Fresh Blueberry Pie

recipe by Hannes, added October 2021

hmmmm.... pie....
5/5

Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cooking Time: 35 minutes
Total: ±1.3 hours
4-8 Servings stores well in the fridge

A fresh and zesty deliciously healthy treat! Combine with either cream/ice-cream or a savoury side (like a slice of cheese) and a cup of coffee for a truly immersive eating experience!

If you’ve ever wanted to make a classic-look American-style fruit pie, but have been put off by the thought that it might be too difficult, then I’m here to tell you that it’s not!
 
The most difficult part is waiting for 3+ hours after baking to let the pie set and not starting to eat it immediately! The second most difficult part is making the crust, which is also not so bad and can easily be replaced with a store-bought crust, which significantly reduces the time spent on preparing this delicious dessert.
 
I was pleasantly surprised with the result of my first blueberry pie. It’s not exactly what I expected and I also finally understood why some of those movie diner scenes with someone ordering a slice of mature cheese as a side to their pie slice. The tart flavours produced by the berries, spices and lemon zest is very well complemented with a heavier, anchoring flavour of a strong cheddar or the like.

If you however choose to make your berry filling quite sweet, then maybe the traditional whipped cream on top is a more suited companion.

The other surprise was how healthy this pie feels to eat. After my first post-dinner slice, I immediately understood why some people even have a slice for breakfast. The freshness that the berries impart makes this pie feel part Alpine health tonic and part dessert.
 
However and whenever you decide to enjoy this, a good cup of coffee also won’t go amiss.

Alright, let’s dive in!

.Ingredients

The Pie Filling:

0.8-1.2kg Blueberries (depends on your pie dish. I pre-fill the cold pie-dish for measurement)
3-4 tablespoons maizena (so that the filling can set and the berries don’t spill out when you cut the pie)
1-4 tablespoons honey/castor sugar (depending on how sweet you want it and how much berries you’ve used)
Zest of 1 lemon (more or less, to taste)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon very finely chopped fresh ginger or powdered ginger (optional)
0.5 teaspoon salt

The Crust:

350g Flour (cake flour, wholewheat, spelt or as you want)
200g Butter
Ice Water
1 teaspoon Coarse Salt
1 whole egg, whisked (for browning the top of the pie)

.The Filling

1.  Vigorously mix the berries, honey/sugar, maizena, lemon zest, cinnamon, ginger and salt together in a bowl and let stand.

You can play around a bit with the ratios to get the flavour you prefer. Add more ginger and cinnamon for a more festive flavour, more lemon zest or some of the juice for a more tart profile or more honey for for those sweet-toothed hummingbirds.

The salt is for flavour, but also helps to draw some of the liquid from the berries to get that juiciness into the pie that will hopefully later bubble slightly through the lattice of your crust.

.The Crust

1.   Cut the butter into small cubes and then fold the butter into the flour and single teaspoon of coarse salt (using fingers or a wooden spoon) to create crumbs.




Be sure to work on cool/cold surfaces to prevent the butter melting as best possible.

You need to arrive at a sandy texture before adding small amounts of ice water

2.   Once mixed, add ice water in small amounts at a time and mix until a solid dough-like consistency is arrived at. Handle as little as possible to prevent the butter from melting.

3.   Roll into a ball, cover and place in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.

While the dough is chilling, pre-heat the oven to 180°C and continue with preparing the filling.

4. Prep your baking pan by smearing the insides with butter, then dusting the butter layer with a bit of flour to avoid the base sticking to the pan.

Shake off loose, excess flour.

5.   After 20-30 mintues, cut 2/3rds of your dough ball to roll out on a flat surface. We’re keeping the rest to make the lattice covering on top of the pie later.

Line the base and sides of a ring pan (or your preferred pie-baking pan) with your dough, pressing evenly everywhere to remove bubbles.

TIP: Make sure to create a small lip of dough overhanging the edge of the pan/pie dish, so that it doesn’t slip down from the sides once it starts getting softer in the oven. I had to take out the one in the photo and rescue it 3 minutes in!


6. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the bottom of your crust is  golden-brown.

While your crust is pre-baking, roll out the remaining third of the doughball into a circle larger than the pie dish and cut into strips for the covering lattice in the pie

8. Add your filling and smooth down with the back of a spoon to make a more-or-less even surface for your covering lattice.


9. To make the lattice, start by adding a layer of strips all facing in the same direction.

To weave in the next layer, roll back every second strip and add a strip perpendicular to your first layer. Repeat all the way through.

It’s difficult to explain with words, so here’s a short video that illustrates clearly what needs to be done.

10. When the lattice is complete, bake the pie for 20-30 minutes at 180°C.

If you see some berry juices start to bubble onto the lattice, then it’s also pretty much ready!

11. Remove from the oven, paint a whisked egg onto the top of the lattice and bake for another 5 minutes to get that golden-brown finish to the top of your perfect blueberry pie!

Now, the most difficult part is to let the pie stand for 2-3 hours so that the filling can set.

Enjoy with either cream, ice-cream or a slice of cheese (seriously, try it!)

And if you manage to have left-overs,
then a breakfast slice is a great way to start the day!

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