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Blueberry Pie

If you’ve never had pie made from fresh berries, you’re in for an unforgettable treat!  This pie recipe makes a generous deep dish pie in a 9” metal plate.  If using a Pyrex plate, you can reduce the amount of berries to 4 cups.  If some of your berries are under-ripe, be sure to include them because they will add a fresh tartness to the flavor that can be balanced by the sugar. 

Fresh Blueberries!
Wild blueberries may require more sugar added than cultivated high-bush berries, which are generally larger and sweeter but have less nutritional value.  The amount of sugar needed can vary from 2/3 to 1 cup, depending on the sweetness of your berries and your personal preference.  The amount of lard can also be adjusted, depending on how flaky you like your crust to be.  Some recipes would call for a full cup of lard and yield a croissant-like crust.  A less flaky crust will be sturdier and easier to cut neatly.  Replacing some of the lard with butter will make it tastier, and using vanilla sugar will also add to the flavor of the pie.
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Filling:

2 lbs (~5 ½ cups) fresh blueberries (or frozen)

1 ½ tbls lemon juice (from a generous wedge)

¾ cups granulated sugar

½ cup flour

2 tbls arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)

Crust:

2 ½ cups pastry flour, sifted

¾-7/8 cup lard

1/3 cup ice water

1 tsp vinegar

2 tsp sugar

½ tsp salt

9” metal pie plate, 2” deep

 

Whisk vinegar, 1 tsp of sugar, and salt in ice water and place in refrigerator.  Sift flour and cut chilled lard into cubes.  Coat cubes with flour and cut in with a pastry blender to resemble coarse meal.

 

Stir in ice water, adding more chilled water if required, and stir sparingly until flour is dampened enough to hold dough together.  Divide dough roughly in half with one ball slightly larger and wrap each ball in plastic wrap.  Flatten and shape into rough rounds, then place in refrigerator to chill for half an hour.

 

Pick over berries, removing any stems, leaves, and spoiled bits.  Under-ripe berries should be included.  After washing, spread berries out on a clean paper towel to dry.  Then, place in a lidded bowl and toss with lemon juice sufficient to coat each berry.  Mix flour, arrowroot powder, and sugar, then sprinkle over berries and toss again.  Set aside.

 

Preheat oven to 450° F.

 

On a floured board, roll out smaller dough ball to slightly larger than the size of the pie plate.  Roll over rolling pin and carefully transfer the dough to the pan, trimming edges evenly with kitchen shears.  Pour in berries, shaking pan gently to settle.

Roll out larger dough ball to an inch or so larger than pie plate.  Transfer to pie and trim uneven edges.  Tuck excess under edges of bottom crust and pinch to seal.  Flute edge using thumb and fingers or a fork.  Cut steam vents around the top crust and use scraps to cut decorations.  Top may be brushed with beaten egg white or milk, then sprinkled with a teaspoon of sugar.

Unbaked Pie

Place finished pie on a large pan in oven at 450° F for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350° F for 40-45 minutes, until crust is a rich golden brown and filling bubbles around the edges.

 

Remove from oven and place on a wire rack in a cool, secluded place where the pie won't be disturbed until it is thoroughly cooled. 

Pie must cool completely before being moved so that the filling can set (as for jam). This may take up to 8 hours, depending on room temperature and air circulation. 

Store any leftovers in a pie container.  Like jam, the filling has enough sugar in it to resist mould and bacteria as long as it is covered. Pie should keep at room temperature for a few days, if it lasts that long!

Fresh Blueberry Pie
Serve pie slices with non-fat vanilla yoghurt, vanilla ice cream, or whipped cream.
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