My dad turned 76 last week and we went down to help him celebrate over the weekend. I kept singing “76 Trombones” every time I thought about his brithday. Did you know I played the trombone in high school? All the cool kids did. Instead of serenading my dad with my trombone (which I’m pretty sure was sold at some point or gifted to a niece or nephew), I made him one of his favorite desserts: Blueberry Pie. I have never made blueberry pie before or any type of true berry pie. I got a little crazy buying berries this past week as they are plentiful and delcious right now . With so many berries in my fridge, I made a second pie with 5 different berries included in the mix. Berry mania!
Now, had I been thinking, I would have made a conscious effort to include 6 berries. My maiden name is Barrie and there are 6 of us Barrie children. Wouldn’t that have been cute? Aww….
Despite only 5 berries, the pie was a hit. So was the blueberry version. The birthday boy was very happy. In true, Dale fashion, he cleaned his plate.
Back to the pies. There are 2 things that I think are key to these pies being so good. 1. The crust. I followed this recipe for an all-butter crust (no shortening!) from Deb at Smitten Kitchen. She’s a smart smart lady. The crust was very simple and super delicious. I did not change a thing from her recipe and would highly recommend her version or your favorite crust. . 2. The quality and amount of berries. I used more than 2 pounds of berries in each pie. They are also in peak season making them sweet and juicy. I chose to get most of my berries at the Farmer’s Market, but you could certainly pick your own, or buy ripe berries at your local store. Don’t skimp on the berries! I think having a significant amount of berries to match against the buttery crust made a huge difference.
You could say that there is a #3 and that would be the love and care put into the pie. Call me cheesy, but I believe it makes a difference. It’s also a good idea to wear reflective gear so people can see you.
Blueberry, 5-Berry, or However-many Berry Pie
Note: My combination for the 5-berry was: 1/2 pint blackberries, 1/2 pint black raspberries, 1/2 pint golden raspberries, 1 pint red raspberries and 1 pint blueberries. You can use any combination you’d like or all the same berry – just don’t skimp.
- pie dough for a double crust pie, chilled in the fridge. I really liked this version, but if you already have a favorite, make that one.
- 2 lbs berries, rinsed and drained (see note)
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 Tbsp butter, cut into small pieces.
- juice from half a lemon – about a tablespoon
- egg wash: 1 egg whisked with a dash of water
- turbinado sugar for sprinkling (optional)
Preheat oven to 425. Place oven rack in lower 3rd of the oven. I also put a baking pan underneath my pie as it baked to catch any juices that overflow – which they did.
1. Roll out your pie crust for the bottom of the pie. Use plenty of flour on your counter and your rolling pin. I’m not fussy about how the edges look, but you’ll want to get it to about 12 inches diameter (I did actually use a tape measure). Fold in half and lay in the pie plate and unfold. Place pie plate in the fridge.
2. Combine berries, sugar, flour, salt and cinnamon and set aside.
3. Roll out pie crust for the top of the pie – same way as the first.
4. Remove pie plate from the fridge, fill with berry mixture, drizzle with lemon juice and dot with butter.
5. Place 2nd pie crust on top. Fold any overhang crust under itself and crimp together with the bottom crust. You can crimp the edges with a fork or just use your fingers to press both crusts togheter. I did a bit of a fluted edge, but nothing fancy. It’s a homemade pie – it doesn’t need to look perfect. Cut a few slits in the top of the pie for steam to escape.
6. Brush with egg wash. This will help make the crust brown and shiny.
7. Bake for 35-45 minutes. I started checking mine at 25 minutes, which is when I also sprinkled the pie with turbinado sugar. If your edges are getting browner faster than the rest of the crust, you can cover it with foil to prevent any burning. You want the crust to be a nice deep golden brown and the berries to be bubbling and juicy.
8. Let cool completely on a rack.
Serve with ice cream or whipped cream. Brownie points if it’s for someone’s 76th birthday.
**Thank you to Brette and my sister, Jackie, for taking all of the photos!***