Thanksgiving Files: Blueberry Pie

This was my very first (!) pie attempt years ago

I have to work today, but I thought I’d put together a couple of Thanksgiving recipe posts to give you guys a chance to share your favorite recipes.  I cancelled my big Thanksgiving plans and told the relatives I’d go out early December to see everyone, instead. But I’ll still be cooking for friends, here. The weather will be in the 70s tomorrow, so I suspect there will be some hiking involved.

To get the ball rolling – dessert. From my blog:

Blueberry pie is a must at my house for Thanksgiving. This recipe is my go-to. The key is to add fresh blueberries to the cooked blueberries for the most blueberry flavor.  Originally posted in 2012

Blueberry Pie

Filling:

  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar (depending on your sweetness preference, I used 1/2 cup)
  • 2-1/2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 cups fresh or frozen (and thawed) blueberries
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest

In a saucepan, add sugar, cornstarch, water and 1 cup blueberries. Bring to a rapid boil, stirring constantly until thickened. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Once cool, add 3 cups of blueberries, lemon juice and lemon zest, fold in completely. Cool in refrigerator until time to put the pie together. I also chilled the bowl I mixed everything in, as well.

Crust:

  • 1-1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup butter, very cold
  • 1/2 cup ice water

Cut butter into small pieces (I actually cut frozen butter, it was easier) and place in the freezer to chill it completely. Whisk together flour, sugar and salt. Using a pastry cutter, cut in butter until it is crumbly. Drizzle in the water and mix together until it forms a loose ball (do not over mix, you want visible butter pieces). Turn out onto a floured surface, knead gently, divide into two equal pieces (I weighed them), form each into a ball and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least an hour. While I was at it, I refrigerated my marble rolling pin and marble pastry board.

To assemble pie: roll out one of the balls until it’s about 12-13 inches (depending on your pie plate size) and about 3/16” thick. To move to your pie plate, flour your rolling pin again and fold the dough over it, transfer to the plate and it should fall into place. Gently form it to the plate and let excess dough overhang the edge – you can brush the edge with water before adding the top pastry. With all the butter, this step really isn’t necessary, it quickly seals itself. Add blueberry filling. Roll out second ball to the same size and thickness. Move to the plate and adjust over the pie plate. Now you can trim the excess dough, or you can tuck it under and then pinch to flute it. Next time I’m sure I’ll experience one of those, but this time, it was pretty skimpy for me to flute.

Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes, reduce heat to 375 and continue until golden brown (I had to bake another 40 minutes). You’ll probably have to tent the edges with foil to keep them from burning. I did that at the 25 minute mark. Let cool until just warm to touch for the blueberries to set if you want to serve warm.

Later today, we’ll talk turkey.

Now it’s your turn. What’s your favorite/successful recipe for pie crust? And what desserts will grace your table this Thanksgiving (if you celebrate)? What dessert do you absolutely loathe?  Mine is minced meat pie – which my dad adores, so I try to make sure it’s available for him. Open thread.






35 replies
  1. 1
    Lava says:

    Your crust recipe calls for much less flour and more water than I’ve seen before. Do those proportions make it more flaky, or easier to work with?

  2. 2
    Mike in NC says:

    Blueberry pie improves everything.

  3. 3
    TaMara (HFG) says:

    @Lava: Yes, much flakier. It’s based on ratio 3:2:1. Explanation here. It’s always worked for me.

    JeffreyW and Mrs. J use Alton Brown/Smitten Kitten Vodka recipe a lot.

  4. 4
    randy khan says:

    Mince pie seems to be very polarizing.

  5. 5
    Brachiator says:

    I’m not a big blueberry pie fan. But the best blueberry pie I’ve eaten typically is served up on Thanksgiving.

    @randy khan:

    Mince pie seems to be very polarizing.

    Mince pie, like fruit cake, just seems unnecessary.

  6. 6
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Brachiator:

    Mince pie, like fruit cake, just seems unnecessary.

    of course you know, this means war.

  7. 7
    wormtown says:

    I just use the Betty Crocker recipe my mom always used. It uses shortening (Crisco); never have had much luck with recipes that use butter. Out of fashion these days, I guess; but it is always well received and (usually) pretty easy to roll out. My only problem is that it is a little difficult to brown for 2- crust pies.

  8. 8
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @TaMara (HFG): Darlin, could you share with us a dandy recipe on creating Turkey Stock.

  9. 9
    Brachiator says:

    @wormtown:

    of course you know, this means war.

