The best blueberry pie recipe bursting with ripe, juicy fruit nestled inside a buttery crust. I use my tried-and-true flaky homemade crust to ensure beautiful, sturdy slices.
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Baking is a labor of love, and when I’m not serving up my classic apple pie, I enjoy experimenting with other fillings. Blueberries are easy to work with and allow you to skip cutting the fruit. Preparation is further sped up when I make my homemade pie crust a day or two in advance. That way, you can roll, fill, shape, and bake without waiting for the dough to chill.
When developing this recipe, I made sure the whole juicy berries would suspend in a smooth, thickened compote-like sauce without ultimately solidifying into a firm jam. Cornstarch provides a glossy shine and helps firm up the juices, preventing a watery filling. The next time you’re at the market, grab a few baskets of berries. You won’t regret making this pie from scratch!
Making the pie dough
To achieve a flaky crust, I use a Pâte Brisée dough, which I often use for sweet and savory desserts like pecan pie and chicken pot pie. It’s only four ingredients; all-purpose flour, water, salt, and unsalted butter. However, it’s essential to break the butter down into small pea-sized pieces.
I use the paddle attachment on a stand mixer to quickly break down the butter, but a food processor, dough/pastry blender, or fingers work well too. Use a rolling pin on the dough flattens the fat into little discs. During baking, steam from the butter releases and creates tender, flaky layers of crust.
Chill the dough
Let the dough chill for at least 4 hours to allow the gluten proteins to relax, preventing a tough, rugged texture. I prefer to make it the day before so it’s ready to bake once the filling is done. Alternatively, you can use store-bought pie crust. However, baking times may differ, so keep a close eye on the color change.
Let the dough sit at room temperature for about 5 to 10 minutes before rolling it out. This process allows the butter to soften slightly. Roll the top and bottom crust out to ¼-inch thickness for the perfect ratio of crust-to-fruit and to ensure sturdy slices. Make sure to chill the dough while you prepare the rest of the components.
I use a shallow 9-inch pie pan about 1 ½-inches tall, which gives thick slices with a crust that nicely lays on the edge of the pie plate. I prefer glass cookware. It takes a little longer to get the temperature up, but it retains heat better over time. Plus, I like to see when the sides of the crust turn golden in color.
Once you roll out the bottom crust, gently press it into the sides of the pie dish. Trim about a ½-inch overhang, making it easier to crimp later. Chill the bottom crust in the refrigerator to keep the butter firm while you make the other components. Doing so prevents the dough from thinning out before the fruit is added.
For this fruit pie, fresh blueberries work best! They have the ideal texture contrast of whole pieces, with some that pop and release their juices to form a thick, syrupy coating. Give a few a taste before baking to gauge if you need to add more sugar to the filling.
If using frozen blueberries, do not defrost them before baking. They are slightly sweeter because farmers harvest and freeze them at their peak ripeness. Fresh wild blueberries generally have more fruit per pound, so the flavor will be more concentrated and denser with more skin-to-flesh content.
Homemade blueberry pie filling
I use nearly two pounds of blueberries, about 6 cups. This amount ensures a concentrated fruit flavor as they cook and condense during baking. I didn’t want to mask the delicate taste of the berries, so I kept the filling simple. Granulated sugar gives a pure sweetness, and vanilla adds dimension. Freshly grated lemon juice and lemon zest add a nice citrus note, and the acidity balances the sweetness.
A pinch of salt and ground cinnamon enhances the taste without overpowering the fruit instead of letting it shine. Mix the dry ingredients before adding in the fruit or liquids to ensure that the fine particles of sugar and cornstarch evenly coat the berries. Distribute the fruit into the bottom crust so they pack together.
For a decorative top crust
Make a lattice crust for a pretty presentation that gets all the compliments. You weave strips of dough about 1-inch wide, then crimp the edges to hold the top and bottom layers together. I like how you can see the fruit peaking through the crust.
