Pie makes everybody happy.- Laurie Halse Anderson, The Impossible Knife of Memory
With blueberry season in full swing here in Michigan, I thought that it would be the perfect time to make a blueberry pie. Ripe, juicy berries hang from lush, verdant bushes in blueberry patches from Saugatuck to Saginaw just waiting to be picked and made into crumbles, pies or jams.
In past summers, we have gone berry picking and there is nothing more relaxing than gently tugging the berries from each branch, the sun shining overhead and hearing the patter of them fall into your bucket.
We haven’t made it to a berry patch yet this summer, so we picked our blueberries up at the Midland Farmer’s Market.
My mom and I are huge fans of pies with crumb toppings so I knew that this blueberry crumble pie recipe would be just the ticket. It’s from Martha Stewart so naturally it had to be perfect, right? The recipe was relative easy to make and was the perfect cross between a pie and a fruit crumble with its crunchy, golden brown topping.
I grew up eating these kinds of pies and biting into this dessert took me right back to those balmy, late summer evenings, when we lived on the lake, and feasted on dessert as a family while night settled in and fireflies hovered near the garden. Summer in Michigan is magical and this is the perfect dessert to enjoy during the season.
For the crust
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup cold (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
¼ cup ice water
For the crumble
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1 cup firmly packed dark-brown sugar
¾ (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
For the filling
3 pints blueberries
1 cup sugar
4 teaspoons cornstarch
½ teaspoon finely chopped lemon zest
Pinch of freshly ground pepper
Unsalted butter and all-purpose flour, for pie tin
To make the crust: In a food processor, combine the flour, salt, and cold butter. Pulse until the mixture is the consistency of sand. Add the water while pulsing until the mixture comes together; being sure not to overwork it. (To mix the dough by hand, combine the flour, salt, and butter in a large bowl. Add the cold water and work by hand until the mixture comes together.) Remove the dough from the food processor or bowl on a lightly floured work surface. Shape it into disk about 1/2 inch thick. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before rolling out.
To make the crumble: Combine the flour and sugar in a food processor until thoroughly combined. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture forms a crumble, being sure not to over mix. Refrigerate until ready to use.
To make the filling: In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Using the back of a spoon, crush about 20 percent of the blueberries so the juice mixes with the cornstarch and thickens the filling.
To make the pie: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 10-inch pie tin; set aside. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough. Place in pie tin, trim, and crimp the edges. Use a fork to poke holes around the sides and bottom of the crust. Chill until firm, about 20 minutes. Cover with a piece of parchment paper and fill it with dried beans. Bake until the crimped edges are firm, about 10 minutes. Remove the parchment paper and beans, and bake until the bottom is firm, about 10 minutes. Fill the crust with the berry mixture, spreading evenly, and top with the crumble. Place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, and bake until the filling starts to bubble, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Remove, and cool on a wire rack.
All photos are my own.