Rose Levy Beranbaum's Fresh Blueberry Pie

By • August 27, 2013 13 Comments

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Author Notes: This is a brighter, lighter blueberry pie than you're used to, one that keeps all the texture and integrity of blueberries intact. You can use your go-to pie crust -- just roll out a single crust and blind bake it -- or I've included Beranbaum's recipe, which is excellent, and has all sorts of clever tricks. You can also adapt her dough to the food processor if you're feeling lazy. Adapted slightly from The Pie and Pastry Bible (Scribner, 1998).Genius Recipes

Serves 6

Basic Flaky Pie Crust for a 9-Inch Pie

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
  • 1 1/3 cups + 4 tablespoon pastry flour or 1 1/3 cups (dip and sweep method) bleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 tablespoons ice water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar (optional)
  • 1/8 teaspoon non-aluminum baking powder (if not using, double the salt)
  1. Divide the butter into two parts, about two thirds to one third -- 2.5 ounces and 1.5 ounces (5 tablespoons and 3 tablespoons). Cut the butter into 3/4-inch cubes. Wrap each portion of butter with plastic wrap, refrigerate the larger amount and freeze the smaller for at least 30 minutes. Place the flour, salt, and baking powder in a reclosable gallon-size freezer bag and freeze for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Place a medium mixing bowl in the freezer to chill. Place the flour, salt, and optional baking powder in another medium bowl and whisk to combine them.
  3. Use a pastry cutter or rub the mixture between your fingers to blend the larger portion of the butter into the flour until it resembles coarse meal.
  4. Spoon the mixture, together with the cold butter from the freezer, into a reclosable gallon-size freezer bag. Expel any air from the bag and close it. Use a rolling pin to flatten the butter into flakes. Place the bag in the freezer for at least 10 minutes or until the butter is very firm.
  5. Transfer the mixture to the chilled bowl, scraping the sides of the bag. Set the bag aside. Sprinkle the ice water and vinegar onto the mixture, tossing it lightly with a rubber spatula. Spoon the loose mixture back into the plastic bag.
  6. Holding both ends of the bag opening with your fingers, knead the mixture by alternately pressing it, from the outside of the bag, with knuckles and heels of your hands until the mixture holds together in one piece and feels slightly stretchy when pulled.
  7. Wrap the dough with plastic wrap, flatten it into a disc and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes, preferably overnight. This dough can be stored, refrigerated, up to 2 days; frozen, up to 3 months.

Open-Faced Fresh Blueberry Pie

  • 1 tablespoon egg white, lightly beaten (optional)
  • 4 cups blueberries, rinsed and dried
  • 1/2 liquid cup and two tablespoons water, divided
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups whipped cream (optional)
  1. Make the crust: Remove the dough from the refrigerator. If necessary, allow it to sit for about 10 minutes or until it is soft enough to roll.
  2. Using a pastry cloth and sleeve rubbed with flour or two sheets of plastic wrap lightly sprinkled with flour, roll the dough 1/8 inch thick or less and large enough to cut a 13-inch circle. Use an expandable flan ring or a cardboard template and a sharp knife as a guide to cut out the circle. Transfer the dough to the pie pan, fold under the excess, and crimp the border using a fork or your fingers (or just fold it under). Cover it loosely and refrigerate it for a minimum of 1 hour and a maximum of 24 hours. Preheat the oven to 425°F at least 20 minutes before baking.
  3. Line the pastry with parchment, pleating it as necessary so it fits into the pan, and fill it with rice or dried beans. Bake for 20 minutes. Carefully lift out the rice or beans with the parchment. With a fork, prick the bottom and sides, and bake 5-10 minutes, or until the crust is pale golden. Check after 3 minutes and prick any bubbles that may have formed.
  4. Cool the crust on a rack for 3 minutes, so it is no longer piping hot, then (optionally) brush the bottom and sides with the egg white -- this will help keep the bottom crust from getting soggy.
  5. Make the filling: Measure out 1 cup of the blueberries, choosing the softest ones. Place them in a medium saucepan together with the 1/2 cup water. Cover and bring them to a boil.
  6. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and the remaining 2 tablespoons of water. Set it aside.
  7. When the water and blueberries have come to a boil, lower the heat and simmer, stirring constantly for 3 to 4 minutes or until the blueberries start to burst and the juices begin to thicken. Stirring constantly, add the cornstarch mixture, the sugar, lemon juice, and salt. Simmer for a minute or until the mixture becomes translucent. Immediately remove it from the heat and quickly fold in the remaining 3 cups of blueberries.
  8. Spoon the mixture into the baked pie shell and allow to sit at room temperature for at least 2 hours before serving. When set, the berries will remain very juicy but will not flow out of the crust. Serve with whipped cream if desired. This pie can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.

More Great Recipes: Tarts|Blueberries|Pie|Fruit|Desserts

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Comments (13) Questions (0)


22 days ago Caetie

Yum! Crust was excellent. Rolling it out thin really helped the texture. I felt the filling was too sweet though, probably good to start with 1/4 cup of sugar and go from there since the berries will vary.


about 1 month ago Jennifer

I've made Berenbaum's blueberry pie, but other than the alliteration, vastly prefer Julie Rosso's blueberry pie in Great Good Food. Check it out if you can find a copy--with no cornstarch and just 2 T. flour, the filling is every bit as light, but you can skip the annoying stovetop stirring. Easy and yummy. (Rosso's version is two-crust, which I realize adds calories/weight.)


2 days ago mela

I love that Rosso cookbook. It's usually available, as a new book, from the book re-sellers on amazon. (And try the strawberry frozen yogurt!)


about 1 year ago Salvegging

So good. The filling holds together so well. I made a rye crust with a different technique. Liked it so much I blogged about it.


about 1 year ago Chloroph

Followed all the complicated steps. Pie came out very good but not necessarily better than other simpler pies I've made in the past.


about 1 year ago courtney conway

Made this on the fourth of July using the crust recipe from a Chez Panisse recipe. (for their Simple Apple Tart) Everyone loved it. Thanks!


about 1 year ago Deena B

Great pie, but I made a much simpler crust. I wonder how this technique would work with tart cherries. Any thoughts?


about 1 year ago Sam M.

Why bleached flour?


about 1 year ago janet tipple

Seriously, all that to make a crust? To what end is all the kneading and pounding and freezing?


over 1 year ago Christine

This may be an obvious question, but I've never made a pie crust from scratch before but I want to try this with my shiny new food processor - how should I adjust the crust recipe?


almost 2 years ago alaparc

Big hit with my family as well. I would like to try this with other fruits


almost 2 years ago When_Do_We_Eat

I made this with whole wheat pastry dough. Definitely a great way to prepare blueberries.


almost 2 years ago jessicawgraham

This pie cam out perfectly! Big hit with the whole family. I have made many pies and I was skeptical only because the recipe for the crust was so different than my other recipes, but it was great! Also, love the egg white tip - the crust wasn't soggy at all. The berries were delicious and plump. Great recipe. Thank you!