A lattice crust also provides more ventilation and concentrates the moisture in the filling for a thicker consistency. Feel free to get creative and use cookie cutters to make fun shapes like hearts or stars. Otherwise, keep it classic with a smooth double crust with just a few small vents poked in on top.
Brush on egg wash
To create a golden brown color on the surface of the pie crust, I use a whole egg and milk. The yolk adds a yellow hue, while the egg whites help the egg wash stick to the crust. A small amount of milk or cream has milk solids that brown, adding a nice flavor and a more profound color change.
In this recipe for blueberry pie, I like to sprinkle a generous amount of granulated sugar or more coarse granules on top for extra crunch and sweetness.
Place the pie dish on a lined baking sheet as the filling bubbles, and it may spill over. You want to ensure that the filling is getting hot enough to activate the thickening powers of the cornstarch. Bake in the center of the oven rack starting at 400°F (204°C) for 30 minutes. This kickstarts the color change on the surface.
To gently cook the pie, reduce the heat to 350ºF (177ºC) for about 40 to 50 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. I also use an instant-read thermometer to check for the doneness of the filling. It should be about 203ºF (95ºC) deep in the center. If you see the edges or top getting too brown, loosely tent foil over the surface or around the edges.
Although you’ll want to dig in immediately, you must let the pie cool down. This process allows the hot butter in the crust to firm up, making it easier to slice. It also gives the cornstarch time to set. Otherwise, the fruit filling will be too thin and will flow out.
Ideally, the filling should hold and cling together but still have a soft pudding-like consistency. I recommend cooling it for at least 4 hours or letting it sit overnight on a wire rack on the counter and serve the next day.
Serve this with
Frequently asked questions
Cultivated blueberries are larger and more uniform in size. They are also available year-round. Wild blueberries are grown naturally and harvested between July and September. They are smaller, with varying sweetness levels, and frozen within 24 hours of picking to lock in the nutrients.
Cornstarch is highly effective at thickening the fruit filling and giving an attractive glossy sheen. Equal amounts of tapioca flour/starch make for a suitable substitute. If using flour, double the amount and note that it may taste pasty. For arrowroot powder, use 1 ½ times the amount. Use thickening agents carefully, as too much and the filling will overly harden.
Yes! Don’t defrost the berries before using them, or they will prematurely rupture the cell walls, releasing too much moisture. If you drain off the moisture, the texture will become dry and less flavorful. Immediately toss frozen berries with the filling ingredients, then bake. You’ll need extra baking time to get the fruit to defrost in the oven. The filling must reach about 203ºF (95ºC) to ensure proper thickening.
Cornstarch thickens the filling
I use cornstarch to thicken the juices that release from the berries. A ratio of 6 cups of berries to 5 tablespoons of cornstarch is enough to suspend the fruit in a loose gel without being too watery or hard. Compared to all-purpose flour, you use half the amount for the same thickening power.
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- 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 ¾ cups unsalted butter, cut into ½" cubes, chilled
- ¾ cup ice-cold water, chilled
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- 5 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 cups blueberries
- 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into ⅛" cubes
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar, or coarse sugar
- 1 large egg, beaten for egg wash
- 1 tablespoon whole milk, or cream
- Prepare the Ingredients – Add ice cubes and water to a measuring cup. Cut the butter into 1/2" cubes. Place both items in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- Break Down the Butter – In a stand mixer bowl, add the flour and salt. Combine using the paddle attachment on the lowest speed (Stir) for about 10-seconds. Add chilled diced butter to the bowl. On the lowest speed, turn the mixer on and off quickly for a few seconds to coat the butter with the flour to prevent the flour from spilling.Continue to mix at low speed until the flour and butter resemble wet sand with coarse crumbles and pea-sized pieces remaining, about 60 to 75-seconds. Use your fingers to break up any large pieces. Do not over-mix. The dough should not bind together before adding the water.
