Yesterday, I picked some blueberries up at the grocery, and came home to hunt through the books I have here in Boston for a pie recipe. I was expecting to find some variation on the classic “sugar + lemon + cornstarch” formula – maybe to get crazy and do a lattice crust. Instead, I found The Best Blueberry Pie – I didn’t say it first; it’s titled that way in the Dallas Junior League Cookbook.
This is one of those recipes that reminds me why I continue my cookbook archaeology efforts: it’s completely different from any blueberry pie I’ve encountered before, and though it doesn’t photograph well, it is utterly delicious. In lieu of true food porn, I give you a visual testimonial. Before:
And after my family got to it. I was actually hustled out of the way after taking the shot below, because I was blocking pie access. Everyone had seconds. Why is it so special? Read on…
The first crazy thing about this blueberry pie: it’s made in an already-baked pie crust. I considered doing a tart crust (and might try one in the future with this recipe), but I was in a down-home kind of mood, so I just whipped up a half recipe of my fave crust and blind baked it.
As my crust cooled, I got started on the pie filling: I made a syrup with a quarter of the berries, and thickened it with cornstarch.
A pat of butter is melted in to smooth things up.
Did you really think I’d do a dessert recipe without both butter and booze? Of course not. This one calls for orange liqueur – Grand Marnier or Cointreau should all do the trick; I used the former.
Here’s the key to the recipe: three quarters of the berries are kept raw and tossed with toasted slivered almonds. The cooked berry filling is mixed in with the raw berries to bind everything together, but most of the pie is just gorgeous, fresh berries. It’s so light and airy it’s deadly – slice #2 becomes irresistable and totally justifiable.
That raw berry filling goes into the shell and is cooled completely, to prepare for whipped cream topping…
I tried a new whipped cream method when making this pie: I was too lazy to get the stand mixer back out after I’d put it away, but the food processor was sitting right there, and The Kitchn said it would do the trick…And, as you can see at the top, it sure did! I’m no longer a whisk-only whipped cream girl. Try it…and try this pie!
Best Blueberry Pie (Makes one 9-inch pie)
1 9-inch pre-baked pie shell
2 pints fresh blueberries, washed and picked over
3/4 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. water
2 tbsp. corn starch
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 tbsp. Grand Marnier or Cointreau
1/4 c. slivered almonds, toasted
For the topping:
3/4 c. heavy cream, chilled
1 tbsp. confectioners sugar
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1. Combine 1 cup of the berries with the sugar and the water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring, then lower the flame to medium-low and simmer for about 7 minutes until the blueberries break down and a thin syrup forms.
2. Remove from the flame for a moment and mix the cornstarch with a couple of tablespoons of water to moisten it. Pour the cornstarch into the syrup, whisking constantly, and put it back over the low flame for just a couple of minutes until it thickens.
3. Take the mixture off the stove, add the butter, and stir until it melts and mixes in.
4. Toss the remaining 3 cups of berries with the almonds and liqueur in a medium bowl, pour in the cooked berries, and mix gently to distribute.
5. Place this filling in the pie shell, smooth the top, and let it cool completely.
6. Just before serving, combine the cream, sugar, and almond extract in the chilled bowl of a food processor or stand mixer and beat until stiff peaks form. Spread the whipped cream over the top of the pie and serve.
Celia, I love the mixture of raw and cooked berries. I can imagine the little pops of flavour in the sweet mixture. I am going to have to try this -(a small mortgage needed unless I steal my sister’s crop of blueberries – there’s just enough for one pie… hmmmm). I am actually salivating at the thoughts of this Best Blueberry Pie.
This looks great! I am hungry 🙂
i want. this pie. in my mouth.
Some food just doesn’t photograph well, sadly. But in my personal opinion, this still looks remarkably delicious.
What a beautiful blueberry mixture! I like the orange liquor, too. If you call it the best, then I will trust you. Looks delicious! I like that you use the store-bought crust…because I know I’m not good at making it from scratch. I’m saving this recipe and see if I can make it…. basically I need to make the filling and topping. Looks delicious, Celia!
Firsthand testimony that this was excellent. Cooked and raw blueberries blended perfectly.
yum yum yum… i’ve been loving almonds in everything – and blueberries are my fave! i dunno what you’re talking about, that first photo looks amazing… i wanna dive face first into that pie!!
This looks amazing, Celia! I’ve got to try it, and now I am inspired to go pick blueberries. . . .
Hang on now. You can’t be the Beast of Meat AND the Pie Princess. You gotta leave something for the rest of us poor kitchen freaks!
Totally drooling all over the keyboard…
Ooohhh, whipped cream in the food processor is a good idea – especially with a mini food processor, that would be so much easier to clean. I had been thinking I didn’t like blueberries for a while, but made a blueberry crumble this weekend because blueberries were on sale, and now I’m totally on a blueberry kick. Looks great!
Oooh this looks so good! I love blueberry pies- especially ones with whipped cream!
That filling looks really great
Fresh berries and almonds in this pie? Definitely different from a typical blueberry pie! I can see why everyone had seconds! Great pie for summertime 🙂
I love the addition of the almonds in this! I’ve never had a blueberry pie before where part of the blueberry mixture is still raw. I love blueberries so much though so I’m sure this is amazing! Can’t wait to try!
I bet that Grand Marnier brought out the flavors in the blueberries so nicely! Thanks for sharing!
OH man, I want a slice!! Butter and booze makes everything better…especially the booze! 🙂
Ooooh the almonds and booze are such a great addition!!