaned the plates and loaded the dishwasher, I sliced and plated the pie. The kids passed the plates around the room, bucket-brigade style. Not wanting to move en masse to find a seat at the table, everyone stood where they were and ate their pie. No one spoke, so intent were they on their warm slice of pie with its thick puddle of juices, not too sweet berries, and thick, crunchy crust.
It was a moment in time that I cherish — everyone content and huddled together in my kitchen.
I usually make blueberry pie in late June and early July when blueberries are in season. To store surplus berries, I measure out 4-5 cup increments (enough for a pie) and place in storage containers in the freezer.
Yield: One 9″ Pie
One 9-inch double pie crust ( I adore Trader Joe’s frozen pie crusts)
4-5, occasionally even 6, cups blueberries (all fresh or a mix of frozen and fresh)
1 teaspoon freshly zested lemon
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1⅓ cups granulated sugar
⅓ cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons butter, cut into thin slices
1 egg and a sprinkle of sugar for egg wash, if desired
Preheat oven to 450º. If you have a pizza stone, put it in the oven on the middle rack to preheat with the oven. I find that cooking pie on a hot pizza stone helps the bottom crust cook more fully.
Prepare or purchase a double pie crust. Unroll one crust, use a rolling pin to smooth it out, and place in a 9″ pie pan as described in my Strawberry Rhubarb Pie post. Set aside.
Pour blueberries into a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Stir together.
Cook on medium heat, stirring often, until thick, bubbly, and glistening. The juice color will change from dull to shiny within five minutes. Stir in vanilla extract. Remove from heat.
Pour filling into unbaked pie crust. Dot with sliced butter.
Roll out second crust, place over filling, and tuck in edges.
Crimp edges and slash crust with a knife to create vents for steam.
If desired, add an egg wash to the upper crust for a more finished look. Using a fork, beat egg in a small bowl. Use a pastry brush to spread over crust. If the wash puddles in the dimples of the crust, use a paper towel to mop it up. Sprinkle sugar over top.
Here’s what the crust looks like with and without a wash.
Here it is with a stockinette pattern piecrust from Mason Dixon Knitting. Here is a link to the piecrust instructions. So fun!
Place pie on the preheated pizza stone and bake for 10 minutes at 450º. Reduce heat to 350º and cook for 35-45 minutes. After the first ten minutes at 450º, you’ll notice the crust will already be lightly browned. To keep the crust’s edges from browning too much, place a pie crust shield over the rim. If you don’t have one, cover rim with strips of foil.
The pie is done when the crust turns golden brown and the juices start to bubble out.
SOME people request blueberry pie instead of cake for their birthday. For my husband (and for me, too), it has to be THIS recipe because after 35 years of eating blueberry pie with the subtle tastes of nutmeg and cinnamon in it, other blueberry pies taste bland by comparison.
Goodbye summer of 2019!
And, Becca and Joe, I’ll be back next summer to get more blueberries from Rosebud Farm. It was at their farm that I filmed the sheep for the story The Sheep of Nashville: The Chew Crew. You two sure make retirement look like fun!
Other Fruit Desserts
Mom’s Apple Pie with a Cheddar Topping
Homemade Grape Jelly
Mrs. Walker’s Cranberry Nut Pie
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
My Favorite Peach Custard Pie
Very Berry Clafoutis
Fruit and Nut Bread
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11 thoughts on “My Favorite Blueberry Pie”
You’ve finally shared it- hooray! You brought this to me when my mom passed away. My two sisters were in the kitchen with me when you delivered it. We ate a piece right then, proclaimed it the best blueberry pie we had ever eaten and we still talk about it. They are going to be as thrilled as I am that you’ve shared this recipe! ❤️
Thanks, Libba. I’ll never forget that day I brought it over after your mother died. Mostly, I’ll never forget how you and your sisters lwere so chummy and laughed so easily. I wanted sisters!
Judy! This is such a great post—love the love in it. And also the pie, of course …
I miss you so much! I’ve been thinking about you and Wendy, what dear friends you were. So many memories!
Just got back from Maine for David’s film festival which was really fun. Turning around now to go to NYC for Merle Hazard’s gig tonight for a Bloomberg podcast variety show—WHATEVER! Then hanging with the Shayne men in NYC til Sunday, when I fly down to Atlanta on Sunday with Carrington for a conference about placemaking. Our dreamworld fantasyland is going to be awesome!
Fun to be out and about—MDK is going well, but sometimes it’s good not to think about it.
Of course, I’ll spend the day with Kay tomorrow, so it’s a busman’s holiday …
Your devoted corespondent, Ann
Thanks, devoted friend. Your family is experiencing quite the creative burst with David’s Lewiston, Clif’s Middleman, Jon’s Merle, and your Dionne!!!! I’m routing for all of you. I like the way your family thinks BIG. Have fun on all your journeys, hugs to Kay, and let’s get together next week. xoJooody
Judy what a wonderful tribute to family and good food! And thisrecipe sounds great.
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Aww, thanks, Maureen. I LOVED your garden talk on Volunteer Gardener last week. Your garden is amazing. xo
I am going to give this a try!
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Let me know if you enjoy it, Celestia!
That pie looks delicious. I should try it with some of blueberry bread pudding!! Happy birthday to your hubby. I miss working with him and your son at the VA. They were a joy.
I’ve just realized that I have never in my life had enough blueberries at one time to make a pie!
Sometimes, I mix blueberries and blackberries together since their seasons overlap. I’ve been known to throw other berries from the fridge in it, too! Happy autumn, Quinn!