- Hydrate the Dough – Gradually add 1 tablespoon of ice-cold water to the bowl. After each addition, turn the mixer on for 1 to 2-seconds. Add enough water until the dough looks lumpy and hydrated but not wet or sticky. It should just begin to clump together with small crumbles on the bottom of the bowl. All of the water may not be needed, about 8 to 10 tablespoons is typical. When the dough is pinched together, it should compress and hold, not be dry or crumbly. Do not over-mix. The dough will be pressed together before resting.
- Rest the Dough – Separate the dough into two even-sized portions, about 1 pound (454 grams) each. Press them into a 1" thick round disc and cover them separately in plastic wrap, then place both in a resealable plastic bag. Store in the refrigerator to rest for at least 4 hours, overnight, or up to 2 days.
- Roll the Dough – Remove both doughs from the refrigerator and allow them to sit at room temperature for about 5 to 10 minutes or until pliable. Dust the counter and dough with flour. Rotate and dust with flour underneath and on the top to prevent sticking.For the bottom crust, roll one of the wrapped doughs into a 12 to 13-inch circle, about ¼-inch thick. Place it into a 9-inch pie dish and gently press against the sides and bottom. With a paring knife, trim the excess, leaving a ½" overhang to fold over later. Place the prepared pie dish in the refrigerator to keep it cold.For the top lattice crust, roll the remaining wrapped dough into a 13 by 10-inch rectangle. Cut the dough into ten strips about 13-inches long and 1-inch wide. Transfer to a sheet pan and refrigerate to make it easier to weave.
- Blueberry Filling – In a medium bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest, cinnamon, and salt. Add the blueberries, lemon juice, and vanilla. Stir until evenly coated.
- Add the Filling – Take the bottom crust and lattice pieces out of the refrigerator. Place the blueberry filling into the pie dish and spread it evenly to fill any gaps. Dot the blueberries with the cubed butter to prevent sticking to the crust.
- Weave the Lattice – Lay five parallel strips evenly over the filling, then weave the remaining pieces. Trim a ½" overhang on the edges to press with the bottom crust. Fold the excess dough over the edge and crimp by pinching the dough using the pointer and thumb fingers.
- Preheat the Oven – Place the oven rack in the center position. Preheat to 400°F (204°C). Line a half-sheet pan with aluminum foil.While the oven is heating, in a small bowl, whisk together the egg and milk. Brush the egg wash on the top and edges of the crust. Sprinkle the surface with granulated sugar.
- Bake the Pie – Place the pie dish on the foil-lined baking sheet and bake until the crust begins to turn golden brown, about 30 minutes.Without removing the pie from the oven, reduce the temperature to 350ºF (177ºC). Bake until the top and sides of the crust are deep golden brown and the blueberries are bubbling, about 40 to 50 minutes.The filling center should be about 203ºF (95ºC) to ensure proper thickening of the cornstarch. If the edges or top begin to get too dark, loosely tent the surface with foil. This may be needed after 25 to 35 minutes.
- Cool the Pie – Let the pie sit on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. Then cool on a wire rack for at least 4 hours before serving to set the filling. If desired, serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
- For a Double Crust: Roll out the top crust into a ¼-inch thick circle, about 12-inches in diameter. Lay the flat top crust over the filling dotted with butter. Trim the excess to about ¾-inch hanging over the pie plate. Press the dough against the fruit, fold the excess underneath the bottom crust edges, and crimp. Cut a hole in the top for venting using a small round cookie cutter, about 1-inch in size.
- No Stand Mixer: Use a dough/pastry blender or your fingers to break the butter into the dough.
- For a Sweeter Filling: Increase granulated sugar to ¾ cup and lemon juice to 2 tablespoons to balance the flavor.
- Storing: The fully baked pie can be covered and left at room temperature for one day before eating or refrigerating. Wrap and store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- To Reheat: Place the pie dish on a parchment-lined sheet pan and loosely cover it with foil. Bake at 225ºF (107ºC) until warmed through, about 20 to 25 minutes, depending on if it’s been at room temperature or cold from the refrigerator. Individual slices can be reheated on a foil-lined baking sheet until warmed through.
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.
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