    Ha! It’s on.

    Hope you have a good Thanksgiving, anyway.

  10. 10
    LaNonna says:

    I don’t have access to the venison here in Italy, but when living in the Adirondacks I would start a 20 gallon stone crock of true mincemeat around Halloween. Ground venison, ground suet, raisins, dried citron peel, candied orange peel, currants, handsful of cinnamon, nutmeg, black pepper, sugar, cider, port, and brandy. Layered everything according to a circa 1500 a.d. recipe, covered and put in a cold corner. Stir every few days, it was ready around Dec. 15 and a quart jar would go a long way if mixed with chopped apple or pear, for open tarts or two-crust pie. The flavor is deep and rich, nothing like the fake “mincemeat” sold in jars. One of the few holiday foods I miss.

  11. 11
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Brachiator:You as well, infidel.

    @LaNonna: ooh, that sounds amazing.

  12. 12
    hedgehog the occasional commenter says:

    Yum.. I’ll send this to mr. h, who loves blueberry pie and who can make a good pie crust.
    With you on mincemeat pie–ick. Also (and this may get me banned) pecan anything. Not fond of nuts other than almonds and peanuts.

  13. 13
    Betty Cracker says:

    That pie looks delish! My daughter is making the pumpkin pie this year (from a recipe on a can of pumpkin pie filling, LOL), and my husband is making an apple pie — I think. Sometimes he over-commits, and he’s definitely doing ricotta cheese from scratch, which is the top priority, so I give apple pie a 50/50 chance of making an appearance at Chez Cracker this year. Cheesecake will definitely be served!

    Here’s a mystery that’s not as intriguing as the misplaced mustard but still vexing: I bought a dozen eggs yesterday along with all the other TG stuff because the grocery store scene will be like the Fall of Osgiliath today, but the eggs vanished! And my hens don’t produce enough to keep up with holiday demand anymore. Damn it all!

  14. 14
    randy khan says:

    Now that I’ve started a mincemeat war, here are our Thanksgiving desserts:

    Honey Crisp apple pie (bought from a good local bakery)
    Pumpkin pie (ditto)
    Pecan pie (friend bringing)
    Some kind of fruit tart (friend bringing)
    Poached pears, made by my wife from a recipe that includes ginger ale and cinnamon sticks

    Some years we have a friend’s chocolate bourbon pecan pie, which is the bomb, but she’s not coming until Christmas, when I am hopeful she will bring one.

  15. 15

    @TaMara (HFG): I use it too, to make my Diwali special, karanjis(they look like little empanadas baked with fresh coconut filling)

  16. 16
    TaMara (HFG) says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch: Today I’m taking the back, neck, giblets and wing tips of our turkey, putting in a large saucepan of water with a bunch of carrots, onions and celery and a spice packet (lots of sage, garlic and rosemary) and bring to a boil, then let simmer all day.

    Don’t know if that’s what you’re looking for, but that’s what I’ll use for gravy and stuffing.

  17. 17
    TaMara (HFG) says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Those sound amazing. I’m a big fan of unsweetened coconut flakes – it’s all I use.

  18. 18
    narya says:

    I’m making three desserts: lemon & walnut poundcake with a lemon drizzle; a cranberry tart; and pumpkin flan with maple caramel and gingered sugared pecans. There are going to be four (maaybe five) of us at dinner.

    My dad loves mince pie, but didn’t get any for years after my maternal grandmonther died. Lately I’ve taken to making mince meat for him when I can–I use beef suet, and apples, raisins, currants, and spices of various sorts, as well as citrus peel. He enjoys it, so it’s a win.

    We’re also having (in addition to turkey, gravy, & stuffing) roasted brussels sprouts, cauliflower with raisins, onions, and lemon, cheese puffs, rolls, and romanesco (for the math nerds in the bunch). someone else is bringing mac & cheese. As I said, there are only four of us for dinner, so I think there may be leftovers.

  19. 19
    Aleta says:

    My family thinks the best and essential Thgvg dessert is my grandmother’s fruit pudding with whipped cream on top. (And pumpkin pies, and apple and rhubarb.) She would make it with juice from wild Concord grapes that grew on their farm in Ct. My mother just used Welch’s, but this year my cousin has made the juice from grapes I planted in my aunt’s yard years ago. (Bumper crop from climate warming.)

