I know this post is a little, shall we say, tardy. Blueberries are starting to fade from the farmers' market, shunted aside by firm, rosy peaches and piles of smooth, sugary-scented nectarines. I know I should stay in the moment, temporally grounded and appreciative of the present, but I can't help but miss them already. Blueberries are one of my favorite summer fruits: perfectly sized for snacking, not overly sweet, and too often overshadowed by sweeter, more seductive options like raspberries and strawberries.
I'm reluctant to bake with blueberries. I like them too much as is, so this pie is a clever compromise between cooked fruit and raw. You blind bake your crust so it's nice and golden brown and flaky. Then, you take a quarter of your blueberries and cook them down to a juicy, syrupy mixture. The rest of the berries you'll leave raw and fold into the cooked berries. This all goes straight into the pie crust to sit at room temperature. The filling thickens ever so slightly, so you get bursts of fresh berries alongside sugared, warm cooked berries.
A scoop (or four, but who's counting) of ice cream, and we are GOOD to go, even in late August.
Rose Levy Berenbaum's Fresh Blueberry Pie
Adapted from Food52
For the crust:
8 tablespoons butter, very cold
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water
For the filling:
4 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup water, plus 2 tablespoons
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
pinch of salt
To make the crust: Whisk the flour and salt together in a large bowl. Cut in the butter until the mixture is in small lumps. Slowly pour in the ice water, stirring with a fork as you go. You might only need 1/4 cup, so start there. The dough should come together into a shaggy mass, but it should have plenty of dry spots left. Add as much water as you need to get to this point. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it a few times until it comes together in a cohesive ball. Press the ball into a disc, wrap it in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 30 minutes.
Once the dough has chilled, place it on a lightly floured surface and roll it out to an 11" circle. Transfer the circle of dough into a 9" pie plate and crimp the edges. Refrigerate the dough for at least one hour.
When you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line the pie crust with foil and pie weights (or dried beans), and bake it for 20 minutes. Remove it from the oven, take out the foil and weights, and prick it all over with a fork. Return the crust to the oven and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes (the crust will be golden brown. Let it cool while you make the filling.
For the filling: Place 1 cup of blueberries in a small saucepan with 1/2 cup of water. Heat the berries over medium heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Turn it down to a simmer and cook for 3-4 minutes, until the berries start to burst.
Separately, whisk together the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of water. Add this to the berry mixture along with the sugar, salt, and lemon juice. Cook for 1 more minute, then remove from the heat. Pour the remaining 3 cups of blueberries into the saucepan and stir to combine.
Pour the blueberry mixture into the prepared pie crust and let it sit out at room temperature for 2 hours to thicken. The pie will keep well refrigerated for a few hours more if you need to make it in advance.