This amazing Blueberry Pie is a thick, sliceable pie. The blueberry filling is flavored with lemon juice, orange zest and a little vanilla extract. The delicious filling is baked inside of a flakey, buttery crust for the best blueberry pie you will ever taste!
Blueberry Pie is one of those dessert staples all year long. Unlike pumpkin pie with which American has a short-lived love affair, this pie can be enjoyed any time! This amazing blueberry pie is equally delicious made with frozen blueberries or peak-season fresh blueberries. The lemon juice balances the sweetness and makes the blueberries taste somehow more intense. The orange zest and vanilla extract pair beautifully with the blueberries for a subtle but wonderful flavor.
Serve this pie alongside my foolproof pumpkin pie, classic pecan pie, and sweet potato pie for the perfect Thanksgiving dessert line up! This amazing blueberry pie is equally comfortable on a picnic table or just sliced up for a weeknight dessert treat. Bonus points for a mound of vanilla bean ice cream or a generous spoonful of vanilla bean anglaise. Think of anglaise like just the melty part of ice cream. It makes every bite taste like those last few bites where the filling and melted ice cream have become one. The vanilla beans draw out the vanilla and orange notes in the pie and the cream just pulls everything together.
Table of Contents
Why pre-cook blueberry pie filling?
Pre-cooking your amazing blueberry pie filling allows some of the berries to pop which makes a perfectly thick filling. Cooking it slowly on low will pop the berries and thicken the pie naturally with the pectin found in blueberries before activating the full power of tapioca flour. Boiling the filling one minute will cook out the starch flavor in the tapioca and turn it clear, so all you see are the purple blueberries.
Why use tapioca flour in this blueberry pie filling?
- Flavor: Have you ever accidentally eaten plain flour? Eww. The flavor of other thickeners doesn’t always cook all the way out. Tapioca is flavorless when cooked (and even if it isn’t completely cooked). Other root starches have a subtle flavor that I find off-putting.
- Texture: No one wants a gritty pie. I have found that tapioca produces a smoother, silkier filling for your amazing blueberry pie than even cornstarch!
- Curb-appeal: Yes, flour will thicken your pie but it will make it cloudy in appearance. Don’t mute those berry colors! Let them pop!
- Strength & Staying Power: Tapioca has a firm hold that keeps on holding long after other thickeners begin to weep. Cornstarch has a stronger grip but it starts to leach liquid after about 5 days, sometimes sooner the more you use.
- Blueberries: You can use fresh or frozen blueberries for this amazing blueberry pie. I use frozen if blueberries are not in season.
- Sugar: I use granulated sugar in this pie. It is here for the more obvious flavor reasons, but also to retain moisture, improve texture and stability.
- Lemon Juice: My motto for citrus juices is that fresh is always best. If you must use store-bought lemon juice, try to find a frozen option that is frozen fresh juice, or sometimes it can be found in the refrigerator section. If it looks dark in color, then it is no longer going to taste fresh.
- Orange Zest: The orange zest can be omitted or swapped for lemon zest if you prefer.
- Vanilla Extract: Vanilla Extract adds a beautiful flavor itself but it also boosts the flavor of other amazing blueberry pie ingredients around it like blueberries and citrus.
- Tapioca Flour: I use tapioca to thicken my fruit pies. It thickens better than cornstarch and it doesn’t have an off-putting flavor. I use Bob’s Red Mill tapioca flour. This is what I have tested with all my pie fillings in the Shop. Different brands have different thickening powers and you may need more or less. It is trial and error. If you are using pearls make sure they are small pearls and I usually grind them in a spice grinder to make them fine. Let the mixed filling sit for 30 minutes to allow the tapioca pearls to hydrate. You don’t have to let tapioca flour sit before baking.
- Foolproof Vodka Pie Crust: You could also use my recipe for an All Butter Pie Crust, but my Vodka Pie Crust really is foolproof with exact ingredients (no “add water until ready” lifestyle here!). This amazing blueberry pie would be amazing with either!
- Blueberries: You can use fresh or frozen blueberries in this amazing blueberry pie recipe. If you substitute any other fruit, the filling will not be as thick. Blueberries have a high amount of pectin and they are partly responsible for the consistency of the filling.
- Zest: You can omit the zest or swap it for for lemon zest if you prefer.
- Tapioca Pearls: You can substitute tapioca pearls for tapioca flour. If you are using pearls make sure they are small pearls and I usually grind them in a spice grinder to make them fine. Let the mixed filling sit for 30 minutes to allow the tapioca pearls to hydrate. You don’t have to let tapioca flour sit before baking.
- Thickener: You could use a different thickener like cornstarch but the resulting filling might be less thick, making your amazing blueberry pie slightly less amazing.
Can I substitute Tapioca Pearls for Tapioca Flour?
Yes, but I suggest that you grind them down to as close a powder as possible then allow about 45 minutes to hydrate after mixing the filing. The tapioca pearls take longer to absorb moisture than the flour.
You might need to adjust your ratio: I am not saying it is a one-to-one ratio tapioca pearls to flour. We used to use pearls in the Shop before I got fed up grinding 20 pounds of pearls a week.