    It’s a nice desert for the day because it’s light. I’ve mislaid my mom’s simple recipe, but will get it again tomorrow from my vastly superior cousin, who specializes in period reproductions of my grandmother’s dishes that no one else remembers. I’ll have to listen to a long discourse on the best method for straining through cheesecloth. ‘Tis the season.

  20. 20
    Tata says:

    I use Jacques Pepin‘s pate brisee recipe for everything. Tonight, I’m making shells for strawberry-rhubarb tarts. Over the summer, I jarred the filling. Fingers crossed, they’ll be delicious because rhubarb is only beautiful when covered in whipped cream.

  21. 21
    Kristine says:

    Having a local Friendsgiving. I made a dessert, creme brûlée brownies using this recipe, except I also added cinnamon and ground cayenne pepper a la Aaron Sanchez. Also substituted whole wheat pastry flour for the white all-purpose and added espresso powder to boost the chocolate flavor. They’re good, but not bittersweet enough for my taste. The creme brûlée is delicious but soooo rich. Next time, I’ll use a different brownie recipe, but keep the creme.

  22. 22
    Kristine says:

    @Betty Cracker: They’re next to the mustard.

  23. 23
    Lava says:

    @TaMara (HFG): Thanks—something new to try!

  24. 24
    scav says:

    huh, dessert is somehow the first thing that drops off the list on our reduced t-day spread and there was only the pumpkin pie to drop (with home-roasted pumpkin as much as possible when served). We must be entirely protein- and potato-based lifeforms. (Not even a yam — candied or otherwise, let alone marshmallow — in the repertoire.)

  25. 25
    Bill Arnold says:

    Another interesting one is “Bluebarb Pie” (sample recipe; search will find others, I just used the (old) Joy Of Cooking fruit pie generic recipe), basically 1/2 rhubarb and 1/2 blueberries. If anything, be more generous with the sugar.

  26. 26

    @TaMara (HFG): Actually I have found something even better, fresh coconut in the frozen aisle, Trader Joe has chunks, which I put in the food processor or you can get grated fresh coconut from the freezer section of your Indian grocery store.

  27. 27
    debbie says:

    Are frozen blueberries really good enough for pie? I use them for my overnight oatmeal in the winter, and they’re nowhere near as good as fresh blueberries.

  28. 28
    lahke says:

    Hi, love this version of blueberry pie, similar idea as the rhubarb: it adds in ginger and lime. Just cut the sugar down to a cup, otherwise, it’s too sweet:
    https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/blueberry-ginger-double-crust-pie

    In addition to the pie, I’m making a Hawaiian mochi custard mix my cousin gave me, because we were sharing our love of mochi a couple of weeks ago. No idea how this will turn out, but I see from Mr. Google that it’s a big deal in Hawaii and there are lots of scratch recipes online..
    https://www.hawaiisbesthawaiianhaupia.com/products/copy-of-3-pack-extra-value-hawaiian-custard-butter-mochi-mix

    Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

  29. 29
    Gravenstone says:

    @randy khan:

    Mince pie seems to be very delicious.

    Edited for accuracy.

  30. 30
    gus says:

    @debbie: Frozen blueberries are acceptable if they’re wild ones you picked and froze yourself. Packaged store bought frozen cultivated blueberries are not acceptable.

  31. 31
    debbie says:

    @gus:

    Thanks. Hadn’t thought of that.

  32. 32
    Digital Amish says:

    With apologies to the vegetarians and vegans, the best pie crusts use lard.

  33. 33
    NotMax says:

    Never been fond of dessert pies of any sort. You’re welcome to my slice while I sit and lament the absence of cake.

  34. 34
    IdahoFlaneuse says:

    I have made Mini Bailey’s Chocolate Cheesecakes, Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes, Butterscotch Pot de Creme, Pumpkin pie, and for the kids, Cocoa Krispie Treats and homemade gumdrops. And yes, I DO have a baking addiction.

    I have also bookmarked that blueberry pie recipe…I might need it for Winter Solstice (aka Christmas).

  35. 35
    Juju says:

    My mom used to make a boiled cranberry pudding with a hard sauce, sometimes for thanksgiving, sometimes for Christmas. I never really cared for it, because when they told me we were having pudding instead of pie, I was thrilled, then it turned out to be a boiled cake with cranberries within. The sauce made it almost edible, but it still had cranberries. Bleh. My brother still makes cranberry pudding for holidays. I seem to be a minority of one in my family when it comes to the disdain of the cranberry pudding. Bleh.

    My pie crust recipe has a combination of butter and shortening. I add some fine sugar when a sweeter crust seems necessary.

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