Blueberry Lemon Poppy Seed Pie

July 17, 2017
10 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland
  • Cook time 9 hours
  • Serves 8 to 10
Author Notes

Here's a pie that's creamier, crunchier, and zingier than most blueberry pies get. The cream comes from crème fraîche, which is spread over the bottom of the par-baked dough and dotted across the top of the pie; as the pie bakes, it will bubble into a tangy, light custard.

The crunch comes from a poppy seed streusel that's scattered above and below the blueberry filling (if you'd like, you can add a scattering of poppy seeds to the dough itself, too). And the zing comes from a generous amount of lemon zest in the filling and as garnish.

This recipe is adapted from Martha Stewart's Peach and Crème Fraîche Pie. —Sarah Jampel

What You'll Need
  • For the streusel:
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/4 cup poppy seeds
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces
  • For the pie:
  • one 9-inch pie crust
  • Poppy seeds for scattering over dough (optional)
  • 4 cups (about 2 pints) fresh blueberries
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons granulated sugar, to taste
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 5 tablespoons crème fraîche, divided
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon
  • Whipped cream and lemon zest, for garnish (optional)
  1. For the streusel:
  2. To make the streusel, whisk together all ingredients except for the butter in a small bowl. Use your hands or a pastry blender to rub the butter into the mixture until you have something that resembles coarse crumbs.
  3. Store in the refrigerator while you work on the rest of the pie.
  1. For the pie:
  2. Par-bake your pie: Preheat the oven to 400° F. Roll the dough out (once your dough is nearly rolled out, you can scatter poppy seeds across and press them gently in, if you'd like!). Place it in the dish, crimp the outside, and freeze for at least 30 minutes (and up to 3 days). Line the crust with parchment, fill it with pie weight, dried beans, or rice, then bake for 10 minutes. Remove weights and parchment and continue to bake for 5 to 8 minutes, until a pale golden brown. Transfer to a write rack to cool slightly. Lower the oven temperature to 375° F.
  3. Meanwhile, make the filling. Gently mix the blueberries with sugar, salt, cornstarch, and lemon zest. Set aside for 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Spread 2 tablespoons of the crème fraîche over the bottom of the pie crust; sprinkle with one-third of the chilled streusel. Arrange blueberries on top, dot with remaining 3 tablespoons of crème fraîche. Sprinkle with remaining streusel.
  5. Bake until crème fraîche is bubbling and streusel is golden-brown, about 50 minutes. If the crust is browning too quickly, cover it with foil. Let cool on wire rack for at least 30 minutes. Serve garnished with whipped cream and more lemon zest.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • barbra r
    barbra r
  • saramarsh
  • Droplet
  • Sarah Jampel
    Sarah Jampel

6 Reviews

barbra R. November 23, 2018
This pie is delicious! I was worried about sarahmarsh's comments, but had to make this since it sounded too good! My berries were frozen from the summer harvest. I used cream of tartar instead of cornstarch (1:1) and i made a simple butter crust from a david lebovitz recipe, but added the poppy seeds... it came out great! perfect, even! thank you!!
saramarsh August 13, 2017
Let me say this pie tastes fantastic.
I've made this pie twice in the last two weeks and canNOT get the filling to set.
It's been a runny mess both times, despite following the instructions to the letter the first time.
This time, I turned to the internet to get some "thicken that filling" help, and decided on a small addition of confectioners sugar and cornstarch (knowing that there's a little in the sugar) to get it to set up and look like the photo.
It tastes *amazing*, but it's a disaster to slice and serve.
So here's what's going on.
1. I'm using fresh berries, 4 C. on the nose; rinsed, strained, dried.
2. Today I put 3T of sugar, 1T of confectioners sugar, 2T cornstarch and the salt in a bowl and mixed it up before putting it in with the berries. This should have set that sauce up, but alas, no.
3. I used only 3T of the Crème fraîche, hoping to have less liquid. (it still was fantastic, taste-wise, so less still works!)
4. I didn't do the streusel topping today. So no extra butter.
Re: streusel- I think the ratios may be off? The butter was cold and it never got crumbly, all measurements of flour and sugar correct. And despite a vacation in the freezer while I pre-baked the shell and made the filling, it never browned up.
5. Oven is at correct temp, timer set.
Sarah J. August 13, 2017
Hi Sara,

I'm so, so sorry you're having trouble! But I am glad it tastes good. I think that adding cornstarch is the way to go—I would start with 2 1/2 tablespoons of cornstarch (and I'm going to update the recipe to reflect this!). If that still is giving you a runny inside, I would be sure to thoroughly cool the pie before cutting into it—and you could also try Rose Levy Beranbaum's blueberry technique: She cooks a portion of the berries, thickening them with cornstarch, and then folds fresh blueberries in. You could make that filling but keep the crème fraîche and streusel components! Hope this helps!
saramarsh August 14, 2017
Thank you! I'll try both of those ideas :)
Droplet August 1, 2017
Sarah, perhaps an apt subtitle would be Something-about-your-smile Pie. Purple chompers, poppy seeds in between and a blissful smile that brings about a few more effortlessly :)
Sarah J. August 1, 2017
Yes!! BYOF (bring your own floss!).