Growing up, my favourite thing in the world was blueberries. As an adult, I still feel that way. I was talking to my mom about making a blueberry pie and she told me about one she made a long time ago that she swears is the best blueberry pie she has ever had. So of course, I had to make it.
My mom said it was very simple. All you have to do is make sure to mix half fresh blueberries with cooked blueberries and you will have the most amazing blueberry pie. I was intrigued!
I turned to Martha Stewart’s New Pies and Tarts for inspiration. She has a recipe for Lattice-Top Blueberry Pie that I thought would be perfect to tweak to make a version of my mom’s pie. I should have realized when I screwed up her Pâte Brisée the first time by only putting in half the amount of butter, it was time to leave the kitchen for a few days and get some rest but no. No, I made it again, this time the right way:
Pulse 2 1/2 cups of flour with 1 tsp of salt and 1 tsp of sugar. Pulse in 1 cup of cold unsalted butter cut into pieces.
Pulse in ice water until the dough comes together. Do not over pulse!
I divided the dough into disks, covered with plastic wrap and chilled in the fridge.
I got to work on the filling. Since this was going to be partially cooked, the filling would have to cool off. I had a large container of blueberries, around 7 cups, that I divided in half. I set aside one half and put the other into a medium-sized sauce pan, added half a cup of sugar and 1/4 cup of water.
I bought everything to a simmer and saw that it was very liquidy. I could have reduced it but my mom said it was important that the blueberries remain whole. I got 1/4 cup of cornstarch, added some cold water to it and then drizzled it into the blueberry filling still over medium heat. This slurry thickened everything up nicely but I did not want it to cook all the way through. I wanted some of the cornstarch to also thicken the liquid from the fresh blueberries that would also be going into the pie.
Oh I thought I was so smart.
I had cooled the pot off in some cold water in my sink and mixed the cooked blueberries in with the fresh ones. I threw it all in the fridge and then the phone rang.
“Now Sue, you know you’re supposed to use a cooked pie crust, right?”
“What do you mean? A store-bought frozen pie crust?”
“No, it is supposed to be cooked.”
“How do the berries cook then?”
“They don’t. You just put them in the shell and cover it with whipped cream.”
What the hell??!!!!
It was at this point I realized that my mom did not actually make the pie. She baked a pie crust, mixed a can of blueberry filling with some fresh blueberries and added whipped cream on top instead of having a top crust.
Yes, my mind was spinning and I was officially lost in panic problem-solving mode. Fine, I can do this, I thought to myself. I can save this pie.
I rolled out the larger piece of dough and fitted it into a springform pan that I lightly greased. I docked the dough with my fork. Yes, I was going to par-bake the crust. If I didn’t, I was going to end up over-baking the filling.
I covered it with aluminum foil and added my brown rice pie weights. I baked the crust at 325F for 20 minutes and let cool a bit.
I added the filling and look, you can still see the cornstarch clumps!!!
Martha’s recipe was a lattice-top but I was so frustrated at this point I just made heart-shaped cutouts on the top and threw it in the oven at 350F for 30 minutes.
The top still looked raw. I baked it for another 15 minutes. Still looked raw. I was on the phone with my sister Jamie at the time and said to myself, “Screw it!” I turned on the broiler.
Yes, I broiled the damn pie.
I watched it like a hawk and it turned out to be the smartest thing I could do. The bottom crust was definitely getting over-baked so I just kept an eye on it while on the phone and took it out when the hearts started to darken. How symbolic.
Yes, only a pie from hell could be this pretty.
And of course, sinfully delicious. Actually, it was not very sweet a pie, I would add a little more sugar if I ever made this again which I won’t. The bottom crust was pretty darn tough but overall, it was devilishly divine.
I think considering the curve ball I was thrown I did quite well and averted complete foodie disaster and everyone who tasted it agreed, it was a yummy pie. I hope they all enjoyed it because it will never exist again.