Frequently Asked Questions
Store baked blueberry pie in a covered dish at room temperature or tightly wrapped in the refrigerator or freezer.
Baked blueberry pie will keep for 3 days at room temperature, 10 days in the refrigerator or up to 3 months tightly wrapped in the freezer.
It is best to thaw pie unwrapped in the refrigerator or at room temperature. Unwrapping will keep the crust from getting soggy. Refresh the pie in a 350°F oven until the filling bubbles in the center. You can test if the center is warm by inserting a cake tester or knife tip in the center and touching it to your lips.
Absolutely! This filling can be made in any quantity you wish. I have made 30 pies at a time. The limiting factor will be the capacity of your pot.
Blueberry pie freezes beautifully. Cool completely at room temperature before cooling several hours in the refrigerator. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and freeze up to 3 months.
Reheat blueberry pie, unwrapped, in a 350°F oven until the filling bubbles in the center. You can test if the center is warm by inserting a cake tester or knife tip in the center and touching it to your lips. Pie reheats best in a metal tin, but any tin will do.
How to serve Amazing blueberry pie?
You can serve this amazing Blueberry Pie warm or cold. Furthermore, make her a lattice top if you're feeling extra fancy. Serve with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream or vanilla bean anglaise. Think of anglaise like just the melty part of ice cream. It makes every bite taste like those last few bites where the filling and melted ice cream have become one. The vanilla beans markedly draw out the vanilla and orange notes in the pie and the cream just pulls everything together.
Chef Lindsey's Recipe Tips
Pre-cook your Blueberry Pie filling, and use tapioca flour as a thickener. Take it from me, this combo will get you the best bang for your buck!
Amazing Blueberry Pie
Blueberry Pie Filling
Prepare the Crust:
- Make sure ALL your ingredients and utensils are cold. Sift two cups of flour and re-measure 2 ½ cups into your mixing bowl. Add your salt and sugar to the flour, mix with a fork or pastry blender, cover and put bowl in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it.
- Cut up your butter and measure your shortening and put them back in the refrigerator while you measure your vodka and place some ice cubes into a cup of water (stay with me here, it’s genius, promise). Put that vodka back in the freezer!
- Remove your pre-mixed dry ingredients from the refrigerator and drop the butter slices into bowl, coating with the flour mixture as you go. Do the same with the shortening. Use a knife to scoop out little bits and plop them in the flour. Cut the shortening & butter into the flour mixture with your pastry blender until the dough looks like a streusel topping with no unincorporated flour.
- You can also make this in a stand mixer.
- Drizzle the vodka over the surface of the dough. Then measure ¼ cup ice water into the same measuring cup used for the vodka and drizzle this evenly over the surface of the dough. Using a sturdy spatula, mash the dough to mix the liquid into the crumbles. Scoop from the bottom and press against the sides of the bowl. This should come together very easily.
- Once it looks like this picture, scoop up the dough, pat into a ball, and divide the dough in two. I have a deep-dish pie pan, so I divided my dough into roughly ⅔ and ⅓ sized balls. Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and then refrigerate for at least an hour. This dough is sticky and moist, so I let mine chill for 3 hours but overnight is even better.
Rolling the dough for the crusts:
- Turn the larger round onto a floured work-surface to roll out the bottom crust. General wisdom says a lightly floured surface should be used, but common sense dictates that, for this recipe, a generously floured surface is necessary. Lightly flour the top surface and the rolling pin. With a light touch and a fluid motion, roll the dough from the center up and back to the center, then from the center down toward you and back to the center. Pick up the rolling pin and repeat going from the center to each of the sides. Lightly cup your dough in your palms and spin ¼ turn, counter clockwise. Repeat the rolling until your dough is large enough to cover your pan and drape delicately over the sides.
- If your dough begins to stick then lift the edge and throw some flour underneath. As your round gets larger, you will no longer be able to cup the edges and turn. At this point, gently slide your hands under the dough and then turn. For a regular 9” pie pan, your round should be approximately 12” in diameter. Gently fold the dough in half and then in half again and unfold it into your pie pan. Fill your piecrust with filling and then roll out your top crust. Slide your top crust over the filling. Tuck the edges under themselves pressing lightly into the edge of the pan and crimp the edges decoratively.
Prepare the Filling:
- In a pot combine all filling ingredients. Cook slowly over low heat until the blueberries begin to break down and the tapioca is absorbed and no longer visible. This should take at least 15 minutes.
- Turn up the heat and boil the mixture for one minute to begin activating the tapioca.
- Pour out onto a baking sheet lined with plastic wrap or parchment. Cover and cool completely. Can be made one week in advance.
Assemble & Bake Pie:
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Line pie dish with one circle of pie dough. Fill with cooled filling. Top with second pie circle or latticed top and crimp edges decoratively. You can brush tops with heavy cream and sprinkle with turbinado if desired.
- Chill at least an hour before baking.
- Bake in preheated oven for 45-50 minutes or until the filling is bubbling in the center and the pie crust is a dark golden brown.
- Cool completely.
- Serve within a week or wrap and freeze.
Before You Go!
Check out our other delicious, chef-developed recipes for Pies + Tarts!