When I was a little girl, one of my favorite places to go visit in the summertime, was down to southern Illinois to visit my Aunt and Uncle, cousins, and my Great Aunt Lola! They all lived in a very small town called “Bridgeport”. I think at that time, they only had one stoplight! I so loved visiting everyone down there! Every morning my Aunt Patty would fix me, my sister and my cousin a “coffee milk”! We thought we were big stuff drinking coffee! (But it was really just mostly milk with a little bit of coffee in it!) Then after lunch, us kids would all hold hands and form a chain and walk down to Great Aunt Lola’s on the old red brick sidewalk for a piece of homemade pie! Ooooooh, her pies!!! She was the most wonderful cook and baker there ever, ever was! All of about 4 feet tall and a firecracker! She’d get us all laughing and she’d dance and clap her hands while she was cookin’! SO much fun!! (Maybe that’s where I get it from? ) If I even have an OUNCE of her in me, I’d consider myself truly blessed. If only we could go back in time, even for just a minute, to visit again… Though I’ll never be as good a cook as she was, I think she’d be proud of me. I try and make almost everything from scratch, and in her memory, sharing with you a homemade wild blueberry pie. She always made blueberry for me because she knew it was my favorite!
Now, you can cheat and use a store-bought crust, but that would be like eating filet mignon on a paper plate! For now, please use your own favorite recipe, and I’ll add my stand-by recipe for pie pastry next.
I have found that using frozen berries works best for this. If you use fresh, or thawed berries, they break up too much and you’ll end up with a thick syrup and no berries! Good on pancakes, but today we’re making a pie. You can use this easy basic formula for lots of different kinds of berry pies and it’s so much better than canned. You just gently cook the berries with some sugar in a medium saucepan until the sugar dissolves and there’s juice. Then just simply thicken with a cornstarch slurry, add some spices and butter, fold in some more berries, and you’ve got pie filling! It’s really that easy! And it doesn’t run all over the place when you cut into it, either! Even when still slightly warm. Soooo wonderful with homemade vanilla bean ice cream! *Make sure you cool the filling before baking, because this last pie was rushed a bit and it almost ran over. It will not run over if you cool the filling first and don’t overfill.
My recipe was shared with:
Wild Blueberry Pie with Crumb Top
enough pastry for 1 – 9″ deepdish pie
4 cups frozen wild blueberries (*plus more later), or regular blueberries depending on what’s available and in season
1 cup + 1 Tbl. sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water
2 Tbl. real butter, salted or unsalted
tiny pinch of salt, 1/16 tsp.
1/8 – 1/4 tsp. cinnamon, to taste
2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 more cups frozen wild blueberries
FOR CRUMB TOP:
1/4 cup cold butter, cut up into small pieces
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup flour
1/2 – 1 tsp. sugar to sprinkle on top
In large saucepan, bring 4 cups frozen berries and 1 cup + 1 Tbl. sugar to a boil over medium-high heat stirring/folding gently until sugar has dissolved and there is juice. Mix cornstarch with cold water and pour into berry mixture stirring. Gently stir until clear and thickened. Remove from heat, add rest of pie ingredients except last of berries, and fold until mixed in and butter has melted. *Fold in last of frozen berries. Cool and chill. Spoon pie filling into pie plate that is lined with unbaked pastry. Flute pie edge.
For Crumb Topping:
Place cut-up butter into medium-sized mixing bowl. Drizzle with vanilla. Add the 1/4 cup sugar and the flour. Cut in butter until crumbs. *I just do this with my fingers. Sprinkle over pie. Sprinkle top with 1/2-1 tsp. sugar. Pop into pre-heated 400 degree oven, close door, reduce heat to 375, and bake for about 40 minutes until it just starts to bubble and crust is golden brown. Remove and cool on counter. Can store, covered, on counter at room temp., or placed into the fridge and chilled.