One of my family’s favorites is blueberry pie. Waterfront living is supposed to be about relaxation, good friends, family, and fun and great food brings all that together! BUT slaving over a hot stove for hours on end while everyone else is on the deck, in the water or poolside is not much fun for the family “chef!” One of the easiest fruit pies to make is blueberry because the only prep on the fruit is a good rinse! To cut my prep time in a third, I use a prepared refrigerated pie crust dough found in the chill case of your local grocer–it’s consistently of good quality and gets me back out on my deck chair or in my garden at least an hour faster!
Saturday Morning at the Shore Blueberry Pie
1 carton (two rolled up crusts) of refrigerated readymade pie crust
2 quarts of fresh blueberries (never frozen)
1 T + 1 t freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup all purpose flour (plus a little more for dusting counter for rolling out pie crusts)
1/4 cup corn starch
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon (+ additional for sprinkling on top of finished pie before baking)
2 T. chilled, unsalted butter cut into cubes
1 T. raw sugar
Remove pie crusts from the refrigerator and allow to rest at room temperature about 20 minutes before handling. Wipe the counter with a damp cloth (not wet) and sprinkle the “extra” flour on the dampened counter. Spread out the flour to about 12″ across in any given direction and fully unroll one of the pie crusts in the center of the floured countertop. Using a rolling pin and starting in the center of the dough and rolling out, smooth out all bumps, etc.–always slightly lifting the rolling pin as you reach the ends of the dough to make certain it is the same thickness throughout. Be careful NOT to make the dough too thin while making a circle of the dough about 11″ across.
Fold the pie crust in half, dust off the flour on the bottom and carefully drape the crust across 1/2 of the 9″ glass pie pan. Unfold the draped pie crust to cover the rest of the pan and working from the top of the sides down, gently move the crust down into the corners of the bottom of the pan while ensuring there is about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch of the pie crust remaining above the top rim.
Rinse the 2 quarts of blueberries thoroughly and drain. Dump into a large bowl–reserving a cup or two of them in a flat bottomed bowl. Using a wire potato masher, mash the reserved blueberries slightly and then return them to the bowl of whole blueberries. Mix all dry ingredients together–flour, cornstarch, sugar and cinnamon–in a separate bowl and then add to the blueberries. Pour lemon juice and vanilla into the blueberries and stir gently until everything is well distributed throughout.
Pour the blueberry mixture into the pie pan with the pie crust arranged on the bottom–use a rubber spatula to scrape the bottom of the bowl and to ensure all ingredients make it into the pie! (I have found that baking is one big chemistry experiment and all ingredients play a role in ensuring a consistently perfect texture and outcome!) Distribute the blueberry mixture evenly while ensuring that the fruit is slightly below the sides of the pan and with a slight mounding of fruit in the center. Distribute the cubed butter across the top of the fruit.
Roll out the second pie crust just as you did the first. Place the half moon of pie crust on one half of the fruit and unfold to cover both the fruit and the protruding ends of the bottom crust. Gently fold the ends of the top crust over and then under the bottom crust edges and then firmly press together as you go around the entire pie. Once you have the edges done you will need to crimp the edges of the pie. Taking the forefinger of your left hand (and pointing to the outside of the pie) press down on the edge of the piecrust and then taking the forefinger and thumb of your right hand press down and on either side of the lefthand forefinger–first wedge made! Continue on around the pie until encircled with wedges.
You will need to cut vents in the top of the pie crust for steam to escape. I cut three leaf shapes out and (moistening the backs of the “leaves” with a tiny bit of water so they will stick to the piecrust top) and curve them slightly and then place between the cut outs. Sprinkle “extra” cinnamon and 1 tablespoon of raw sugar across the top of the finished pie. Place a 2″ collar of aluminum foil around the edge of the pie crust to protect the edges from over browning.
Place the pie on a baking sheet or pizza pan with a square of parchment paper on it to protect from all those lovely blueberry drippings! Place the pie in a preheated 400 degree oven on a rack in the lower third of the oven. Bake for 20 minutes and then lower the oven heat to 350 degrees and continue baking for about 40 minutes longer–remove the aluminum foil collar and then finish the pie in the oven for about 10 more minutes to ensure an even golden browning of the pie crust. Place the pie on a cooling rack and cool until still slightly warm.
Serve in bowl with scoops of your favorite vanilla ice cream (I’ll leave my recipe for homemade ice cream for another day)! Perfect on the bank, the deck, the beach or poolside! Love y’all!!