Blueberry Crumb Pie
It’s blueberry season in New Jersey, but if you don’t live here in the Garden State, maybe you can find your own source for blueberries to make this All-American blueberry pie. It’s packed with blueberries, but it’s also got a lemony tang that cuts through the richness of the berries. I love double-crusted fruit pies, but I’m especially partial to those with a crumb topping, for that extra crunchy texture you get with each bite. Making a crumb topping, instead of a second crust on top, also means there’s not goimg to be a gap between the fruit and the top crust, something that frequently happens with fruit pies, as the fruit sinks during the time in the oven.
Another way to avoid the “sinking fruit” syndrome is to partially cook the fruit before placing in the crust, which is what I did with these blueberries. Even so, don’t try to cut into the pie until it’s completely cooled, or you’ll have a runny mess. Here’s a shot from the second day of the pie, when it’s had a chance to cool in the refrigerator overnight. It holds its shape really well, as you can see.
All the better with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. Just in time to enjoy for the Fourth of July holiday weekend.
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- FOR THE CRUST:
- 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- a pinch of fine salt
- ¼ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into dice
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten with a fork
- FOR THE PIE FILLING:
- 8 cups blueberries (about 3 pints)
- ½ cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch or flour
- ¼ cup water
- zest of one lemon
- juice from half a lemon
- FOR THE CRUMB TOPPING:
- ¾ cup old-fashioned oats
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ⅓ cup flour
- ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
- 6 tablespoons butter
- Mix all the ingredients for the crumb topping, using your fingers to mix everything together until butter is absorbed into the dry ingredients.
- Set topping aside.
- FOR THE PASTRY:
- Mix the ingredients for the pastry, adding the butter to the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and mixing with a pastry blender or your fingers until the mixture is crumbly.
- Add the egg with a fork, then use your fingers just until the dough comes together.
- Shape into a ball, then flatten and roll out on a floured surface to a diameter slightly larger than the pie plate.
- Carefully lift the pastry (using a rolling pin to help) and place over the pie tin.
- Crimp the edges and prick the inside of the pie shell.
- Place the pie shell in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
- Remove it from the refrigerator and line it with tin foil, coated with butter or sprayed with baking spray, then fill with pie weights, dry beans or rice (I've got a mixture of beans and rice that I have been using over and over again for at least 12 years.)
- Bake the crust in a preheated 475 degree (F) oven for 10 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and lower the temperature to 350 degrees F. while you make the filling.
- FOR THE FILLING:
- Take about six cups (2 pints) of the washed blueberries and place in a saucepan with the sugar.
- Cook on high heat for about ten minutes for the blueberries to release some of their juices.
- Using a spoon to mix, make a slurry with the cornstarch (or flour) with the water.
- Add the slurry to the blueberries in the pan, cooking until the blueberries thicken.
- If it looks like there is too much liquid, drain some of it using a colander.
- Add the remaining two cups of fresh blueberries to the cooked blueberries.
- Add the lemon juice and grated lemon peel to the blueberries.
- Place the mixture into the partially baked pie crust.
- Spread the crumb topping over the blueberries.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes, covering the top with aluminum foil for the last ten minutes if it starts to get too brown.
- Carefully remove from oven and let it cool completely.
- If it's not completely cool, the filling will run a lot.
- Enjoy with a topping of vanilla ice cream.