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Pie is versatile. It’s a simple statement, but oh so true! If you want to celebrate an occasion, a pie works perfectly. If you want something that is cozy and nostalgic for a weeknight dessert, a pie works perfectly. No matter the reason, pie always seems to fit.
At one time, pie was a staple in farm households. In fact, there were cabinets in the kitchen specially designated just for baked pies, often called a “pie safe.”
Somehow, between pie being a staple and now, we’ve lost the art. Many see pie as a lot of work and something that takes way too much time. I’ll let you in on a secret: with my recipes, it’s not. I’m here to prove that pie can be quick and easy. And the best part: pie always makes everyone happy.
This blueberry pie is perfect for summer. When blueberries are ripe and in season, you’ve got to find all the ways possible to enjoy them. Make this pie!
How does pie thicken?
The crucial part of a pie is the spot between a filling that’s thick enough to hold together but not too thick to seem gloppy. There are a few ways to thicken a fruit pie: flour, instant tapioca, and cornstarch. For this recipe, I chose cornstarch. What I like about cornstarch is the final texture. It’s thick but not too thick and the texture is smooth.
To ensure there are no lumps, cornstarch needs to be mixed in at room temperature and then be heated to near boiling to ensure it is activated. That’s exactly why this pie has a pretty long baking time. The pie needs to ensure the cornstarch is fully activated.
How do you bring out the blueberry flavor?
Blueberries are delicious on their own. When picked in season and ripe, their flavor is unmatched. But when using them in a pie, the long baking time can mellow out some of the fresh flavors. To amp up the flavor and intensify everything, a few things are added:
- Lemon juice. Citrus helps balance the sweetness and lends a brightness to the berries.
- Ground black pepper. This could be an old wife’s tale… or it could be true. My grandma always said a little black pepper helps bring out the flavor of the blueberries. Why would I question black pepper? So I add some to make sure it’s just right.
All of these ingredients work together flawlessly to create the perfect summertime pie. Now it’s your turn to make it and let me know what you think in the comments!
Watch how to make this blueberry pie
Blueberry Pie with Streusel Topping
- 1 9-inch pie crust
- 6 cups blueberries
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp black pepper
For the streusel topping
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- ¾ cup flour
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 8 tbsp butter cut into ½-inch pieces
For the pie
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- In a large bowl, combine the blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, and black pepper. Stir and slightly mash a few berries to draw out the juices.
- Pour into the prepared pie shell and top with the prepared streusel (instructions below). Spread streusel into an even layer and place in the preheated oven on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake at 375°F for 45 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350°F until the pie is bubbling throughout, an additional 30-45 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely to room temperature before slicing and serving.
For the streusel
- In a medium bowl, combine the chopped pecans, flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Stir to combine and add the pieces of butter.
- Using a pastry cutter or hand, work the butter into the streusel to create a coarse crumb.