Blueberry Swamp Pie

September 25, 2020
5 Ratings
Photo by Food52
  • Prep time 35 minutes
  • Cook time 55 minutes
  • Makes one 9-inch pie
Author Notes

I had tasted a few swamp pies before, but never tried making one until Amanda Hesser posted her recipe for Raspberry Swamp Pie here on Food52. I love that recipe and the creamy, juicy combo of fruit + custard pie it produces. But in my upcoming pie book, I wanted to try a few tweaks. Instead of using a top crust, I use a streusel topping, which gets “flooded” by the custard toward the end of baking. The result is a creamy blueberry crumb masterpiece—unanimously named one of the top five pies in my new book by those who worked on the photo shoot and tasted each one!

Blueberry Swamp Pie excerpted from THE BOOK ON PIE © 2020 by Erin Jeanne McDowell. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.Erin Jeanne McDowell

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Blueberry Swamp Pie
  • Streusel Topping
  • 1/2 cup (40 grams) old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup (60 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup (53 grams) light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons (57 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • Blueberry Filling
  • 1 1/2 pounds (680 grams) fresh blueberries
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup (99 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, halved and scraped (or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract)
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 par-baked pie crust
  • (Custard Filling)
  • 3/4 cup (171 grams) heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg (57 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Heat the oven to 375°F with a rack in the lower third of the oven (preferably with a baking steel or stone on it). Stir all the ingredients for the streusel together to combine, then add the butter and cut it into the mixture until it forms large clumps.
  2. In a medium bowl, toss the blueberries with the lemon zest and juice. (If using vanilla extract instead of vanilla bean, add here, too.)
  3. In a small bowl, mix the sugar and vanilla bean scrapings with your hands, rubbing the two together to disperse the seeds. Stir in the flour and salt, then sprinkle this mixture over the blueberries, stirring until well combined.
  4. Pour this mixture into the cooled par-baked pie crust and arrange in an even layer. Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the top of the pie.
  5. Transfer the pie to the oven (on top of the steel/stone, if using). Bake until the crust is deeply golden and the berries are juicy and bubbly, 35 to 40 minutes.
  6. Just before the pie reaches the 35 minute mark, make the custard filling. In a medium bowl, whisk the cream, brown sugar, egg, and vanilla to combine. When the pie reaches the doneness listed in step 4, pull out the oven rack and gently pour the cream mixture all over the surface of the bubbling pie. If the cream looks like it’s going to overflow over the edge of the crust, make a small hole with a paring knife to give you a spot to pour the custard, then slowly pour the custard into the well. Don’t go too fast, or it will overflow instead of sinking into the pie.
  7. Return the rack to the proper place and continue to bake until the custard is set around the edges but slightly jiggly in the center, 10 to 15 minutes more. Let cool completely before slicing and serving.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • chezjenne
  • Marc Saadé
    Marc Saadé
  • Matt
  • Erin Jeanne McDowell
    Erin Jeanne McDowell
I always have three kinds of hot sauce in my purse. I have a soft spot for making people their favorite dessert, especially if it's wrapped in a pastry crust. My newest cookbook, Savory Baking, came out in Fall of 2022 - is full of recipes to translate a love of baking into recipes for breakfast, dinner, and everything in between!

7 Reviews

chezjenne September 18, 2023
I’ve made this pie 3 times now and we LOVE it. I did blueberry first, then a blueberry peach and an apricot blueberry this weekend. Note- must use a deep dish pie pan. Do NOT overfill the fruit & strudel, that incredible cream needs a little room! Truly a magnificent fruit pie upgrade, thank you Erin
AshleyMinor July 10, 2022
I love this pie! It might not be the most traditionally beautiful pie but it is the best pie I have ever had or made. I love changing up the berries that are in the pie for the different types and the zest that I use. A lot of times I will use lime zest and then also use cardamom or a three berry mix. For fall I use orange zest, cranberries and cardamom in the streusel topping. It’s so versatile and every time it has been amazing and a crowd pleaser. I’m making it today to take it to a barbecue, in the streusel I added cardamom and cinnamon and then in the custard I added a smoky bourbon instead of vanilla extract.
Spr6 November 18, 2020
Absolutely luscious! A perfect combination of fruit, custard, streusel and crust. I cooked filling on the stovetop then added a cup of fresh blueberries before baking. My new favorite pie!
Marc S. November 12, 2020
I made this yesterday and proceeded to have 3 slices of pie in one day... The most delicious pie I've ever made. It looks nice, but not quite as beautiful as the picture, so I'll have to practice my streusel sprinkling technique which gives me all the more reason to make this again!
Matt September 25, 2020
Hmm… I think there is an error in the recipe steps. Step 3 states: "Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the top of the pie." While Step 5 states: "While the pie bakes, make the streusel."
SPark0101 September 26, 2020
In the video it looks like she bakes it with streusel topping so I'd say step 5 is out of order.
Erin J. September 28, 2020
Thanks so much for pointing this out, Matt - there was a missing step, it's been corrected now!